Paula Knorr is the rising star of British Fashion. The queen of drape, with a bold feminine aesthetic which seems fantastically other worldly, and perfect for our renewed interest in life on Mars and space travel. Alison Jane Reid talks Star Wars fashion, style for strong women and why its time to forget about the boys and dress to please and define ourselves.
Who is the Paula Knorr Woman?
I want to connect to women of our generation who feel lost somewhere between gender neutral and overly sexual. I want to show that being a real, feminine woman is equally important and needs the same attention as being anything else. I have the feeling that girls nowadays are so afraid to appear boring or narrow-minded that they forgot to focus on themselves and their own true wishes. I was never the coolest kid and I always loved to feel really feminine. My main goal is to create a wardrobe for those women who are not afraid to be strong and powerful but equally feminine.
What is your favourite piece from the collection and why?
I am most excited about the striped tulle pieces. They are printed with layers of velvet and metallic stripes and dissolve into long fringes on one side. Both together create a strong trompe l’oeil effect.
Your collections are quite futuristic, I could imagine your designs on the female leads in Star Wars – are you a fan?
Sure I am. I had this dress in my last collection that my sister always calls the Han Solo dress, because it looks like the wearer is sandwiched in metallic fabric. But that wasn’t intentional.
You’ve talked about exploring sexiness and femininity – what makes a woman sexy?
For me the importance is that there is no one answer to that. Sexiness and femininity are something so personal. Every woman should have the chance to create her own true version. Especially the concept “sexy” in femininity is something that was long defined through men’s visions of women. I think this is something we should change and define for ourselves.
Is the future of fashion sustainable and ethical? Do you have a sustainable ethos at Paula Knorr?
Most of my fabrics are produced in Europe. All my garments are produced in Germany currently. This is something I think about a lot and want to push in future collections. Sadly I haven’t found any recycled metallic or glitter fabrics yet.
Your garments are bold, colourful, sensual and luxuriant – does that continue at home?
I would love to be so bold and colourful but I have to confess that I mostly wear a uniform of black dress or jeans with t-shirt in all black. More practical than luxuriant. But I live it through my collections.
Where did you learn to drape and cut with such exuberance?
It was always something I was interested in. For me the interaction and balance between the body and the garments is essential to my design. Details, prints etc come second. That’s why I never start by drawing my ideas. I have to drape and preferable create them directly on a real body to explore how they interact.
There’s a theatricality to your designs. What was it like to dress Bjork and Katy Perry?
I was also extremely honoured that Björk purchased some outfits and wears them not just on stage but also during everyday life. But generally I don´t believe in the concept of celebrity. For me a person should be famous for her talents and actions, rather then the number of followers on their Instagram account. I would love to dress women that speak their mind and change something in the world.
The Paula Knorr AW 2018 Presentation at London Fashion Week is Sponsored by Weleda.
Win a Weleda LFW, Model Zone Goody Bag, worth more than £70.00. A winner will be drawn at random at the end of the week. The editor’s decision is final, and there is no cash alternative.