Interview: Mariana Morgado

Mariana Morgado is the fashion gymnast that I did a roly poly of excitement to interview. Here’s a Q&A that unravels the layers of a sporty ballet skin.

I get a sport, contemporary ballet and futuristic feel to the collection- have you got a gravity towards one of these particular themes?

I’ve always been close to sports. My parents were passionate about ballet and performance, and I practised rhythmic gymnastics for five years, something that really inspired me for the collections. The dynamics, materials and the whole atmosphere were a really interesting input into my creativity.

Would you say there’s more of a delicacy or strength about the collection? Do you dress with body con in mind?

A little bit from both I guess. Usually while creating a collection I have an image of a woman in my head, sometimes a little bit blurry, but still very intense regarding the feeling I want to explore. I think that image is becoming clearer for me, and even though her delicate side is always present, I think that maybe the stronger and rougher prevails.

Hardcore skin is a stunning collection; what is the inspiration behind this collection? There’s something sinister about the aesthetic; do you dress with an element of controversy in mind?

As I mentioned before, I guess my personal relation with the gymnastics atmosphere had a leading role on the creation of this collection. I wanted to explore deeply not only the materials, shapes and aesthetics but also the dynamics and maybe, in a symbolic way, the exhaustive and obsessive “routine” of those who practice.

I can imagine the likes of Fever Ray wearing such clothes, are these the sort of artists you could imagine dressing?

Of course dressing influent artists such as Fever Ray would be something I would do with delight, but still, I think my work is not restrained to any specific kind of woman.

What do you like to say through your contribution to fashion?

I think I’m still figuring it out. I want to explore my creativity and let my personal experience and what surrounds me inspire me in my work. I’m very enthusiastic about contributing to Fashion with something authentic.

You come from Portugal; how would you describe its fashion style, both in terms of the street style and then the designers on offer there.

I think Portugal is a country full of talented people in all the creative fields. Specifically in the Fashion industry there are many great creators and designers with amazing work and identity. The opportunities for young designers are not that much, but still, we can count on the enthusiasm of initiatives such as BLOOM or LAB at the Porto and Lisbon Fashion Weeks.

Can you tell me a little more about the Fashion Hub initiative that you’re involved with? Many thanks.

Fashion Hub was a project held by Guimarães, European Capital of Culture 2012 along with the British Fashion Council with the goal of supporting and promoting new Portuguese fashion brands. This was a unique opportunity not only to develop new work, in my case my latest collection “Kryptonee”, but also to get in touch with other designers, to share and receive feedback. We recently showcased our creations in the last London Fashion Week at the Somerset House and I can’t wait for the next opportunity to show my work.

What do you think about British fashion, in particular London.

In London there’s more interest around young designers work, more feedback, more initiatives and support, so I’m excited about the idea of being part of it and moving to London. I got really good feedback from people on my work the last time I visited.

Words: Charlie Matthews