Last week I was lucky enough to enjoy a delightful afternoon at the Mandarin Oriental with Maria Grachvogel, who introduced a privileged group of customers to her Spring/Summer 2013 collection. The elegant soirée gave shoppers a chance to try out each of Grachvogel's beautiful designs with the unique opportunity to get styling advice from the lady herself! TV presenter Laura Whitmore showed off a show-stopping Maria Grachvogel frock as we enjoyed afternoon tea, Elemis hand massages, mini Stila makeovers and fragrance profiling from Shay and Blue founder Dom De Vetta. Afterwards I snatched a few precious minutes with Maria to find out more about her exquisite clothes...
What was your inspiration behind the SS13 collection?
I had a strong feeling for a futuristic simplicity with this collection which was expressed in the clean silhouette with sheer or colour blocked details. The palette and prints were inspired by the cosmos and nature's most simple elements - lunar white, opal pink, limonite and hematite alongside black and white to create an overall mood of understated, universal luxury.
What is your hero piece from the collection?
The Cygnus jumpsuit - I have totally lived in it!
How did you get into fashion design?
At around 12-13 years old I started becoming fascinated with cut and fit and noticing how the right outfit can completely transform how a woman feels about herself. Being able to affect a woman in this way through my work is an incredible experience and that continues to be my greatest motivation.
What has been your career highlight to date?
My greatest joy comes from observing the moment that a woman tries on one of my pieces for the first time. I love to see the transformation that occurs in how she feels about herself and how everything about her oozes self confidence. It was therefore a real highlight for me to see my collection in Harvey Nichols and to have this wonderful opportunity today to connect with my customers.
How would you describe the Maria Grachvogel woman?
It’s typically a strong, confident woman that is drawn to my collection; someone who has a strong sense of their own personal style.
Where do you go for inspiration?
I am inspired by everything around me constantly - nature, a colour or the shape of a building and all of the time I am absorbing all around me. Primarily though, my inspiration comes from 'the woman' and this comes from a place of internal inspiration, sometimes in ways that are difficult to articulate. It reflects a mood, a state of mind which seems to resonate with other women and also the mood of the moment.
What fashion item couldn't you live without?
My jumpsuits - They are almost my daily uniform as they make me feel totally dressed up, but somehow also totally relaxed.
What do you love about Harvey Nichols?
Harvey Nichols was always a favourite fashion destination for me personally. I have always loved the edit, the fabulous window displays and the cocktails on the Fifth floor.
Shop Maria Grachvogel at harveynichols.com