A designer who takes her background in art and history and fuses it into fashion, Vita Gottlieb is inspired by the contradictions inherent in dominant strength and delicate sensitivity. Showcasing with Fashion Scout last season for AW14, her 'Caged' collection simultaneously cocooned and empowered the human form. In an exclusive interview and invitation to her studios a matter of days before her SS15 show, Gottlieb talks about her SS15 collection, artistic inspirations and the advice she'd give to upcoming designers.

Fashion Scout: What’s the story behind your SS15 collection?

Vita Gottlieb: It’s all about the underwater world, but as imagined from a futuristic coral reef, all fluid shadowy waters and layered, gossamer textures. I also looked at the sensation of floating – I love water and that feeling of buoyancy and freedom in liquid. The way you can lose your sense of gravity and go into another mode of being. Having always wanted to dive, I wanted to try to imagine and recreate that sense of wonder under the surface of the sea. Nature and our own evolution are always at the core of my collections.


FS: With a background in art and art history, it’s something you seem to feed into your work season after season. Are there any particular artworks or artists who’ve been a constant throughout this season’s collection?

VG: I’ve always loved botanical illustration and this season was looking at Ernst Haeckel, the nineteenth century illustrator, philosopher, professor and artist who made more than 100 intricate illustrations of sea-creatures. These are otherworldy and incredibly detailed and formed the basis for motifs in my digital prints this season. His use of colour is always threaded in in a subtle way and I wanted to mimic these tones of coral reef and microscopic sea-creatures.

FS: How do you feel this season is a progression from your last?

VG: It’s always a progression. I look back at past seasons and realize how differently I would do things now; re-imagine, re-construct, re-design – but this is all part of the creative process as spread over time. It’s always a re-evaluation of the previous season and the conversation keeps on going. I feel this season is lighter and more fluid.


FS: Do you have a favourite piece from your upcoming collection?

VG: Probably the white water-fern embroidered pieces.

FS: Having been a Fashion Fringe finalist, as well as previously showcasing with Fashion Scout during fashion week - what advice would you give to any upcoming designers?

VG: Make sure you have the tenacity to be able to continue season after season, the investment both financially and emotionally – this bit is incredibly tough, as you have to really work on those spreadsheets and do your forecasts fastidiously, and network like crazy to find that investment. You need the emotional support of close friends and family. Never let other people confuse your vision or your instinct. Listen, though, as when you’re on your own, you need the voices of others. Just trust yourself in the end.


FS: And lastly, how does it feel to be back showcasing with Fashion Scout this season?

Great! I’m really looking forward to this season’s show. It’s a brilliant opportunity and great to be part of it. 

By Josh Walker, Editor, (@josh_walker_).
Images, courtesy of Vita Gottlieb.

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