There’s a lot to admire about fashion designer Sophia Brown. She studied Fashion Design at the University for the Creative Arts, completed two certificates in Period Corsetry at the London College of Fashion, and then went to work for two of the UK’s most prestigious couture bridal designers, Wedding Portfolio and Kosibah Creations, as well as honing her craft within large retail chains. She has now set up her own label, Sophia Brown London, which specialises in handmade bespoke dresses, using luxurious fabrics, such as dupion silk, duchess satin, brocade and crepe.
The line launched during this year’s London Fashion Week and in a break from directing models and cutting patterns, Sophia took some time to tell Flavour all about it.
So tell us what Sophia Brown London is all about?
Every woman deserves to feel beautiful in a dress specially made for her and this is the inspiration behind each and every Sophia Brown London dress, meticulously made to your measurements. Sophia Brown London is a fashion label that produces stunning dresses designed to make you stand out from the crowd at any special occasion, whether it be a gala affair, birthday, wedding, anniversary, on-screen or waltzing down the red carpet.
Have you always loved fashion?
I’ve always wanted to be a designer, ever since I was little. My next door neighbour gave me a Fashion Wheel when I was nine. I used to play with it nonstop, creating different looks and playing around with colours and textures. I remember having fashion shows for my family and I used to dress my sister and cousins up in my mum’s clothes. As I got older I started watching annual awards nights, such as the Grammys, Oscars and BAFTAs, and I was inspired by dresses worn by women of all ages and sizes that would grace the red carpet. I would emulate the designs I saw on TV and in magazines, and from my bedroom as a teenager I began making dresses for every occasion, combining my love of bridal couture with my girly feminine style.
How do you describe your style?
I’m a modern 50s chick! I love the simplicity and elegance of the 50s. All my designs have some interesting detail; whether it’s the backs, leopard-print lining or pockets, you will find some quirkiness about the dress.
Does your collection represent clothes that you like to wear?
Oh yeah, definitely! I love little cute dresses and I wear my own creations a lot. I receive many compliments from people I meet or in the street; I even used to have work colleagues ask me to make them dresses similar to what I was wearing. I have my own unique style and put my own spin on things – what’s the point being able to design a dress that you wouldn’t want to twirl around in?
What doors do you hope will open now London Fashion Week’s over?
I’m hoping my label will get more recognition, loads of exposure and more Sophia Brown London dresses on the backs of women who like to look and feel that little bit extra special. Some day I hope to see my label in fabulous boutiques across the country and even globally! A few press doors opened would be fantastic; I would love to be on the tube and hear two girls chatting about my label, as they do about other labels in magazines.
What else can we expect from Sophia Brown London in 2011?
I have a number of things in the pipeline. I want to get the collection up and running and then I will start on my bridal tiara line, which will offer brides and bridesmaids beautiful bespoke tiaras and fascinators to complement their dresses.
To view Sophia Brown’s collection and to order your very own bespoke handmade dress, visit www.sophiabrownlondon.co.uk
Interview by Karla Williams