Interview: Mary Benson, Designer.


I’m always on the look out for new talent and talented is just what Mary Benson is. When I was at University we actually featured her in our Newspaper, but she has evolved her style since going to University herself. I caught up with Mary to see what shes has been up to.

What was the inspiration behind your new collection?
Since I started university I’ve just been working on single pieces rather than a collection, but in the Summer I will be working on my new collection based on my Modernity Project (the black structured shape dress). My main inspiration for this collection has been sportswear, especially scuba diving suits and trainers, so I have used different types of waterproof fabrics. I love working with contrasting colours and unusual textures.

How have you grown as a designer?
I have definitely noticed a massive change since I started uni in London! My designs are much more refined and considered compared to my previous collections during college. I feel like my mature side of designing has been unleashed, my ideas have become a lot more adventurous because I’ve been pushing myself to make complicated garments. I’m not into simplicity but I still appreciate it when other designers make pieces like that. I’m into making things that when people look at it they think ‘how the hell did she make that?’ or ‘what is that even made from?’. But at the moment I’m still figuring out what my unique style is and how I work best.

What has been your proudest moment so far?
That’s a tough one! Probably when I was at Yorkshire Fashion Week sitting on the front row with Christopher Bailey watching my collection open the show. I was the most excited little freak but I had to act totally cool about it! It’s always good to see my mum and dad’s face when they come to the shows because it’s like a whole other world to them and they get so excited about it all.

What kind of woman do you see wearing your clothes?
Woah I really don’t know yet. Each piece I design is so different to the next but if I had to chose I would say someone who likes wearing something quirky and cool yet not too crazy.

Where would you see yourself in 5 years time?
Let me think, well I graduate in 2013 so it would be great to still have my own label and be working for myself and employ some sweet little sewing ladies and other people to help me. I’d really like to collaborate with other designers too, I’m already thinking of collaborating with one of my friends from my course at some point. However, I don’t know what the hell is going to happen between now and then but I’m looking forward to the future and whatever it throws at me!

(Photography: Jon Stanley Austin)

Visit Mary’s blog!

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