The Genteel
October 21, 2017
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Spring/Summer 2014 collection. Photograph courtesy of Kirsty Ward.

London-based fashion designer Kirsty Ward started her own label in 2010, creating what she calls "minimal clothing with maximal jewellery and embellishment." Crafting her statement necklaces by hand, this talented and hardware-inspired woman is bringing sculptural creativity to the runway. Wanting to find out more, The Genteel sat down with the designer for this week's Five x Five interview. 

1. After your graduate show at Central St. Martins, you got snapped up by Alberta Ferretti to design for her in Italy. What do you think made you a perfect match? What was your common ground?

I'm not too sure what she saw in me, perhaps it was the masculine side of my designs; she may have been interested to see how that would mix with her more feminine aesthetic. Also, my work with jewellery worked well with the embroidery side of the business. 

Kirsty Ward
Kirsty Ward. Photograph courtesy of the designer. 

2. How did this experience abroad help you develop as a designer?

It made me see that the fashion industry doesn't just revolve around London, and it helped me think more about the customer. It was also really interesting to see what product sells well in different parts of the world.

3. Your clothes are very sculptural, while your dynamic and bold jewellery is particularly eye-catching. What do you think sets you apart from other emerging designers?

I'm unsure of what sets me apart, perhaps it's that I stay true to my aesthetic. I like using certain materials and finishings in both my garments and jewellery and I like to push them forward and experiment with them differently each season. The wire work in my jewellery is unique to me so that definitely helps.

4. One of your signature traits is that you make your jewellery by hand. Do you feel that you are a part of a bigger trend right now of those returning to the crafts? 

I don't make the pieces by hand to follow a 'trend' - it's because I'm a maker as well as a designer. I work better in 3D rather than paper and I enjoy the process of making. It's great that more people are 'making' more unique pieces now.

5. What is your ultimate dream in terms of professional accomplishment? Is there something specific that you wish to do or someone in particular that you would want to see wearing your label? 

My dream is to keep on building the brand and keep earning a living with something I really enjoy doing. I love seeing everyday women in my pieces, it's very satisfactory seeing someone in a piece that they have bought for themselves and enjoy wearing.

Related: Five x Five: Ida Sjöstedt

Related: Alexander Lewis

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