Currently playing: I Blame Coco – Playwright Fate
Therefore I wanted to thank TellusFashion and Independent Fashion Bloggers for providing me with the wonderful experience that was yesterday evening, and my first ever fashion show and front-row seat.
I’d also like to thank you for the delightful goody-bag which was kindly filled with a handful of samples, which included:
- The revelation that is the idea of environmentally friendly water in a carton from Aquapax
- A bottle of pure apple juice
- A copy of FACEON magazine
- A £30 gift voucher which can be redeemed in the NARCISS boutique located in London, United Kingdom
- A vast selection of business cards from people who contributed towards the evening, including stylists, hair stylists and make-up artists
I’d also like to thank you for the meet-and-greet with the designers who showed their collections during the evening, after the show.
Lastly, I would like throw a special thank you to womenswear designer Stephanie Grace Foy, whom of which I have marked as one of my favorite designers of the moment, and menswear designer and artist Thom Neal, who is also now a borderline obsession of mine with his high-end, detailed, British menswear garments, for standing and chatting with me for a good 10 minutes or so after the show, as they offered words of wisdom and the odd thank you – following my compliments on the show and their collections.
Overall it was a fantastic evening. Thank you, TellusFashion!
Currently playing: Ida Maria – Queen of the World
Currently playing: Kate Nash – Mouthwash
It seems that you may just be the luckiest readers in the world. I mean, hearing from the likes of Anastasia Lomonova, Fanny and Jessy, and jewelry designer Bita Pourtavoosi all in one week? Your friends are jealous, I bet.
Despite the fact that Bita Pourtavoosi is not yet a household name, I know potential when I see it, or in this case when struts up to me and slaps me right in the face (okay, so it dropped itself into my bookmarks, yet it’s the same thing, right?) In addition to a talent for design, I feel that an admirable personality behind a label is just as important as the designs produced. On that note, I was delighted when I contacted Bita Pourtavoosi after stumbling across her work via Etsy.com and received a prompt, friendly reply within just a day or two – thanking me for my positive comments and throwing a “I hope you’re doing well” my way. I mean, what more could I have asked for?
What would you consider to be the aesthetic behind Bita Pourtavoosi?
The aesthetic that is behind Bita Pourtavoosi mainly comes from my love for ancient civilizations and the ornate. What really brings out the beauty and emotions within my line of work is my connection with everything middle eastern-ancient. The ornate, the colorful, and the warm glow of gold really excite me to my inner core. Consequently I have created pieces of jewelry that are greatly influenced by my connections whilst living here in the modern world.
What were you doing before you formed Bita Pourtavoosi?
Before Bita Pourtavoosi, I was working my way up to my future goal which was to have a career within the creative industry. From the age of 5 I have been painting with oil paint at a college level. I was greatly intrigued by the limitless advantages of having a blank canvas. From there, I have grown to become fully engulfed within the creative industry and art world in particular. I always knew that I wanted to include art in my future. I just didn’t know how. I knew that being a painter wasn’t practical in this economy so I looked for something else that was a practical option in terms of a career. I got accepted to the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York with a major in Interior Design. At that time I was very impressed with the way interior designers can use a room as their own blank canvas and create their own little worlds. During your first year of school at Pratt Institute, you learn all the aspects of design and art. You don’t really study your major; you study all the subjects that are the back-bone to your major.
My first year has ended, and my love for Interior Design has faded. I was back at square one. Fortunately, it didn’t take much time for me to figure out my true calling. I was walking past an instillation of the junior year jewelry major’s work and instantly knew what it was that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Everything started to fall into place. I noticed that I was always extremely detailed when it came to painting jewelry on portraits, I was very into finding the most unique pieces of jewelry and putting it together in ways no one could imagine. I knew that this was the right thing for me. I instantly changed my major to jewelry making and never looked back. 6 years later, I am so happy that I have made such a spontaneous decision that affected the rest of my life!
Aside from designing, what other interest’s do you have?
There are so many things! I used to involve myself in many different things to the point where I started breaking down and couldn’t handle it all. I love being involved in my community and helping influence others with my passion and love for the community. I have been a pianist for about 15 years. I was very involved with playing the piano and it was a part of my life just as much as eating or breathing was. Every now and then, to release some stress, I get back onto that piano chair and play my heart out. No one or nothing can ever steal my heart away from painting. As much as I am obsessed with making jewelry and creating pieces from scratch, there is nothing that gets me as excited and stress free the way painting does for me. Painting has been in my life ever since I could remember and it is something that I can never let go of, no matter how crazy my life becomes. It is what helps me deal with life’s matters.
