Emma Charles LFW Interview

emma charles

We spoke to emerging young designer Emma Charles about her SS17 collection at the Designer Showrooms this LFW.


emma charles

Where did you train?

I graduated from Westminster in 2014 from a four-year course. Whilst I was there I interned at Tom Ford, Stella McCartney, and Preen. After I finished my studies I went and worked at Preen for two years until now, until my first collection.

What was it like working at Preen?

It was really good, I learnt so much there. More there than at university, I think just being in the industry, meeting people, making contacts, even factories and mills to press people. It was invaluable experience.

 At what moment in your life did it click for you that fashion is what you wanted to do?

At school I did textiles and at A levels I did textiles but the textiles at A levels was more art based but I was really good at it so I moved onto a Foundation course and that was when I decided to go down a more fashion route than an art route. I knew that if I was going to do it I needed to move to London.

How was it moving to London?

It was crazy now that I look back at it you know I was really young, I was 18. But I really wanted to come so here I am.

What is the inspiration behind your SS17 collection?

So this collection is based on 1930s interiors and that’s where the colours of the collection come from. You know the wood panelling of that era as well as the silver. I looked at fireplaces of the Art Deco period so that’s where the silver embellishment comes from. Similarly the tailoring of that era, especially men’s tailoring. Menswear really informs quite a lot of my designs because whether it’s a menswear fabric in a feminine silhouette or an oversized jacket I like that edge that it beings.

Describe your collection in three words?

Modern, clean but beautiful.

What would you say was the most difficult aspect of putting this collection together?

I think time management. I think that’s the biggest key to anything. If you have bad time management skills everything will run late and if you’re working with factories it’s always against the clock. So I think that’s always the biggest issue that you have to factor in.

What was the best aspect of putting the collection together?

The best part is the day that you pick it up from the factory because it’s like oh my god I cant believe its here in real life. That’s the most rewarding part after all the months of hard work.

So would you say that’s your favourite part?

Yeah definitely, seeing it finished in the final fabrics.

What kind of woman would wear your collection?

So I’d say late twenties, she’s always going to art galleries and shopping in Brown and Liberty. She’s quite sophisticated but still wants a bit of playful fun with dressing.

Who is your favourite designer at the moment?  

At the moment I’m always a massive fan of Raf Simons and I’m excited to see his next move because I think his going to Calvin Klein and Calvin Klein has always been an influence to me especially when it’s more minimal. So I’m excited to see what he does there.

One trend that you wish you had created?

It’s tricky because I don’t really look to trends. I think it’s more about styling I’m always wearing trainers with everything so maybe that trend. It seems to have gone crazy. Comfort over fashion.

One trend you wish could erase?    

Eighties shoulder pads. When Lady Gaga started coming about and then all the high street shops put them in everything, even a knitted dress and all I could think was “ No, don’t do it!”


Mahum Masood
Mahum Masood is a recent journalism graduate from City University – one of the highest ranked universities for journalism in the world. Born and bred in East London she loves discovering all the new places and pop ups that make the area so exciting. Currently interning at a graphic design agency in Shoreditch as their Communications Managers. She has previously worked for Made In Shoreditch, an online magazine, and continues to create content for them.She also writes for – a student blog that was originally started 3 years ago and then franchised by the American company HerCampus - a hugely popular online community for women at university across the globe. Her interests include reading till her eyes go fuzzy, collecting fashion magazines and spending most of her time in a cinema.

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