Global Young Designer Spotlight: Olivia Pope of BIAS

Global Young Designer Spotlight: Olivia Pope of BIAS

An ode to the 90s: in collaboration with Partnership Editions, BIAS has given the slip dress a 2020 revamp. We chat with founder Olivia Pope about limited runs, the call of the English countryside and how to style your slip when travelling.

someone wears a dress that has been cut on the bias you can
spot it a mile off. It hangs a certain way and the wearer’s saunter
comes with a little added swoosh. Cut on the grain, rather than
following the straight line of the weave, the bias cut is all about
accentuated bodylines and soft drapes. Kate Moss was a fan, Naomi
too – in fact, the slip dress is arguably the fashion moment of
90s. Two decades on the lightweight silhouette remains popular as

Backing that trend is former Alex Eagle buyer and BIAS founder
Olivia Pope. Launching in 2019 with just one style of dress, the
brand (and its limited production runs) was born from an idea that
came to Pope after she found herself in a fashion standoff at a
wedding where she, and three other guests, were all caught wearing
the same frock. “Restricting the number of dresses in each run
takes away this risk for the wearer, and also has a positive
environmental impact as we have no surplus stock. The classic
retail model of seasonal fashion that ends up on sale is outdated
and wasteful.”

Having reimagined retail models and undertaken a covetable
collaboration with Alighieri, Pope’s next move is a collab with
Partnership Editions premised on creating three unique, wearable
works of art imagined by artists Rose Electra Harris, Julianna Byrne and Venetia Berry. We’re convinced that, whether deemed an
art buy or fashion purchase, these are investment pieces (that we
need in every available print and colourway).



Designers name:

Olivia Pope


England, UK



Type of Brand:


Where did you grow up? How did this place shape or inform

I grew up in the English countryside of Wiltshire and have
recently moved back, having lived in London.
I’ve realised that since moving away from the city, I am certainly
a country mouse and feel at ease with space and green around

How does the name BIAS connect with your brand?

The word “bias” refers to the cut of the silk used to create our
slip dresses and also a tongue in cheek reference to the cultural
term, with which we are all so familiar.

Define Bias’ aesthetic…

Feminine, classic with a sense of humour.

Tell us about your latest collaboration with Partnership

We love what Georgia (Spray) has created at Partnership Editions
and feel a synergy between the two brands – especially in relation
to the concept of editions. We have produced three unique wearable
works of art with Rose Electra Harris, Julianna Byrne and Venetia
Berry. It’s been wonderful to see the artists’ work translate so
fluently onto the silk.

Where is your studio and what does it look like?

My studio is at my home in Wiltshire; it’s an oasis of calm
among the chaos that building works and young children bring.

What songs do you have on repeat in your studio?

I am currently listening to the Alex Eagle Studio’s playlist
series Brightness in the Bleakness on repeat.

Tell us about your creative process…

Our collection isn’t designed in seasons, so we don’t have the
usual pressure to design multiple collections a year. This is quite
freeing and means we can produce new editions when inspiration
strikes. Our latest editions, which were designed in lockdown, are
bright and summery – just the tonic we were after during these
strange times!

What’s the rationale behind creating limited-edition

The concept of releasing the dresses in limited editions came
about when I wore the same dress to a wedding as three other girls.
Restricting the number of dresses in each run takes away this risk
for the wearer and also the environmental impact as we have no
surplus stock. The classic retail model of seasonal fashion that
ends up on sale is outdated and wasteful. Bias dresses are wardrobe
staples that will stand the test of time.

You previously collaborated with Alighieri. How did that come
about and what element of the collaboration did you most

Rosh is a very dear friend of mine, for whom I have huge
admiration. I have been privy to seeing her grow her brand from the
early days and will always site her as a major inspiration to me in
life and business. Working with her to create a slip adorned with
jewellery was really fun and hugely satisfying.

Give us an insight into collaborating with Julianna Byrne,
Venetia Berry and Rose Electra Harris as part of your work with
Partnership Editions?

We wanted the artwork on the dress to be a true expression of
the artists’ hand, so the artists had free rein to design their
perfect print. The celestial energy of Juliana’s print, the
feminine lines in Venetia’s and colourful florals in Rose’s are so
different but sit harmoniously together in the capsule

All collaborators are London-based artists, and we’re feeling
inspired! What are some of the best art classes to sign up for in
the city?

Partnership Editions’ virtual art classes during
lockdown were incredible, and accessible from anywhere, which was
helpful for me living in rural Wiltshire. The classes are still
available now on the Partnership Editions website.

The Night’s Sky slip imagined by Julianna Byrne is inspired by
celestial bodies. With that in mind, can you share some of the best
places for stargazing?

The clear skies of Wiltshire make for pretty incredible viewing,
but the best night’s sky I have ever seen was on a tiny island in
Fiji – completely magical.

Advice on packing silk when you travel…

Each BIAS slip comes with its own silk bag to protect it when
travelling. When you arrive, hang your dress in the bathroom and
the steam will magically erase all creases. BIAS dresses are also
machine- and hand-washable, which is handy when on the move.

Five hotels in your bookmarked pages, and the five BIAS designs
you’d pack for each…

Il Pellicano
, Porto Ercole, Italy – The Blue Moon

The Newt, Somerset, UK – The Mini Break

Hoshinoya Tokyo, Japan – The Stroke of Midnight

La Bastide de Marie, Ménerbes, France – The Wild Romance

Heckfield Place
, Hampshire, UK – The Night’s Sky

Tell us your steadfast tips for styling slip dresses.

The thing I love about a slip dress is that you can style them
up or down to suit your mood. I am quite minimal in my approach to
dressing, so love to wear with a white T-shirt or a chunky knit in
the day and slip on some gold jewellery and a red lip at night.

And finally, what’s in your SUITCASE?

BIAS slip dresses (in a handful of colours), a With Nothing
Underneath linen shirt, a Blaze Milano blazer and Veja

Olivia Pope’s Mini-Guide to London

EAT: Ducksoup, the perfect place to catch up
with my favourite people.

DRINK: Cecconi’s Mayfair for a martini with my
husband, Nicholas.

SHOP: Jessie Thomas for delicious jewellery and
HOWE for antiques.

DO: Visit the Royal Academy of Arts and its
incredible exhibitions.

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