By Caitlin McGinness (www.caitlinmcginness.com)
Paris based Natalie Riachi has built up an extraordinary basis for her debut collection. Mixing her team of international creatives, with the solid morals of the art of fashion design taking precedence, she has produced a collection that is sure to stand the test of time.
France has long been seen as the forefront of fashion, how has being based in Paris influenced your designs?
Being based in Paris has certainly given me endless inspiration but equally it has also suffocated my creativity from time to time. Living in city can be awe inspiring but I think you need a good balance between time in the city and time away from it otherwise you might like me suffer from a certain sense of being overwhelmed. Paris has not only inspired my designs to be more considered but it has also allowed me to work with the most talented and incredible people all within easy reach.
You highlight that photoshop wasn’t used in the making of your studio photographs, how important do you feel transparency is in the fashion world?
I feel that nowadays with the rise of social media not only is there a demand for over exposed over edited content but also equally for something more raw and transparent. It’s also about trying something that isn’t over produced for a change but still equally as powerful.
You state that digitally patterned materials are a staple behind your designs, what is the method behind this?
The digitally printed materials were made with the intention to create an original fabric that we would need to create the clothes with consideration into the quantity of fabric we would need with regards to the pattern pieces, so there was minimum wastage. However, the second collection will consist of knitwear made in Scotland where the clothes will be knitted thus reducing wastage of materials even further – that’s something that is really important to me, creating something lasting that is also sustainable. The fashion industry is currently too disposable, I think we need to come back to our roots and consider small production rather than mass production. I want to help keep the UK wool and mill industry alive because i strongly believe in the quality of production we have in this country.
As a Scottish designer, how do you feel that your background has helped you perform in the international design sphere?
I think with regards to my second knitwear collection it has certainly helped having a Scottish background, and I hope that my recognition in the international design sphere will be further recognised when I launch my knitwear.
What/ who would you state as your main inspirations for your style of fashion design?
I think my main inspiration for my style and fashion design is to really consider making something fashion forward that will ultimately be something that will last and stand the test of time and trends. I think this is why it has taken me so long to launch the second collection, because I want to create something that people will cherish for years to come rather than move on from in a few years time.
How do you feel British designers are shaping the fashion industry? How do you feel being part of this community?
I feel British designers are among some of the strongest shaping the global fashion industry, with the likes of Stella Mccartney focusing on sustainability vegan clothing and accessories. JW Anderson is someone else who has achieved international success and recognition with his own label as well as his incredible designs for Spanish brand Loewe.
There are too many small local independent labels creating incredible work that is gaining global recognition these days. For example Hancock VA, they are using traditional British rubberised clothing making techniques on an internationally recognisable platform with collaborations with world renowned brands such as Missoni and Converse.
I also appreciate those smaller local brands like hilary grant who has created an internationally recognisable knitwear brand while remaining focused on quality and brand identity.
I am not sure I am part of that community yet as I am not yet selling, but that is what we are working on at the moment. I need to work hard to launch my second collection with the same enthusiasm as the first collection and start selling online.
Your collection 1 design showcases an eclectic mix of clothing, what is the future for Riachi Studio?
Well the future for Riachi Studio is to create women’s knitwear as well as knitted blankets and printed cushions. I try to work the promotion of my brand through my blog were my husband and I promote local independent brands, I think that could help bring us more interest in the future. Matt is also working on developing both the RS and the blog living in clips platforms with online shops and other intricate features.
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