After being a fan for Ria May Heighington’s work for a while, I finally had the pleasure of chatting to her in depth about her designs, as well as seeing her latest collection. As always her work is stunning, enchanting, with so much life. The vintage style Ria favours is one she has worked with and developed over the years, but she is not someone who is afraid of pushing boundries or her self. Her work is not only vintage, but modern, with an identity of it’s own. With so many young fashion designers out there, it’s difficult for each to develop their own unique style, but Ria has done this almost effortlessly. The beauty and depth of her pieces have so much character, they almost seem to tell a story. It’s all these things that make me a big fan of her work, and because of this I’m delighted to introduce you to her today. Here’s what she had to say…
Can you tell me a little bit about you and your work?
I’m a fashion design student graduating from Cambridge School of Art. I love the forties and fifties, bows, lipstick, dolls and Disney princess! My interests of Vintage and childhood memories bring feminine pieces with a creepy and humorous twist to my collections.
By researching and adoring print designs from the 1950’s known as conversational prints, this is where my ideas formed and for this collection and my previous collection I collected random vintage items from charity shops, vintage fairs and markets and scanned them straight to the computer and presented them in a story like way, this time dolls from around the world were used.
What are your biggest inspirations as a designer?
As a designer my inspirations come from girly and cute styles from the 1950’s, the innocence and dreamlike fairytales from Disney Princesses and the creepy context of Alice in Wonderland and also the use of dolls for the outstanding exhibition by Viktor & Rolf that I adored at the Barbican art gallery many years ago.
You have a very strong visual identity, do you have any advice for young designers looking to develop and establish their own style?
Advice I would give to young designers trying to establish and develop their own style, would be to try every aspect they can; if it be print, embroidery, womenswear, menswear, childrenswear etc and once you have the aspect you prefer then bring everything you love into that and experiment as you might surprise yourself!
Finally what can we expect to see from you next?
After graduating I hope to set up my own label named Little Dot and hopefully collaborate with other up and coming designers.
In the future I would love to have my own boutique shop whilst working on many other collections which is very exciting!
To see more of her beautiful pieces, visit her page on the Cambridge School of Art website.
All the best