With her flagship boutique just moments from the Kings Road, we caught up with international fashion designer Maria Grachvogel.
How would you describe your current collection?
The AW12 collection is rich in colour and texture. For me it has an easy, relaxed glamour. I wanted that combination of decadent glamour with complete effortlessness – that’s how I want to dress right now.
Since MG went international, do you feel the direction of your brand has changed at all?
My passion has always been the desire to make a woman feel fabulous and I continue with that philosophy. By becoming International, I am privileged to have many more women now appreciating and trying my collection, which gives me more and more feedback from women with different body shapes and different needs or cultures which further develops me as a designer.
Kelly Rowland was seen earlier this year wearing a MG gown at the Glamour Woman of the Year Awards 2012, where she picked up the ‘TV personality of the year award’. Do you have a certain type of woman in mind when you design?
I think of the moods of a woman when I create. I usually have a strong feeling of a character that I inhabit when I create, which embodies how I want to feel in the clothes.
Who would you most like to see wearing one of your pieces?
I always love strong, confident women who have a good sense of their own personal style and dress for themselves. I have always admired Tilda Swinton’s style and think she would look amazing in my collection.
Define your personal style.
I love to feel comfortable and relaxed in my clothes and choose easy, relaxed pieces that also look and feel glamorous to wear. I love to wear jumpsuits as they combine all those things – I can run about in it all day and feel glamorous enough if I end up going out in it for the evening.
A collection reflects an element of a designers own personality, would you agree?
I think it’s inevitable that elements of one’s personality filter through into any creative work. I also find it interesting that like an actress, I can also inhabit a different character when I create and this character also comes through in my work. I am never sure if it’s a part of me or if I am just choosing to play a part, but I love to experience the different characters and personalities of a woman through clothing.
If you could collaborate with another designer, who would it be, and what is it about their work that you appreciate?
I have always admired Vionnet’s work – she was a complete master of cutting and loved to enhance a woman’s body.
Congratulations on your stunning spring/summer collection. What aspects of London Fashion Week do you enjoy the most?
I always love to see the girls wearing the collection as it’s always so magical to see the collection finally all lined up. I don’t use a fit model – we try everything meticulously on all of us at the studio and scrutinise every detail of the cut and fit so we can make sure it works across many different body shapes. This means it’s always amazing to step back and look at the whole collection on a model when we are casting for the show – it’s the moment where it somehow all comes together.
Tell us about SS 13, how do you feel it differs from previous collections?
This season my woman this season is lean, modern and cool. The lines are much cleaner and more architectural both in the cutting techniques and through the print and I am playing with sculptural pleats and contrasting textures.
As the MG brand has developed, why do you think the brand has been so well received?
For me, design is creativity with an end use in mind and therefore I have always put the woman who wears my collection at the heart of my work. This has meant that I have built a loyal following over the years and I have developed my collection through the many wonderful women that choose to wear my clothes. When I started it was just me working from a small studio and now I work from a wonderful 3 storey townhouse in Chelsea which is our London flagship, I have a store in Singapore and a wonderful team around me that all contribute to the success of the brand.