7 October 2012

EXCLUSIVE Interview with up-and-coming womenswear designer Meera Sharma

   You may remember my post a few months ago, covering the Westminster Graduate Fashion Show 2012 ( if not then follow this link to refresh your memory of all the new talents about in London 
http://dressme-imyourmannequin.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/westminster-graduate-fashion-show.html ). Well one of the graduates, to my surprise, actually contacted me about that post quite soon after, so I decided to seize the chance & ask for an exclusive interview with her. The designer in question is Meera Sharma, an up-and-coming womenswear designer with a strong design mantra of powerful women. So when I got chatting to her, I quizzed her on all the important questions any aspiring designer would ask. So hope you enjoy the interview, an inner look into her portfolio and also images from her most recent lookbook. 

When did you realise your love for designing?
I have always loved fashion since I was a little girl. I loved playing with Barbie when I was younger and customizing her outfits. I actually had the Barbie fashion design game. You could design clothes and print them out onto paper like fabric. I spent hours on it so I suppose you could say that was the moment I thought ‘Oo I do love designing!’ 

How did you get into women’s wear in particular?
It was a natural progression as being a woman I have always had an interest in women’s wear. Even though we did get the opportunity to do menswear projects at my university it never really excited me as I felt I couldn’t be as experimental I wanted to be. I was always more drawn to designing for women. 

Have you felt, at any point, that blogging has helped inspire and/or shape your career?
In my year out in industry I did spend a lot of time blogging and social networking (on twitter especially). It did help me develop more as a designer as thanks to the Internet you can constantly be inspired by the images you come across whilst browsing, especially on sites such as Tumblr. I particularly love using Tumblr. I use my Tumblr as a photo diary to keep a record of all the inspiring imagery I come across. I have also met some interesting and inspiring people via Twitter and my blog and have recently had some great opportunities come my way because of it.

Who inspires you? What designers in particular have been your role models?
Designer wise I love Roberto Cavalli and Versace I feel that we like to design for the same type of woman – sexy, independent and fierce! Style wise I find the Olsen twins, Nicole Richie and Rachel Zoe to be inspiring. I know anytime I mention Nicole Richie people are surprised but I think she’s had such a transformation style wise without losing herself.
What else inspires you strongly when designing? Do you have a particular design mantra that fuels your design style?
Anything can inspire me really, imagery, movies, TV shows. Take my final collection it was inspired by my love of comic books, I have always been a comic book ‘geek’ and decided to develop this love into my graduate collection! (Seen bellow) 

You recently showed your graduate collection at Westminster graduate fashion show, how was the experience? Any inside information about the show you can reveal?
This was a great experience, to get the chance to show your graduate collection at our own venue in front of a variety of industry professionals was dreamy! The day of the show was a bit of a blur, as with all shows it was crazy back stage and was quite stressful. Its crazy that we spent months working on our collections and it was literally over in minutes! As for any inside information – what happens backstage stays backstage ;) 

I know that when I make a collection, I often develop a favourite piece in my set; did you have a specific favourite garment in your recent collection?
As with everything you have the pieces you prefer and dislike, at the beginning I did favour the cut out dress as that was the second piece I created and it fuelled my design process further. Now though I like the cape, leather shirt, I love shirts so it goes hand in hand with my style! 

How did you find studying on Westminster's renowned fashion design course?
To get the chance to study at Westminster was a great opportunity. The course really does train you for a career in fashion design. It was hard work but completely worth it, after getting through my final year I do feel I can pretty much do anything! 

What are your plans for the next few years? Can you reveal anything about what you may be currently working on/towards?
My ultimate dream would be to start my own label in LA and dress celebrities, do styling and designing a bit like Rachel Zoe! Currently I am set to shoot my look book in the next week (photos seen bellow). As for other projects, I do have some things lined up but I can’t really mention it at the moment, as I don’t want to jinx it, but just keep an eye out.

And finally, have you got any tips for any aspiring designers?
Make sure this really is a career you want to pursue; I recommend doing loads of work experience both with the design houses in London and abroad. Also brace yourself for hard work trust me fashion is not as glamorous as everyone thinks! If you want to succeed, as with every career, you have to be willing to work hard and not have a life. I turned into bit of a hermit come final year!

If you'd like to find out more about Meera, or see more of her work please visit 

Website – www.meerasharma.com

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