Faced with the hottest summer to date impending (to be later topped by 2018), I, a long-time Etsy fanatic, spent the spring months of last year foraging for the perfect cotton top. Happening upon an account of handmade styles, I proceeded to go back and forth with the seamstress behind the designs to purchase the perfect piece — a tiny cherry-red, ruched number, which arrived accompanied by a handwritten note from Rose thanking me for investing in her.
Olivia Rose the Label was really just a 24-year-old textile graduate from the U.K., although at the time I was immediately impressed by the quality, design and speed of her production. While Olivia Rose is still a one-woman show, her eponymous company has grown in just a year to become one of the most exciting brands to emerge in the U.K.'s fashion landscape. In the era of DIY-prodigies like London-based Poster Girl, there is never a better time to be a young creative in Britain — and the industry is finally sitting up and taking note, as are the slew of influencers looking to diversify from their roster of go-to's.
With her now-trademark use of ruching and Renaissance-inspired puffed sleeves, Olivia Rose's styles are the picture of femininity. A parade of press and fashionistas have caught on to Olivia Rose's burgeoning brand, with stars like Joanna Kutcha to Dua Lipa seeking out her made-to-order creations. Rose describes going out on her own as the "scariest yet best thing she's have ever done," and frankly, we should all be grateful she did.
What gap do you think your brand fills in the industry?
I design my clothes to be made to stand out. I think my designs are very regal and empowering. I hand-make everything to order myself, so being a one-woman brand is where I stand out from the rest of the industry. Every item I make is designed and made with love by me and only me.
When did you notice the label was really taking off?
I think at the beginning of this year when I had launched my first ever full collection of designs that I had worked so hard on, I began to get a lot of amazing press, being recognized by the likes of Vogue and having Dua Lipa wearing my designs really was a huge, huge "wow" moment for me.
What are your thoughts on the U.K. design landscape right now?
I think U.K. design is amazing. It's always unique, fresh and different. I don't really wish designers were doing more or less of anything. I think there is a real sense of individuality with our designers which is really inspiring, or at least with the ones I like to follow anyway.
You work a lot with shirring, which is having a huge moment right now. What attracted you to the style?
I studied textiles, so I've been using shirring in my work for over six years now. As well as other textile/fabric manipulation techniques. I love the texture and detail it can bring to an item of clothing, especially for woman as I love to create volume or cinch parts in to complement a woman's figure. I feel there is so much to do with these techniques. It's really fun to experiment with shirring.
"Every item I make is designed and made with love by me and only me."
What trend do you think is up next?
I feel like drawstrings, gathering and ruching are going to be the next big trend — kind of already is.
What piece are you most proud of?
I think the piece I am most proud of is my personal favorite; the Esmeralda Top. I feel like that really is my creative mind in an item of clothing; voluminous, eccentric, daring, yet regal and elegant — a definite statement piece all in one.
Are there any milestones you hope to hit in your design career?
I honestly feel like I have hit so many already in only a year and a half. I couldn't be more grateful for what I have been able to achieve. I think a milestone for me is to keep growing and keep designing amazing items of clothing for beautiful my customers.