Alessia Prekop is one to watch. Don’t just take our word for it; take the fact that her designs have waltzed the runways of London and New York Fashion Week a mere year after her label’s launch.
Alessia’s signature style could be described as sculptural minimalism; an architectural portrayal of the modern woman who is powerful, daring, with a wardrobe full of elegance. As for Alessia’s Autumn Winter collection, it seems to have embodied all contrasts imaginable. Conservative staple pieces with striking silhouettes, fluffy mohair paired with lustrous leather, and geometric colour blocks ranging from bold scarlet red to mellow powder blue.
It’s this unique grasp of contrast that makes each piece recognisably distinctive, and could be considered a mirror of Alessia’s own life. Her Italian background and London abode simultaneously influence every seam of every creation. But you can find more about that below, where she tells Schön! all about her influences, personal style, and her favourite piece from the collection.
You were noted as ‘One to Watch’ during your label’s first London Fashion Week back in September. How does the recognition surrounding your brand feel?
Initially it was quite overwhelming. I always criticise my work and I can sometimes be my own worst enemy, but to hear someone praise the collection for its innovation makes all the hard work and sleepless nights worth it.
Alessia Prekop launched two years after you graduated from Istituto Marangoni here in London. What pushed you to start your own label?
The freedom to develop new ideas, experiment with fabrics and dress the creative; audacious women justified my desire to launch my line.
Of all the cities in the World, what attracted you to London?
While I was living in Italy, my visits to London always left a great impression because of the eccentricity of the people that wandered its streets. Their fearless attitude represented a freedom of thinking; I knew I had to be a part of. As a designer, the city’s rough, rebellious energy unconsciously provides a plethora of ideas that feed into my work. After all, London street style is class and edge at its best!
London and Italian style are quite different. Where do you think the two meet?
It’s all about two different feelings: London is the melancholy while Italy is the optimism. Somehow, the two meet in an underlying darkness and edge.
Italian style in particular is known for its sensual femininity. Do you feel your designs rebel or stay true to that image?
Through its focus on the feminine, Italian style knows how to show a woman at her best. In my work, I express a specific aspect of femininity by focusing on the beauty of the female form. Each collection features sculpture and tailoring that makes reference to my Italian style, but the constant negotiation between hard and soft creates a synergy between Italian heritage and London style.
What about your personal style. How much of your look is present in an Alessia Prekop creation?
I’m a biker at heart so with my tattoos I tend to take a minimalist approach. However, the counter-cultural influence of my personal style takes form in the leather pieces and detailing. I wear Dr Martens like it’s ’95 and I give my customer the choice to wear my pieces with biker boots or stilettos – either way, they have an elegant edge.
Your designs seem to take inspiration from everything: architecture, street-style, Italian tradition. How are all of these present in your A/W 14 collection?
The sculpture of the cocoon sleeves brings my architectural influences to the forefront while its juxtaposition with tailoring pays homage to my Italian heritage. When I moved to London, I noticed that black was the colour of choice during the winter so for Autumn/Winter 14 I wanted to give it more depth through the surface finishes and range of textures.
Your latest collection features an abundance of luxury fabrics. How important is quality in the design process?
Quality is essential to the way I design. The turn of the economy saw spending habits change drastically and my way to respond to that was to design pieces my customer can invest it. All our production is in England. I never design with an expiry date for my pieces as I want my customer to see our clothes as their go-to pieces.
What’s your favourite from the collection? Is there a particular stand-out piece?
I love the Amor dress because the leather detail on the sleeve simply elevates the classic little black dress, but the mohair Hephaistos coat is a winter classic. Both pieces truly represent what the collection is all about: effortless style and comfort with a dark edge.
What public figure would you love to see in one of your designs?
I would love to see women with a fearless approach to style in my collection. Daphne Guinness has a dream-like approach to life that comes through in her theatrical style, so I would love to see her in some of the more avant-garde pieces.
With her attention to sleek and fluid lines reflecting both Italian class and London’s edge, the creative possibilities are endless for Alessia Prekop. And we can’t wait to see what’s next.
This latest Alessia Prekop Collection has been photographed by
Words / Shama