Interview— Kirsty Ward
Interview with Jewelry & Fashion Designer, Kirsty Ward
I came across the work of Kirsty Ward randomly browsing the internet. Sometimes when you're scrolling through Tumblr or Pinterest, you never take a second to stop and look at something because it might be something you've seen before. Not with Kirsty's work. I came across one of her jewelry pieces and my mouse immediately stopped scrolling. I was drawn into these beautifully structured necklaces, nothing like I've seen before. Originally from Oxfordshire, UK, Kirsty began completing her BA in Womenswear in Manchester before she went to undertake the prestigious Central Saint Martins for her MA in Womenswear. She mentions that her time at Central Saint Martins was where she began to develop her penchant for unconventional structures and an emphasis on form. After graduating with her Masters in Womenswear, she was immediately hired by Alberta Ferretti to design for her in Italy. After a year and a half honing her craft with Ferretti, became her own business owner and launched her own label in 2010.
Since Kirsty Ward launched her own label, her collections have received high praise and recognition from the most respected leaders in the fashion industry. Elle.co.uk named her a 'Rising Star of 2011' and Vogue.com announced her as one of their 'Designer's to Watch in 2011'. Kirsty was also selected as one of Selfridges' Bright Young Things of 2011 where she showcased her debut collection along with limited edition pieces in the store's window to be sold in store and online. Out of all the awards and recognitions Kirsty has been known for, I cannot wait to see her take the US with a storm. Take a look for yourself at these beautifully crafted jewelry and eye-catching womenswear collections that work so well together.
Can you tell us a little about your background?
I'm originally from Oxfordshire now I'm based in London. I studied in Manchester for my BA then central St Martins for my MA. Before starting my own label I designed womenswear for Alberta Ferretti in Italy.
Where do you get your jewelry design inspiration come from?
It's quite a natural process, where I stop one season I move it forward and put a spin on it the next season, so it's a naturally evolving process. I'm mostly inspired by shape and colour and seeing how far I can push the wire bending process.
Do your pieces have a theme or underlying idea?
Not really a theme but every season there's usually a play on contradiction: feminine meets masculine or soft vs hard or contradictive textures. There's also some layering play with sheers too.
What was your inspiration for your newest collection?
I was inspired by mild distortion in the garments and non traditional draping techniques and also merging pieces together.
What were your biggest challenges designing this collection?
We had our photoshoot quite early on so the biggest challenge was getting all the pieces ready on time.
Do you design from a studio or your home?
We have a merged studio and home that I share with my husband David Longshaw who is also a womenswear designer. It's an old violin shop in north London.
What has been your biggest accomplishments in your career thus far?
Most of all I'm pleased that I can make a career and living from what I love doing, and picking up some great stockists along the way. But it was great being selected by Italian Vogue for their talents corner during Milan fashion week.
Have you had any celebrities wearing your pieces?
There's been a few (Iggy Azalea, Sophie Turner, Emmy the Great, Sienna Guillory) but I'm more interested in seeing my pieces on real people in the street that have chosen to buy and wear themselves.
Is there a specific celebrity you'd love to see wearing your designs?
I would love to see Diana Kruger wearing a piece of my work and also she's not really a celebrity but a fashion influencer - I would love to see Anna Wintour wearing something I have designed.
Beyond your business, what are your hobbies or passions?
I love going to the theatre and I'm a big fan of going for midnight walks around London - it's great to see when not many people are about. I love architecture, art, music, film...
As an artist are there mediums beyond jewelry you enjoy?
Womenswear and jewelery are the channels for me although I love checking out all other creative mediums. Although I prefer to see the exhibition than experiment myself as what I already do is so time consuming and I cannot draw at all!
What do you hope the future holds for you?
I want to keep building and growing my business each day at a time.
— You can view the entire collection on kirsty-ward.com —