A moment with Kirsty Ward

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Designer Kirsty Ward brings a unique aesthetic to fashion with her merging of womenswear and jewellery design. Her bold, structural creations combine unusual but complementary materials like silk, rivets and crystals to give her garments a beautiful, eclectic look.

A graduate of the prestigious MA womenswear course at Central Saint Martins, Kirsty was snatched up by Alberta Ferretti upon graduation to design in Italy. A year and a half after working with Ferretti, Kirsty Ward set out to launch her own label in 2010.

Kirsty Ward’s work immediately gained high praise within the industry. She was named a Rising Star of 2011 by Elle.co.uk and Designer to Watch in 2011 by Vogue.com, and also was shortlisted for WGSN’s 2011 global fashion awards in the Breakthrough designer category. Kirsty showcased her Autumn/Winter 2011 collection as a part of the Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s Ones to Watch programme. Chosen as one of Selfridges’ Bright Young Things of 2011, Kirsty’s debut collection appeared in the store’s window, along with limited edition pieces that were sold in store and online. Previously, designer David Longshaw asked Kirsty to design jewellery for his debut collection for VFS in Autumn/Winter 2010.

Glass caught up with Kirsty Ward while hard at work on her Spring/Summer 2013 collection.

When did you know that you first wanted to become a designer?
It was at secondary school when I started making and customising things for myself, this then turned into a thirst for learning everything about the making, designing and researching process of womenswear.

You design both clothing and jewellery. Which did you learn first?
I’ve never formally been taught jewellery design just womenswear, but I have always made jewellery alongside as a hobby that has kind of taken over.

In what ways do you think clothing and accessories influence each other?
In my way of designing, it’s really important that they sit alongside each other in a collection and the jewellery always influences the embellishment on my clothing. It’s also important that I leave certain areas of garments quite clean so they can be worn beautifully together with the jewellery so each item sits nicely with each other. There’s nothing worse than when every item of your clothing/accessories is fighting for attention!

Where is your studio located?
It is in Kentish Town, north London. I always used to be based east but I’m really enjoying being in this area, it has some great green areas and pubs, and a short distance into central London which is handy for when we’re sourcing things.

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
Inspiration can come from anywhere with me. I especially love the elderly – they always wear great colour combinations and their outerwear often has some great detailing. I also watch a lot of sci-fi and that always creeps in. I also often have a lot of menswear detailing in my garments too. With the jewellery I’m generally inspired but the materials I use and symmetry.

You are a veteran of the Vauxhall Fashion Scout programme. In your opinion, what is the role of organisations like VFS in supporting young designers?
Places like VFS are great at giving young designers a voice, they provide a space to showcase their work at a price that they can afford, they provide helpful workshops and talks that help with certain parts of the business that new designers might not understand yet.

Who is your favourite designer of the moment?
I always love what Nicolas Ghesquiere does at Balenciaga.

What are your plans for the next few seasons? Any insights you can share with Glass readers?
For the next few seasons it’s about being sensible and building up worldwide press and sales, We will also be launching our own online shop very soon too, starting with a/w12 jewellery and then making limited edition pieces for the site too.

by Jessica Quillin

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Glass Fashion Features Editor

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