SELFRIDGES MEETS:

ROKSANDA

Dresses to die for and a newly launched bag collection: we talk to the British designer of the moment about her AW16 designs and how it feels to dress The Duchess of Cambridge.

Your AW16 ready-to-wear collection has just landed at Selfridges. What can we expect to see?

I wanted to make sure my collection included pieces that reflected a woman's busy lifestyle, something for work and evenings - and for weekends too.

What was the inspiration behind the collection?

For fall/winter 2016, I explored the femininity and the darkness seen in the atmospheric photographs of Deborah Turbeville and Charlotte Rampling's character in the cult film 'The Night Porter'.

The new collection feels darker than previous collections. Was this a conscious decision?

Yes – I wanted to reflect a more sombre mood, and to create something different to what people normally expect from me. However, there is always a nod to unusual combinations of colour in my designs – and this season it was turquoise-blue juxtaposed with more muted tones.

Your designs have a very distinctive look that has been very successful. What do you think it is about this that appeals to women?

I think women like to discover something new and something that will make them feel unique when they are wearing it, but at the same time they like to feel comfortable and sheltered by what they are wearing. My clothing combines a sense of elegance mixed with experimental fabrications and colour-blocking – which is a good formula for the modern woman.

The Duchess of Cambridge recently wore one of your designs to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday. What kind of impact does that have on your brand?

There is certainly an impact on all the brands that The Duchess of Cambridge supports, and it's a huge privilege and such an honour when she wears my designs.

You've just unveiled your first bag collection. Tell us about it…

I wanted to create something that is timeless and could be passed on from mother to daughter, as my mother did to me. It has been produced in Italy and exquisitely constructed by craftsmen with more than 50 years’ experience. We've created feminine shapes with an intricate, architectural construction and hardware in places you might not expect.

What sparked the expansion into bags after 10 years' designing ready-to-wear?

I think it was the right time for me to expand into bags, after gaining valuable experience from the past 10 years in ready-to-wear. Opening my first store gave me a direct platform to my customers, and I began to realise that they wanted a little bit more from me than just clothing.

What do you always carry in your bag?

I have my MAC Relentlessly Red lipstick, my iPhone and my Roksanda x Smythson notebook.

What's next for Roksanda?

The past year has brought so many exciting opportunities - in particular the launch of my bag collection - and I am looking forward to continuing this incredible growth.

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