1. Your collection has a heavily futuristic feel to it in the fabrics, materials and colours that you use; talk us through how you came about finding this as your creative voice.

During my first year of university in 2009, we were were doing a print project and I wanted to use a different, more innovative technique than either digital or screen print. I loved the depth of the hologram as a visual language and I’ve always loved iridescent materials so the idea came naturally to me. After experimenting, I realised that I could create my own distinctive print technique utilising my favourite fabrics.

2. Moving from the future back into the past, are there any particular parts of history that particularly influence you creatively? 

I love portraits, especially historical Venetian paintings, Vermeer, Pre-Raphaelites and 18th century period dramas and costumes. I love old churches and huge Italian cathedrals with wacky ceilings. It’s the stained glass that always catches my eye and has provided me with so much inspiration.

3. London is responsible for influencing a lot of designers and artists with it’s rich cultural tapestry; how has moving to London and living here come to inspire you and your own work?

Yes, definitely. Meeting so many people from different backgrounds has been an inspiring experience. London’s fashion culture is immense and so evolved compared to other places. The city provides a wealth of information and visual treats with the exhibitions, plays, performances and events going on all the time. There is always somewhere or something to stimulate my creativity in the city.

4. You are originally from Yorkshire and have paid homage to the county with emblazoning it on the back of one of your jackets; is that another source of inspiration for you? 

I am so proud to be from Yorkshire, I love going home and seeing my amazing family. In honesty I’m not inspired by my Yorkshire surroundings as such, it’s the place I escape to from my new and very busy London life! My family are really down to earth and have a refreshing attitude and view on life, which puts everything into perspective.

5. We’ve talked Yorkshire inspiration and London inspiration, if there was one city (other than London) in the world that you think best represents the Mary Benson label where would it be?

I don’t think I can choose, it’s actually two places! New York and Sydney. My work has garnered a lot of interest from both which is really great because I’ve never been to either place but now I feel like there is a little piece of me in each city already.

6. You’ve worked with some incredible designers such as Alexander McQueen and Richard Nicoll; if you could take away one thing from your experience with designers already established in the industry what would it be?

Definitely that hard work is essential but you should have fun too, and I’ve learned that it works hand in hand when you have a great team around you!

7. How do you think your creative voice has changed since you were 18 and you created ‘Pieces of Eight’? 

I was literally fearless! I would ask anyone, anything no matter who they were. Now I look back and cringe at some of the things that I said! Now I’m older, I’ve learned to create good working relationships and get the best out of everything by just continuing to be honest and be myself.

8. We see more and more collaborations happening within the industry; is this something that you could see yourself doing and if so, who would you like to do it with? (It doesn’t have to be just fashion it can be musician/artist/anyone…)

Yes. I already collaborate a lot with musicians and stylists. If they have a show they will call me up and ask for a special piece to be created and I really enjoy this. My most recent collaboration was with V V Brown as she wore an exclusive piece I made for her performance on ‘Later with Jools Holland’ which was so much fun.

9. Rita Ora has frequently been seen wearing your designs; if there was one person, living or dead, who you dress in your pieces who would it be? 

Edie Sedgwick, she was such a babe.

10. You are going to be graduating from Westminster next year – what else can you see 2014 holding for you?

I have many plans that are under wraps for now, you’ll have to wait and see!

11. Finally, what is always packed in your SUITCASE? 

Two big 70’s fur coats, sheets of paper with lists and my holographic creepers.

Words and interview by Issy Croker

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