So you know Betty is never one to abbreviate unless the situation has great cause for it. This is one of those situations. When I first lay eyes on the teasers for Isolated Heroes I was completely taken in by the colour pallet, playful shapes and textures. Their past collections had always made me take notice and admire, but there was never anything that was really ‘me’ enough to wear. Then along came Kosovo Brides, my heart races, my palms sweat and my knees are weak, I had to get right in about Samantha McEwen to get the 411…
So Sam, tell the people a little bit about yourself and the Isolated Heroes team.
I run the Luxury Unisex street wear label Isolated Heroes, I like to call it Optimistic Clothing! I design and make everything in house with our little studio team! Right now I am working alongside a fantastic gurl Jess from Northumbria University. She has literally became my right hand so I will be very sad to see her leave. Our studio team is like a little family that always chops and changes when peoples placement ends. We also have lovely Rachel and Alice who have been working alongside us on the new collection.
Speaking of which, I am completely obsessed! What was your inspiration?
The new collection is based on Kosovo Brides. basically I LOVE researching and especially mythical tales, traditional folklore, ceremony’s and rituals etc so this collection has been a complete dream to research. we have collected so many trims and fabric swatches etc. Obviously the collection needs to remain wearable and to our target market / client base. Therefor each individual garment is really wearable when broken down we have metallic biker jackets, fluffy feathered sweaters, laser cut leather pinafores, digital print and metallic foiled oversize pieces, embossed faux fur jackets, pastel tartan pinafores and big embroidered and sequinned kimono’s. However when they are brought together and layered up they have the most impact!
The collection is based around the idea of Kosovo brides and the traditions of protecting the bride from evil through the element of dress up, ritual and costume. The brides traditionally have entire painted faces covered in individual jewels and sequins and are layered in hundreds of layers of clothing aimed to ward off evil spirits and conceal the brides innocence / virginity. All the garments are heavily embellished, embroidered and sequinned using luxurious fabric. I love designing for characters so we brought all this weird and really dark but beautiful research and wanted to capture it in a collection. We wanted the look book to go down this whole futuristic mystical vibe which I think we captured pretty well with the styling and hair and make up. It looks like something out a 60’s sci-fi movie which I totally LOVE.
As for our product shots we really wanted this shoot to capture the brand and our customer base so we have brought all the other inspirations of the collection together the sickly sweet colour palette, obvious 90’s references to the cut and silhouette of the garments and mashed it up with our traditional research. You can really see the garments broken down in the product shots and how everything can be worn in the collection as amazing separates.
That’s what we love to hear! So tell me, how long does it take to get from design stage to actually construct a piece?
I spend a lot of time researching! I love to create massive fabric files and research books and our studio is really inspirational we have walls and walls of cut outs, drawings fabric swatches etc its like stepping into a little Isolated Heroes planet when walking in there. Once the collection is designed constructing the garments never take that long unless they are hand beaded or sequinned etc we normally work with very wearable basic silhouettes. I love fabric sourcing and printing and creating our own fabrics and normally when we start a collection it starts off with you say 12 looks and then I get carried away designing and love creating new pieces and we end up with a MASSIVE Collection! I think there are 30 different looks in SS14.
By the looks of it I would have found it hard to cut it down as well! What is your personal favourite piece from the collection?
I want to wear them all! The idea was to have so many different options throughout the entire collection whilst maintaining the Isolated Heroes signature and working together cohesively as a collection. When you break the collection down there are easy day wear looks – the oversized digital print t-shirts, we have super cute kawaii faux fur sweaters and then we have all our party dresses digital print and crushed velvet. We also have all the show stopper looks metallic biker jackets, knitted feather crop tops and the tartan pinafores. I really find it hard to pick one!
Haha! OK then, If Betty was to buy one piece from the collection, what should it be and why?
OMG Betty you NEED to own the Cher pinafore! You would look super cute in the pastel pink plaid.
Duley noted! So apart from taking part in next weeks BOLD SOULS – Off the Catwalk event what’s next for Isolated Heroes?
We are working with ASOS just now on a business development program so that’s really exciting and is taking us lots of great places. It has been so much fun seeing the label grow and develop and find our own signature look. We are also working with some amazing boutiques and DJs / presenters etc in Hong Kong. I am always so ambitious and driven I don’t think I will be happy until I have an empire. It’s all about expanding and seeing the brand develop.
And growing it is! Honestly Sam, this collection has completely blown myself and the fashion glitterati away, you should be so proud of yourself and your team! I just can’t wait to see the collection being werked on the Bold Souls
catwalk this week, there is something about viewing a collection in person which makes it just come alive, and this one already has arms and legs! Rumour has it they are giving a 10% discount to all purchases of their new collection
straight off the catwalk! That Cher pinafore will be mine….~Who has their ticket?!