INTERVIEW| Raffaele Ascione on AW12 Presentation

With his first showing since his 2011 MA, London-based Raffaele Ascione’s Autumn/Winter collection has been a long time coming, and one that’s been eagerly awaited by a growing number of international fashion press. Post-show, we flagged down the young designer to ask what’s changed since his Central Saint Martins graduate showcase, how it finally feels to have a new collection out there, and why he thought carpets would be best placed on-your-person.

VFS: Your Autumn/Winter ’12 collection is a lot more feminine and fluid than your previous MA’s; was it a conscious decision to work with less structure, and focus on the fluidity of the pieces?
RA: I think my style before [the MA] was more fluid, then when it came to the MA collection, it was about approaching- and pushing- a new aesthetic and making something else that was still “me”. Now, I think that after the MA, and doing loads of research, and really trying to figure out what I wanted, that fluidity came back- especially because you don’t usually see fluid pieces in the Winter; I thought “f*** it, I’m going to do it”.

VFS: A lot of time has passed since that collection, so how do feel now that you’ve thought about, designed, and created a completely new set of looks- and now that these looks are finally out there?
RA: Overwhelmed. Thinking “is this really happening? Is this really my work?”. You always think, “I’d love to a presentation, or a show at fashion week”, and it’s happening. It looks beautiful, and the girls backstage feel beautiful, and they love wearing the stuff.

VFS: We’ve seen- they’re clutching those new season bags very tightly. [Shoe designer] Claire Davis told us that those bags are actual carpets that you’d folded into bags; what made you decide to incorporate carpets into the show’s accessories?
RA: They’re literally things I’d been collecting- Indian rugs- and just thought “f*** it, I’m going to make accessories out of this”, and we just approached it like that...!

VFS: Well, two collections in, it’s obviously an approach that’s earned you a lot of attention. How do you think working with Vauxhall Fashion Scout in particular has impacted upon your progression as a young designer?
RA: They’re been super supportive. They’ve actually been contacting me since my BA- which was in 2008- and since then, they’re been at my back, and been absolutely amazing so far. I recommend any designers work with them.

Interview by Sara McAlpine VFS Sub-Editor
Follow her @sara_mcalpine

Images By Natalia Lina