At a time when the pace of fashion gets faster by the day, Giles Deacon made a surprise announcement in January when he revealed he would shift his focus away from ready-to-wear and toward his growing red carpet business (Cate Blanchett, Kerry Washington and Solange Knowles all wear his dresses) and large following of private clients instead.
That meant leaving the London Fashion Week schedule, where he was a beloved fixture, and showing in Paris instead.
Today, at his Couture debut, he opened up about why he's over the fashion system and is making a case for slow fashion.
How is your life different now that you're no longer on the ready-to-wear cycle?
G: I certainly travel a lot less than I used to. I don't have to spend as much time on trains and planes.
There's so much change in the air right now, why did you decide to focus on Couture?
G: I just felt the ready-to-wear world was in such a confused mess of good, bad and indifferent. I wanted to distance myself from it. Everyone from buyers to consumers to designers are all like, 'What the hell is going on?' Is it in season or out of season? When are we buying it and what is it for? If fashion people can't work this out, how can we expect consumers to?
Is there much difference between the woman you designed for then and now?
G: I had been making couture private pieces for clients for four or five years and had repeat customers. These women are serious collectors. They don't want to wear what is available everywhere else. They don't want to...
...wear the pieces that are all over social media?
G: Exactly. So I just thought, well let's do that. Let's do what we do really well. Make it unique and show the workmanship and craftsmanship and differentiate yourself from everything else that's out there.
It's about the thing that makes you special. The thing that makes people want to come to you.
So do you think this is the way forward for other independent labels that might feel frustrated with the pace of fashion?
I can only speak from my experience, but I made this decision a year and a half ago. And from a numbers perspective it kind of made sense. And now, I get to focus on making gorgeous things people will like.