Using clothing as her canvas, Klelia Andrali provides fashion lovers with statement pieces inspired by arts.
How did you first discover you wanted to be a designer?
Being a designer was essentially a need for creation, in lieu of a discovery. I always knew I wanted to draw on paper and deal with clothes as well, which eventually led to combining both.
What inspired you to start your own brand?
When I completed my MDes at the GSA in Scotland, I knew I wanted to focus exclusively on design (while simultaneously specializing in digital printing) & historical research. Such a job would be elusive in the London market, so I created it!
What’s your overall vision of the brand?
I would like to have my own showroom in London one day, coupled with a built-in workshop where I’d be able to work. Additionally, I’d like to have a direct relationship with my customers in order to inform them about my research on print.
You've recently been a part of Athens Xclusive Designers Week, where we got an inside view of your colourful FREakShoW collection and we loved it. You’ve also been awarded the Best Catwalk award. Why did you choose this name for your collection?
The name of each collection stems from the themes! For that particular purpose, my craze revolved around the freakshows of the 1800s, the life of the monsters of that season, let’s say.
We saw a lot of colourful prints and unique patterns on the catwalk. How has the technique of digital printing enabled you to express yourself through your designs?
Digital printing is the most contemporary form of production and this has allowed fashion designers to create designs with far fewer limitations. One can express himself on paper, and this, in turn, can be digitally applied onto fabric!
Where do you initially look to for inspiration with your designs?
As I see it, there is a continuity from the first collection to the last; each collection is not independent of the other. Moving on to a later collection, there must be a profound theme which usually starts with a stimulus of everyday life. Then, research is done on an artistic and historical basis and, eventually, I start designing using both my imagination and research.
Now tell us a little about what you are currently working on. What can we expect from your next collections?
For the time being, I would like to remain at the freakshow. I feel like it has a lot to offer and I am currently working on new prints inspired by the “freaks”.
You have an active Instagram account and we love it! How do you believe social media has changed the way new designers get noticed and promoted by the local and international fashion enthusiasts?
Thank you very much! I try to build & nurture a good rapport with both my (Instagram) followers and fans of the brand. I enjoy their reactions to various issues of my everyday life and work. I believe it's the most modern advertising medium which enables designers to stand out globally, when handled properly of course. Social media is one of my strongest weapons.
Does art help you understand parts of yourself? What’s your favourite piece of art?
Art IS psychoanalysis. Given the opportunity, through art, you can grasp a lot about yourself, your era & the people around you. I'm tired of people who reject modern art with a couple of justifications, without having worked for over two minutes. I do not have a favourite artwork. My taste varies… I once worshiped Yayoi Kusama. These days I’m looking into Ai Weiwei with his coloured vases and the revival that he brought in modern art.
You’re Greek but you are based in Brighton. What do you like most about the UK’s fashion scene?
In England, fashion holds a sense of liberation with a dose of underground grunge. I think I’ll hold on to that thought until my upcoming design is due next.
Interview by Vasia Fragkou.
All photos are taken by Alina Lefa.
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