20 Questions with Paul Perez!

So, who remember when I declared to the world that I was going to start a 20 Question’s sector on my blog.. and then only did one, oops? Well, it has returned! Now i’m not making any more promises on how many more there will be, but we shall see!
So a couple of weeks ago now, I met up with my good friend and designer Paul Perez to interview him and really poke my nose into his life! If you didn’t already know, Paul took away the title of best new designer at Runway 2014 this year and well deservedly so! If you missed Runway this year, here’s part one of my post with Paul fabulous design’s!
Let’s get started shall we?

Can you sum up your Runway experience in three words? The entire thing, from leading up to it right to the day of the show?
Creative, Stressful and Speechless!

And now of course, you’re going to be showing some of your design’s at Brighton Fashion Week later this year, on a scale of one to ten, how excited are you?
I’m definitely on the ten, *laughs* but at the same time i’m like.. it’s like good and bad, it’s nerve racking, I don’t exactly know what to expect so i’m nervous!

When did you first realise that you wanted to go into fashion?
I think it’s always been within me, like cause it’s been one of those things where I used to steal my granny’s sewing material when I was younger, and then, slowly slowly, I liked the thought of being able to dress people and make them look different to everyone else, that was my idea, so it’s always been within me.

What was the first piece of clothing you ever designed and made?
I made myself a waistcoat, because I was obsessed with Aladdin! If I was a Disney character i’d want to be Aladdin and date Hercules! But yeah, it was this waistcoat that i’d made and it was really badly made and I still have it, I used to wear it all the time, but it was SO badly made! People probably talked about it all the time cause it was too small for me and everything! And that’s the first thing which I ever made.. which was horrible! *laughs*

You had some fantastic jewelry pieces this year at Runway! How does designing jewlery differ from designing clothes?
For me, it’s the same process, basically, when I do my creative process, i’ll jump from clothing and accessories, i’ll match it all together like, I design the look rather than an individual piece, so that the look of the collection’s cohesive, so it was just to accentuate the outfits, so that’s kind of how I went along the way, like how I could incorporate more literal meaning to the jewelry rather than the clothes. With all the themes that I had, I kind of wanted to make it more literal and showcase it in that way, that was the main thing really.

What’s your favourite type of fabric to work with and why?
I’ll be honest, I love tailoring fabric, any tailoring fabric that has an interesting kind of thread work within in, I love! I find it amazing. Two things that I love the most are tailoring and drape, so I always seem to try and make tailoring mixed with drape.

Where do you get your daily inspiration from? How do you motivate yourself to get in to it?
Normally, what I would do is if i’m going to be doing a sewing day, i’ll start my day off like quite early on and i’ll sit down and literally just start looking at fashion online, just to get myself into the whole thing. I always re watch documentaries on fashion, one of my favourite ones is Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton, there’s a really good documentary on it, i’ll watch that and as i’m watching it, i’ll start working, because I see people there working, so I feel like I should be(working), so that’s how I start and then I just carry on!

Do you have a favourite designer?
I don’t have a favourite designer but I did like John Galliano’s 50th Anniversary Dior Show and I do love a lot of people’s work, like I love Marc Jacobs, Mary Katrantzou, I love her work as well. Draw in light are a really good design team as well.

Do you have a favourite piece that you’ve ever made?
Favourite piece.. that’s quite a hard thing to say! I think my favourite piece overall is probably.. I think it would have to be my wet suit jacket from a few years ago. Basically it’s a jacket but it’s made of wet suit material, it was probably my favourite outfit because it was the first time I’d done anything a bit.. more weird! But yet, everyone commercially thought that it was very viable.

How would you describe your personal style?
I like tailoring a lot, I think tailoring and drape, I like to design it on the premise that I like to wear it as well, I think it’s really versatile, you’ve always got different styles to use. As long as the fabric’s interesting, I like detail as well, so I think my style would be a bit preppy but modern.

What were the first steps you took into a serious fashion career?
When I started taking it seriously? I think it was just after my GCSE’s and I wasn’t allowed to do art and I realised that without art, I couldn’t do anything creative in University and I really wanted to go, I did GCSE art at college in the end and from there I got in to Forensic Fashion, at the time which was  youth project and right after that it was like, you know what, If I don’t take it seriously i’m never gonna be happy, like I always thought that you have to go for what you’re passionate about, so right after that I started taking everything really seriously, I started researching all sorts, like how to design, how to make your own clothes and started self teaching myself around that time, so that’s when I started taking it all on a lot more.

What’s your favourite part of all of this?
My favourite part is when i’m draping, literally it’s when i’m draping, alone in my house or wherever i’m doing it and it’s just me and the mannequin, I think that’s my favourite part and besides that, everyone likes to see that stuff on that catwalk but, for me, it’s draping, or possibly even seeing someone in the street that I don’t even know, wearing something of mine, it’s like “yes!” they don’t even know who I am but I made that!

Do you have a quote that you live by or one that’s always in your mind?
Ooft, I have a few! Well, there’s “Watch your thoughts, they become words, watch your words, they become actions, watch your actions, they become habits, watch your habits, they become character, watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” and also, “If not now, when.”

If you had to choose between spring/summer and autumn/winter, which would you pick?
Erm, coats! I love coats and jackets i’m obsessed with making them! It’s the thing that I find more fun because I can try it on as well. Most thing I can not try on, like dresses *laughs* The whole, me trying to get into a dress thing is never going to work! No one wants to see that.

If you could only work with two colours for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Brown and beige.
Because I love them, it’s my favourite colour since I was a child, I was always considered a bit weird of a child because I liked the colour brown, and any earth tones, I feel like it suits me and it keep me, not grounded, but it keeps me calm in a way.

Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Ermmm, five years time, i’m not sure. It’s the hardest question isn’t it?! Five years time.. I’d like to see myself with my own business, i’d like to see myself working in a team, not just on my own, like a group or a design team with me, creating collections and showcasing them hopefully at a fashion week and kind of like having a side job as well maybe towards teaching, i’m interested in that currently.

Do you have any cheeky little insights into your Brighton Fashion Week collection?
I can tell you that there’s going to be a lot more jewelry, a lot more leather and fur. There’s going to be a lot more metal work and the metal work’s going to be clever jewelry rather than just standard like, wearing a bracelet, it’s gonna be something that you can actually do something with, I don’t want to give too much away!

Apart from Brighton Fashion Week coming up, do you have any other big plans or events coming up this year?
For the rest of this year, it’s mainly just Brighton Fashion Week, and then considering doing a small capsule collection for Christmas, that’s a possibility, but it’s going to be more towards jackets to be sold there and then. But the next big event after Brighton Fashion Week is literally Runway next year and i’m going to possibly be showing a new collection there or showcasing for the first time, the Brighton Fashion Week collection, so that should be interesting!

And finally, you can breathe now!
What advice can you give to any aspiring designers our there?
It’s a cliche, but it’s work hard and play hard! Literally, you can be the best seamstress in the world, you could be the best designer in the world, but if you don’t socialize with people within that industry, you’re no one, like you’ll never have the contacts that you need to be amazing, that’s the most important thing like most people don’t find that balance, like they’ll go to uni and go out all the time or they’ll just work hard all the time and if you don’t have that healthy balance, you’re not healthy either. I think you need to express yourself in both ways and that way you get more contacts.

Once again, thank you Paul and congratulations! I can’t wait to see your designs at Brighton Fashion Week!
If you’d like to find out more about Paul Perez, you can find his facebook here and twitter here! 
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