This week, I met up for an interview with Haute Couture Fashion designer Pierre Garroudi. We sat down at his gallery in Crucifix Lane for a little insider info, talk about the inspirations for the Pierre Garroudi A/W 2011 collection and a sneak peak at the creation of his new collection.
Pierre is an Iran native, whose work in the fashion industry spans over 22 years with 14 of those years spent in Manhattan, New York. Having moved to London after September 11th, Pierre Garroudi’s creative collections have known no bounds, overflowing to the artistic layout of his South East London gallery.
As I ask him my freestyle interview questions, I witness first hand the designer at work on his industrial sewing machine. He is threading what seems like miles of netting for his upcoming Spring/ Summer 2012 collection.
AA: Pierre, what’s the inspiration for your new collection?
PG: The Rococo Period and 18th century style. I love being able to interpret art and make it wearable and current.
AA: (As I stare at the yards of soft pink fabric he is sewing, I ask with crossed fingers) So is that the colour of your new upcoming collection?
PG: Yes, it’s a dusty pink, a nice romantic dreamy colour.
AA: You seem to be going through quite abit of fabric there!
PG: Yes, so far we’ve cut about 1600 metres of fabric!
AA: How long does your collection take to create?
PG: It can take a few months to complete the collections, but this skirt I am creating now, can take up to six weeks!
AA: Six weeks! on a skirt! but I guess the end result justifies the hard work (and price tag), right?
PG: Well yes, it definitely takes determination to do what I do but I love the power of manipulating the fabric and creating soft yet strong pieces.
AA: How did your pleating and draping technique develop?
PG: I started in small doses. With the first black collection, then red, then blue, ’til now, I would get feedback from my interns and would expand on it.
AA: You mentioned you left New York after September 11th, what particularly influenced your decision to leave?
PG: I just felt that fashion was becoming more strategic than artistic, where buyers were more accountants. I was just feeling a lack of fashion appreciation.
AA: How did/ does London Fashion differ?
PG: The Freedom of fashion reigns on the streets of London. There is no other place in the world with fashion and art just parading the streets like London.
AA: What is your greatest fashion ambition?
PG: One of them is to be sponsored for a ‘Denim Love’ project. Where I could revolutionise the way jeans are made. From start to finish, I would work on making it perfect and practical. The sky’s the limit and possibilities endless but saying that there’s so much to do but not enough time.
AA: Who would be your ideal clients/ who would you love to dress?
PG: I would love to dress Rihanna and Lady Gaga. I love their strength and feel my garments are just as strong. I believe strength in clothes shows strength in character.
Pierre starts to tell me about his potential ‘famous’ actor client and his ability to overhaul any wardrobe.
AA: Well you definitely seem to be busy?
PG: I’m always on the go and work seven days a week because I can’t afford to take a break. If anyone wants to see me, they come to me, I don’t go to them! (He goes on to joke) “If Paul McCartney was my father, I wouldn’t do it. I need a holiday!”
As I wrap up to leave, a certain tall red headed pop musician walks in and Pierre proceeds to dress him with all sorts of extravagant neck pieces.