giles deacon

Text: Anja
Photo: Elliot Lee

At one time, the house of Emanuel Ungaro seemed shaky with the label's followers beleaguering it for adopting Lindsay Lohan as artistic adviser. One season of runway collection - that went horribly wrong - with nipple sticker and thigh-high dresses, and fashion peeps were ready to turn their heads away from the 45-year-old fashion empire.

Enter award-winning designer Giles Deacon, who positively revived the unsettled atmosphere at the design house. He is lauded by Vogue UK as the wunderkind who is known for 'injecting high-octane glamour into British fashion'.

All 'fierce and sexual' with leather and lace incorporation, the 'more vivacious and showy' Autumn/Winter 2011 collection strongly portrayed Giles's daring and 'impromptu' style as compared to the Ungaro's heritage of being 'flamboyantly feminine'.

Backstage at his much-anticipated show on the finale night at the Audi Fashion Festival, we caught up with the charming (and very tall) designer to speak about today's definition of style.

To the designer, style on a person, refers to 'a look that is relaxed but fashioned where it is not too contrived'. The outfit of a person should ideally 'suit the person'. The talented designer, who revived Italian luxury house Bottega Veneta and has previously worked in Gucci in womenswear, appreciates at present, things that have 'a really interesting timelessness' element that can not necessarily be seen right away.

In suggesting three must-have wardrobe pieces for every woman's wardrobe, the British designer shares that 'a really brilliant day dress that they can just zip on and look fabulous in' as a key item. A 'fantastic pair of shoes' that women can do some walking in is also essential as they can 'carry them throughout the day'. Lastly, yes you guessed it, 'a great bag' is indeed the final icing to every woman's look.

While he hesitates to describe a fashion faux pax, Giles shares he personally dislikes seeing looks which people 'feel or look uncomfortable' in. He said: "Confidence is without a doubt a result of being comfortable in what you wear and if this isn't so, it can come across very quickly".
In fact, if you are able to wear a great pair of tracks pants and still look amazing, the designer believes you'd naturally channel a confident and attractive vibe.

As for general advice for his mob of male fans, he straightforwardly refers back to the 'simple rule' of only 'wearing what makes one feel confident'. Take a cue from Giles who enjoys pieces which can attract a conversation; for example his flamboyant pair of giraffe-patterned Tod's shoes.

The British Fashion Awards winner also possesses his own label, 'Giles', launched in 2003, which is renowned for its playful and challenging designs. While his ideas for Ungaro are 'little bit more feminine and flirtatious', Giles's own label in London is described as 'more hard-edged and a bit quirkier'.

How does he design for the two very different labels?

The designer and his team are 'very conscious when working throughout the seasons' to ensure the two labels stay within two very separate spheres. If the ideas were to start merging between the both, Giles and his team would instinctively 'pull them apart'.

The substantial amount of talent and knowledge within his team of designers in both London and France motivates him and stirs excitement for the two worlds as their ideas continuously evolve but at their very own pace.

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