10 Questions with Rianna Phillips

Rianna Phillips is Manchester based print and accessory designer. The moment I saw her designs I was intrigued. They are so unique, celebrities and fashion bloggers alike have fallen in love with the designs.

I was lucky enough to be able to ask her some questions about what a life of a design is like.

When did you become interested in Fashion?
I started by completing an 'Art Foundation' year at Manchester School of Art. This is an experimental course that you have the option of doing before you go to university. Towards the end of the course your split into areas of interest. I chose Textiles and this is where it all began. I went on to study 'Textile Design for Fashion' at Manchester School of Art

How long did it take for you to create your new collection?
It was about 8 months in the making, maybe a bit longer

What was the inspiration behind your collection?
I went to Australia for a few weeks and found the journey really inspirational. We visited a places called ‘Crystal Castle’ just outside of Byron Bay. It was one of the most amazing places I’ve ever seen! There was enormous crystal geodes randomly scattered all over the breath taking scenery along with giant Buddha statues. I took about 300 photographs!

Who were your fashion inspirations when you were growing up?
I was obsessed with the Dior catwalk collections. When I was at collage I spent loads of time in the I.T suite looking at Vogue.com, printing off images of the latest collections. The SS06 range really struck a chord. It was so out of context from my every life and I didn’t really understand why it inspired me! I was just really drawn to it/

Is there anybody in the fashion industry you currently look up too? 
I am absolutely obsessed with Alexander Wang and also Helmut Lang. They are both brands that I wear to death.

What is an average day in the life of a fashion designer?
It changes from day to day but usually it consists of starting the day off with a cup of tea (can’t function without this vital stage!!) and getting stuck into creating inspirational design boards. At the moment I’m working on SS14 so I’m narrowing down all the information I’ve gathered over the last few months. 

Pouch bags can be so versatile, what made you want to design your own range of them?
I loved creating engineered print designs at uni, when I begin a design I set the canvas size (in Photoshop) as a landscape A4 size. I chose clutch bags because it is literally the exact size of an A4 canvas. I think of it as my customers walking around with a little piece of artwork!

Is your education background in fashion? 
I did an Art Foundation prep year and then went on to do a degree in ‘Textile Design for Fashion’

Are there any essential qualities a fashion designer needs?
You need to be driven, you’re going to get knocked back a lot so you have to let it go over your head. You have to be patient, it’s not just going to happen overnight and obviously be ridiculously passionate about the things you are designing.

Are there any tips you could offer budding fashion designers?
Always have a sketchbook on the go. You need a physical thing that you can chuck snippets of mags, inspiration, fabric clippings and all that sort of thing into. Set yourself a theme and gather info on it. You can’t create anything without original inspiration and primary research 

Thank you for taking the time to talk to us Rianna! You are big inspiration to young designers reading this.

If you want to know more about the lovely Rianna, you can see her designs online here and follow her on Twitter.

Lots of love
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