What projects are you currently working on?
I have just released my Fall/Winter 2011 collection and am SO excited to show my creations to the world! This new line features pieces that are greatly inspired by the galaxy, organic forms such as soap suds and coral, alongside the world of high fashion and punk-culture. My collection features textured metals, faceted stones, spikes, and chunky cabochons that all come together to create some exuberant, lively and statement pieces.
I have recently began work on the designs for my Spring/Summer 2012 collection and I am extremely excited to get all the designs finalized, as the ideas in my head just keep on getting more and more creative! As for expansion of Bita Pourtavoosi, my goal for the next year is to be able to double or even triple my exposure throughout the world of fashion and design. I believe that the more that you do to get your name out there, the better it will be for you in the long-run; even if you feel that it will not make a vast difference at present.
In your own opinion, what is unique about Bita Pourtavoosi?
Bita Pourtavoosi Jewelry is unique because I don’t follow trends. I follow my heart and passion. Yes, I create pieces that will fit within the trend of the season, but I like to stay far away from the typical ideas and trends that each season comes up with. I stick to my ancient/modern theme and create a twist every season with what is known to be popular at that time.
In business terms, what advice would you give to aspiring designers and jewelry designers in particular?
Always set a real goal for yourself. When you start out, it is difficult to predict your future when it comes to creating a business goal. I started out without one, now that I look back I feel that more could have been done if I had a realistic goal set; instead of saying “oh just I want to be able to afford living by next year”- that is not realistic. You must sit down and crunch down numbers and figure out how much you should be selling and spending by a certain time.
But most importantly, I truly believe that the BIGGEST and the MOST important advice I can give to aspiring designers is to NEVER give up. There have been so many moments in my career where I wanted to just give it all up because it would destroy not only my emotions, but also physically destroy me. The late hours, the choosing work over family and friends, and spending every single penny I had really made me want to give everything up and just live a mediocre life where I get paid a salary and can come home to my family. Every time I wanted to give up, I pushed myself even harder not to, and told myself that one day this would all be worth it.
Even though presently I have my many moments of weakness, I really do see how it has become worth it. All the pressure and stress has led up to this point in my career and I couldn’t be any happier!
Lastly, would you say that Bita Pourtavoosi is successful?
A million and ten percent, yes. I believe that one is successful when they are happy- in any matter of life or business. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else and do anything else- to me that is complete success.
Images courtesy of Bita Pourtavoosi
Guess what? London-based design-duo Fanny and Jessy were kind enough to answer my interview questions, meaning that I now have aspiring designer advice, background information and opinions from the duo in hand. I have to admit, despite the fact that I feel somewhat envious of every female out there and a tinge of hatred towards the label, due to the fact that Fanny and Jessy are a womenswear label and not a menswear label, I feel partially proud to announce that this pair have grabbed a position in my favorites when it comes to London residing labels, brands, businesses, and better yet, design duos.
What would you consider to be the aesthetic behind Fanny and Jessy?
Fanny and Jessy is a womenswear brand that has an underlying sense of androgyny but is more sexed-up than feminine.
What were you doing before you formed Fanny and Jessy?
We were both at university together at the London College of Fashion and we did our graduate collection together.
Aside from designing, what other interest’s do you both have?
We both love retreating to the countryside! Particularly going on bike and canoe trips, Fanny loves drawing and attempting to learn instruments off youtube, Jess loves walking, eating oysters and getting lost.
What projects are you currently working on?
We are working on the new collection at the moment and also in talks with one of our favourite jewelry designers about a possible collaboration piece so keep your ears pinned for that one.
In your own opinion, what is unique about Fanny and Jessy?
We try and work in a sustainable and responsible way but there is always a continuous theme of humor and light heartedness throughout our work through our approach towards fashion and believing it to be a luxury that should be somewhat fun and playful.
In business terms, what advice would you both give to aspiring designers?
Work hard, be determined, try not to take everything too seriously, enjoy it.
Lastly, would you say that Fanny and Jessy is successful?
We are both very proud at what we have achieved so far, to be able to work for yourself at our age is a great accomplishment.
Images courtesy of Fanny and Jessy