Amy Penny is a young fashion designer who just graduated from Winchester School of Art (University of Southampton) in England where she studied a BA Hons in Fashion and Textile Design. Although her last collection is all in red colors, the mix of fabrics and textures is really interesting. As a designer she stays true to her instincts, and I cannot wait to see more of her work.
When did you know you wanted to be a fashion designer?
Quite young! I think I would have been around 12 when I decided all I wanted was to become a fashion designer; I still have old sketches and designs from around that age (they’re terrible!)
What’s it like being in the Fashion industry?
I’m not sure yet! I’ve only just graduated and started putting my work out there but so far I’ve had really great responses to my collection, I’ve made some great contacts which I’m learning is really the key so I’m looking forward to seeing how things progress from here.
How is the fashion industry in England?
As a very recent graduate I have yet to fully experience the industry but from the perspective of having studied with other creatives who will be the future of the industry, there are just so many different ideas and styles and I thoroughly look forward to seeing them surface. The creativity is endless.
Talk about the changes in your life since you’ve had your own Brand.
Developing a brand is definitely a process and I’ve only just begun, however the support I’ve had so far reaffirms my desire to build my brand and make a name for myself. I’ve been invited to two very exciting fashion weeks as well as other events and my work has been requested for various editorials – all of which is very exciting and motivational for a recent graduate.
How do you choose your inspiration?
I’ve found that I work well when I’m inspired by a theme or a message. My work almost always begins with the influence of feminism, I think this is because it holds such relevance and it’s something I feel passionately about. I love creating clothes that hold a message or a story, if I can create a collection that I feel is wearable whilst also expressing a significant meaning, that is when I feel I have achieved my goal.
In one word: how would you define yourself as a designer?
What advice would you pass along to those starting in the Fashion Business?
Stand up for yourself and your work! For every person that thinks your work isn’t good enough there will be ten people who love it, so just put it out there and always follow your instincts.
Tell us about your last collection
I’d say my work is still quite raw, in the sense that I haven’t had to comply to what other people want from me or what people think will sell well. I’ve yet to experience working for other designers or for real clients and so I suppose this collection is just ‘me’. However, I think this is a healthy way to begin my journey into the industry and I’m determined not to lose this sense of who I am and what my work should be.
What was the inspiration for your last collection?
My graduate collection is titled ‘I Never Looked Good In Red…’ and was initially inspired by The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. The novel contains shocking themes set in a dystopian society where women are essentially slaves to the patriarchy; however, I felt that many of the ideas in the novel have a disturbingly contemporary feel. Drawing on this inspiration, my idea was to mix conservative features with more risqué features, for example heavy, draped trousers are shown alongside an almost transparent dress. The entire collection is red due to the connotations I feel this colour holds; anger, passion, sexuality, menstruation and pain. I really wanted to portray this idea of restriction and freedom at the same time so I chose to use restrictive shapes in non-restrictive, stretchy materials. As a whole, the collection aims to highlight issues of feminism whilst remaining wearable and empowering to the wearer.
To know more about Amy, please visit: Amy Penny