A few weeks ago now I was rather lucky to be invited to attend the launch night of Olivia Rubin’s collection for Dune, which I mentioned here. Above the rather South Molton Street store, Olivia spent the evening supplying us with cupcakes and inspiring us with her fantastic printed shoes.
The lovely ladies at Dune offered me the chance to interview Olivia, which of course I agreed to. So here it is folks:
When Hannah met Olivia Rubin
So how did your collaboration with Dune come about?
Dune is a family business so we’ve always talked about collaborating at some point. The time seemed right for me and Dune liked the idea of doing a printed range-something they had never really experimented with before.
Obviously your famed for your bold and graphic prints, what advice would you give women on wearing print?
Wearing a print always makes a statement. It needs little or no accessorising. The beauty of the Dune range is that the same applies-wear the wedges, platforms or pumps with a simple tank and jeans for an up to date modern look.
Which other designers do you admire?
I appreciate different elements of many designers from Prada to Pucci and Givenchy. I’m having a Marni moment right now-I love their eclectic mix of texture print and jewellery for SS11.
Do you have a particular woman in mind when you’re designing?
I always consider my variety of customer that I’ve met over the years but ultimately I stay true to my design ethic that has got me where I am to today-that it an instinct that comes naturally to me.
You’ve worked with both Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, what was it like to work with such huge design icons?
Mammoth! So different but both with their unique spin on design. I learned completely varied skills from both designers but both as invaluable as the other. Experiences like that will always remain very poignant in my mind as they were once in a lifetime opportunities.
How have they inspired you?
They inspired me to want to start my own label. As much as tutors hark on that you have to work at least 7 years at a company before you can start your own label I completely went against that grain. Galliano and McQueen taught me a lot about instinct and passion-everybody is different and if you want something you have to go for it! Working day and night at their labels gave me an insight into running a label that you can never be taught at college and that is why work experience and internships are so important.
You’ve attained quite the celebrity following with Fearne Cotton already being spotted in your new collection with Dune – what’s it like to see them wearing your designs and do they ever inspire the direction of your designs?
It is very flattering but also gives you a sense of satisfaction that celebrities who have the most amazing choice of clothes and accessories at their fingertips are choosing mine-it is quite surreal. I wouldn’t say they inspire my designs but once I’ve designed a collection I know immediately which celebrities to target.
What has been the high point of your career so far?
Moving into my studio on South Molton Street, my catwalk shows, the exclusive in Vogue that kick started my career, Cheryl Cole showcasing one of my designs from one of my first collections….there are so many..I feel very lucky.
What fashion blogs do you read when you have a spare minute?
I champion Coco’s Tea Party. I’ve met the girl behind the blog a few times-she is so unassuming and lovely and it blows me away how much she has achieved with her blog at such a young age!
What’s your absolute favourite item in your wardrobe right now?
A vintage Pucci dress I picked up in Italy! It is yet to be worn and is carefully bagged up looking very precious. Now I need an occasion to wear it!
Which is your favourite item from the Dune Collection?
The Warhols! They are the perfect printed summer platform-the colour combination is perfect with black cropped trousers and a loose shirt for spring but I’m looking forward to wearing them with bare legs and city short when the summer hits!