Ditching a career in sculpture to pursue fashion design, Erin Lewis has made a name for herself among London's it-crowd. Her resume includes working along side Ioannis Dimitrousis, Gareth Pugh and Rui Leonarde. With her recent collection inspired by the notion of protecting ourselves from the "unseen" - check out my candid one-on-one with Lewis below (YB).
Who is Erin Lewis?
I’m a loud/quiet person.
You were studying the art of sculpture when you pursued an interest in tailoring. What compelled this switch?
Working with Hamish Black gave me a great understanding of space and volume. I was taught to react creatively to physical situations, like standing in a crowded room or alone in an open field. My sculpture pieces instinctively had associations with the human body and protection. Tailoring seemed like the perfect next step, I think it’s extremely important to learn a craft, not merely for ourselves but for the future. Sculpture and tailoring are forms of drawing to me, whether I’m cutting sheet steel, tweed, lace or glass I believe my handwriting should be evident.
Who is the Erin Lewis male?
What inspired your latest collection?
I was imagining how to protect ourselves from the unseen- how our ever-expanding online identities can be stolen or replicated. I’m inspired by structures and thoughts such as stealth technology, the concept of invisibility and cloaking, reflectivity and dazzle-camouflage. I was really lucky to work with Dashing Tweeds who perfectly combine history and the future, their reflective tweed is my total dream fabric.
What are your all time fashion dislikes?
‘Celebrity’ collections. Companies should invest more in real design talent and support new designers.
Proudest accomplishment to date?
Having not come from a fashion background-to being able to draft, cut and sew every piece in my last collection. Education and experience are so important to my development as a designer, so I’m proud of that.
There is a lot of emphasis placed on the "cape" in your recent collection. How did this come about?
I don’t think I was even consciously thinking that they were capes to start with, I started with a bunch of shapes, the ones that resembled shields evolved into capes. I really enjoy creating garments that are functional yet subtle, the long cape is totally waterproof and the shorter cape was developed so that it can be worn as a cycle garment -the tweed is totally reflective so its super safe!
What do you currently have in the works?
There are small collaborations with Dashing Tweeds, but I’m also on an exciting mission in Mexico City. I’m working on a collection with Carla Fernandez who is an expert in indigenous clothing. It’s an exchange of tailoring and traditional craft. We are preserving the historical techniques of the Charro (Mexican cowboy) artisans yet pushing the design to create something new and global.