London-based designer Nelly Rose is due to be showcasing her new platform and label ‘GLOBELLE’ with Fashion Scout during London Fashion Week in a few week’s time and we wanted to have a chat with her to find out a little more about her collection, and how she got to where she is today.
After graduating from London College of Fashion with a degree in Fashion Textiles, Nelly Rose says she’s ‘never quite trusted high street stores’, so the talented designer, is using her textile skills alongside her passion for artisan crafts and authentic culture, to encourage an international fashion community. Travelling the world to learn new skills and draw inspiration, Nelly will be debuting her exciting label in London, a city she describes as her ‘key inspiration’.
You’re showcasing your SS18 collection with us in a couple of weeks, how are you feeling about it?
SS18 will be the launch of my new platform and label; GLOBELLE by Nelly Rose I am SO excited, I’ve been working hard over the last year to complete a series of global collaborations- I can’t wait to present them at Fashion Scout. As the majority of the pieces have been created in collaboration with artisans, I feel a great sense of pride, to be showcasing diverse and preserved cultures to an international audience. This will be the starting point to have my dream of a global showcase fully realised.
Each collection is personal to each designer, how is this collection particularly special to you?
Each piece in the collection has a different textile story, accompanied with the story of the artist who made it. My signature graphic style has been applied to each piece through a series of carefully curated collaborations and is special to me due to it’s diverse and significant nature.
I travelled to Guatemala throughout July to produce a capsule collection Meüs titled ‘Societas’ which was in collaboration with Meus. Our project featured the pieces being made in collaboration with 3 artisan co-operatives; Adiba, Chuwila and Las Rosas who are specialised in beading, embroidery and traditional back strap weaving. The textiles I designed were created in unison with the artisan communities, and it is so special that each piece has the personal charm of the woman who made it. We laughed, shared skills and exchanged knowledge. Each piece embodies that, and through the collection we preserved not just a piece but a character.
I have also collaborated on a series of accessories with Palestinian co-operative; Women in Hebron and commissioned a number of cross stitch pieces. This is particularly special due to the admiration I have for the founder Nawal Slemiah who I met in London and runs the co-operative employing 120 women.
You’re launching ‘Globelle’ by Nelly Rose. How would you describe this platform and label?
GLOBELLE by Nelly Rose is a series of design stories which champion global unity through craft. Fusing my global vision and advocacy for gender equality with my experimental approach as a pattern and print designer, GLOBELLE was born. GLOBELLE exists to unite cultures, establish links and projects a predominantly female voice in fashion. London is the centre of the label and the expression my bold signature style of hand drawn patterns, it depicts a graphic interpretation of traditional craft.
I am also working to establish a workshop program in which offers knowledge exchange and social impact, I recently produced a zine with the ‘WOW’ (Women of the World Festival) with the Southbank Centre and will be working again with them for Day of the Girl.
It’s clear to see that there is a huge focus on working with international artisans, how important do you feel it is to your brand, to work internationally as part of a ‘fashion community’?
My long term goal is to create a globally recognised label and community. I want to prove artisanship has a place in the forward thinking fashion industry and that these relationships can generate change. In working in Guatemala in collaboration with Meüs to produce ‘societias’ capsule collection we created a community and team with the artisans, it was a design exchange and we delivered a series of workshops in which we established a creative bond.
To deliver these workshops, we asked the co-operatives if there were any skills in which they would find beneficial, it is about opening up a conversation and listening. The women are highly skilled and mainly work in their homes, so to see a final piece in which has been beaded in a home in rural Guatemala is just an incredible feeling.
You’ve already showcased collections at Jakarta Fashion Week and Green Fashion Week. As a London based designer, how is showcasing at LFW different for you?
London is a key inspiration for me, it provides a d.i.y influence to my aesthetic. Studying Fashion Textiles at the London College of Fashion - I always wanted to do something different and the GLOBELLE by Nelly Rose presentation space with Fashion Scout is allowing me to take Londoners on this global journey with me.
You’ve travelled the world creating GLOBELLE - you ventured to Indonesia where you collaborated with Dian Pelangi - how did being in a different country influence your designs and your approach to a collection?
There is nothing as inspiring as working in the country in which the textiles have originated from for me. In Indonesia, the Batik houses were tucked behind bustling and streets and inside was a hub of tranquil creativity. Artisans are not just 'producers' they are artists and designers and observing the process and method of working is so fascinating.
I love watching the process before trying it out for myself, and then together we'll create a new way in which to use the tradition with modernity. I also went to Japan earlier this year in which I was lucky enough to take part in a calligraphy class, I have partnered with these students to create some drawings in which informed the prints in the collection.
How do you intend on 'creating a positive global change within the design and fashion industry’? Do you think it’s possible, what with the fashion industry becoming ever more fast-paced?
I think it is possible with the recognition of true value in pieces. A lot of the time the humanistic element of garments get replaced by machinery so consumers lose this connection.
A symbol I use frequently in my work is a hand and this to me represents unity. I think positive change is standing for what you believe in as a designer and partnering with like - minded initiatives. I work a lot with Fashion Revolution and have been so inspired with how their global movement has grown. It starts with one idea, which quickly becomes a catalyst.
Your passion for making positive change and creating an international community is admirable - where do you think this passion and particular focus was born?
I'd always been interested in hand crafted pieces, and never quite trusted high street stores.
I started researching sweat shops and upon learning that just over 80% of garment workers are women I realised I felt indignant in that it was also a gender issue. Upon beginning to travel it broke my heart to think that maybe one day these precious crafts would die out, in which have been passed down for generations - purely because brands want to maximise profit or speed. I decided I wanted to use my bold style to push these boundaries in other ways through textiles and expression.
Finally, when was it that you realised that this was what you wanted to do for the rest of your life?
I think the positive reception of projects has been my key motivator, I am doing what I love and the feeling of watching a project grow from the start of an interaction to a final collection.
I realised that this is the right direction because 'GLOBELLE' is already becoming a community. The response has already been phenomenal. I have been inspired that women particularly identify with what I am doing and I love the concept of reaching out and having a platform in which to do so, it really does create a global bond and is proving to establish links all over.
I can't wait to share the first of many more collaborative global projects!
Words by Zoe Bennetts