Equa Blog - News, Views and Ethical Styling...

Monday, 16 August 2010

Designer Interview - Outsider

This month we'd like to welcome Noorin Khamisani, designer of chic ethical label Outsider, to the hot seat!

Outsider creates elegant garments with a timeless feel. These are clothes to wear and love season after season. From our experience in the Equa boutique they also look beautiful on a wide range of ages, shapes and sizes.

Image: Outsider,  Autumn Winter 2010

In a nutshell what was your initial motivation for becoming involved in ethical fashion?

After working for both small designers and larger brands - I became inspired to try to make clothes in a better way. I couldn't find things to buy that I liked and that were ethically produced and in my price range - so I started to try to solve my own wardrobe problem really.

What does ethical fashion mean to you?

Garments which are made from sustainable fabrics, by grown ups, styles which are versatile and flattering whatever your age or shape, and that will last more then one season. I try to think about the ethical approach in as many ways as possible.

What challenges do you face as an ethical designer?

All small labels face similar challenges but when trying to work ethically it can take longer to be understood bythe people you need to work with. I spend a lot of time sourcing fabrics because of the research it takes to ensure they are as sustainable as possible while still achieveing the look and feel I require. This is becoming less and less of a problem but some people still assume that as an ethical designer you must be making nothing but organic t-shirts with slogans on them - so it is a challenge to show that ethical fashion can just look like fashion. But challenges are good - they push you to learn and explore and that definitely helps you grow as a designer.

What are your inspirations for this season’s collection?

My collections are always a mish mash of everything I have seen/heard or thought about while designing so I always find it hard to pin down. I start with fabrics though and for Autumn/Winter 2010 I found the most gorgeous Merino wool and a colour grown cotton in a champagne coloured stripe. I was also inspired by timeless 1930s shapes.

What advice would you give anyone looking to make their wardrobe more ethical?

Start with a few key items from Ethical labels that you can wear a lot - tailored jacket, shirt dress, jersey tops - then you can see how they work with what you have and build up from there. Versatile items are essential to avoid those "I have nothing to wear" moments - for me a shirt dress always saves the day!
Image: Outsider, Autumn Winter 2010

Who are your Style Icons?

Oh this is predictable - Coco Chanel!

What is the most treasured item in your wardrobe and where did it come from?

A printed cotton dressing gown from the Hilton Abu Dhabi, my father took it when he was there in the late seventies, I still wear it and love it - though technically it was stolen, first from the hotel and most recently from my mum!

As a child what did you want to do when you grew up?

I always wanted to make things / be creative.

Tell us something you are really excited about…

My new SS11 collection which I've just finished and starting research for my next collection.

What's next for your label?

I hope to continue to do what I do - creating new classics!

Image: Outsider Autumn Winter 2010
Thank you Noorin. We look forward to seeing what you do next.

To View the current Outsider collection at Equa click here >>

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