Photographer JAMES DONOVAN Fashion Editor and Interview SACHA MUSGROVE
THE NEW DESIGNER TALKS US THROUGH
HER FAST MOVING CAREER
Confidently poised with a soft presence, luxury womenswear designer Nicole Murray drinks a skinny, decaf cappuccino and tells Wonderland how she, “swears by Primark jeans.” Originally from Yorkshire and now based in London, at just 24 she has had a whirlwind start to her career over such a short period of time.
At 16, Murray discovered her interest in fashion. Influenced by her seamstress grandmother, she spent most of her time learning how to sew and make patterns, enjoying the practical side to fashion. Going on to complete a BA in fashion design at Nottingham Trent University in 2008, followed by a Masters degree at the London College of Fashion, she produced a graduate collection prompting luxury clothes store Harrods to fall at her feet. They were eager to sell her designs, she explains, “My mum was more excited than I was! It was amazing.”
Casually sat wearing a plain, navy, H&M t-shirt and jeans, she tells us about her aversion to bright colours and that she has, “a thing for navy blue. It’s the most luxurious colour.” Black on the other hand, “I tend to stay away from black. Everybody does black.” Previously interning with Roland Mouret, she became familiar with the bias cut method, now a frequent approach when making her own clothing. Murray explains, “I feel a lot freer just doing it on the stand.” This method is apparent in her A/W11 collection, which focuses on delicate eveningwear, using romantic, deep purples and golden yellows. “I make beautiful dresses for beautiful women, the person I design for is the person I aspire to be.” Murray often works with silk due to the luxury associated with it and she recently discovered a new material inspiration; a lilac-based, ivory-outlined, French lace, which she developed further throughout the collection.
As a designer that doesn’t like drawing, Murray is, “much more about the aesthetics than the process behind the design.” She is currently working on her forth collection for S/S12 which will be sold in Harrods along with her previous 3 collections and it will also be available online at watchthislabel.com.
Murray reads both Elle and Vogue religiously and surprisingly isn’t a fan of clothes shopping, “I’m so skint I don’t shop anywhere, I don’t like shopping, I’m not very good at it,” but when necessary she will head to the high street, “Topshop, Zara, French Connection,” but Primark for jeans, “they are the comfiest things!”
Motivated by the idea of one day having a, “five storey Georgian town house,” Murray, “never intended,” to have her own label, “it’s just kind of fallen that way.” Inspired by other designers such as, Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz and Phoebe Philo for Chloe, because, “they always seem to get it right.” Galliano on the other hand, “he’s an idiot.” For a day Murray would love to step into the shoes of Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld, although in the unlikely situation that she might get stranded on a desert island she’d be, “a bit scared to be stuck with Lagerfeld, I don’t think he’d cope in his little white shirt.” Given the choice she’d rather take, “that fit man from The Hangover,” and her toothbrush.