Louis Heal

I predict big things for Louis Heal, after graduating this summer from London College of Fashion Louis has established his own label and has already showcased a diffusion range for latex designer Kim West. He has shown he can not only lend his hands to garments but also has a talent for designing eye catching accessories.

In addition to over indulging in complimenting Louis in his creations, I found after interviewing the young designer that he is a rare breed of designer, in the sense that he’s honest, open and fun with his answers, after all there isn’t many designers who would admit running around London in nothing else but sequin underwear…watch this space….

Hi Louis! What have you been up to today!?
Hi Hugo! What have I been up to today? The usual- Running errands, phone calls, trying to sort things out in a nut shell and now I’m doing this.

You have only recently graduated and have already established your own eponymous brand, how has that been going?
Yep, Fresh out of my BA and into the big bad fashion world. It’s very early days but so far the response has been positive and things are looking promising so I’ve just got to keep with it.

Describe the Louis Heal brand…
It’s not for the faint hearted. It’s a combination of Italian fashion and British, the sex factor meets afternoon tea. I like a woman to be a woman and make the most of herself, yet remain lady-like, there is a fine line.

What was it like studying at London College of Fashion?
I’m a firm believer in the saying ‘if you haven’t got anything nice to say then don’t say it’.

I’ve read your designs are inspired by the subjective visual language of clothing, can you elaborate?
Yes the SS11 collection was, it was a long design process. I originally was looking at the good and bad in people, I even read Dante’s The Divine Comedy as to get a meaning behind idea of sinning. This is what the concept came down to: How can we judge a person purely on their appearance? How is clothing capable of disguising the truth?

I wanted to contradict any automatic associations.

Imagine a homeless guy; dress him up in a luxury suit. Your judgment would be completely different. So what I did when designing was incorporate a change factor within the outfits, depending on the movement, environment the outfit appears different, this is why I used a lot of reflective fabrics.

Latex has played a major role in some of your work too , what is it about latex that excites you?….excuse the slight innuendo!
(Hahaha). It was purely for the purpose of my concept. It has such a strong fetish link that it would produce a challenge for me to disguise it in evening-wear. I worked closely with a latex designer Kim West who showed me the ropes and I think we managed to pull it off, when looking at the latex pieces I don’t think you automatically jump to the fetish path. I ended up loving the fabric overtime, there are so many possibilities with it, hence once I couldn’t work it into my new collection I decided to do a diffusion line with Kim West, so therefore I get the best of both worlds.

I am slightly in love with your mirrored belted baguette clutch, from S/S 2011, and I’ve noticed what a big part accessories play in your collections, so I was wondering how you approach designing accessories from designing clothing, in tandem, as a finishing touch, or?

Yes exactly, I find it completes an outfit and is needed. In the past I may have been carried away with the accessories over the clothing, I think last collection I ended up with about 10 belts, multiple jewellery options and several bags, only a select few were used though. I find when I’m designing outfits accessories will just jump into my head, it’s all relevant so I think when your a designer you can design whatever you feel works with what your doing.

Tell me three things that inspire you?
Period England, Old black and white films and my Grandmother.

Your holding a dinner party and I want to know:
What four guests alive or dead from the world of fashion would you invite?
Gianni Versace, Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford and Rosie Huntington Whitely

What music would you be listening to?
Definitely nothing from my iTunes…doubt they would appreciate that…..it would have to be something non offensive, although they may like my collection of country music…well Ralph, Tom and Rosie might.

What would you cook for them?
I don’t cook and especially not on something as big as this would be, I’d go all out and get it catered.

And finally what anecdote would you tell them?
I don’t know if I can go into full detail about it  but it involves doing the walk of shame, 4pm on a Friday afternoon, from Liverpool Street to Barbican, in not a lot else other than sequin underwear, it was humiliating.

Tell me something not a lot of people know about you?
I’m a through and through country boy, grew up in Somerset on a farm, always been surrounded by animals, horse ride, the works…Luckily I do not maintain the accent though.

What are your currently designing at the moment?
My AW12 collection, its my best work to date! Just hope all goes to plan and you’ll see.

Finally what is the greatest piece of advice you have been given that you can share with aspiring designers?
Don’t do it!!! No I joke…but it’s not something to be entered into lightly. I thought about it again and again but eventually I realised it’s what I do best. Enjoy your time doing your degree as once your out, it’s very real.