Monday, July 30, 2012

Hopeless Lingerie | An interview with designer Gabrielle Avril Adamidis

So first of all tell us a little about yourself. Who is Gabrielle Avril Adamidis?

My world revolves around lingerie, old movies, my boyfriend and my family. I am unable to sit still and need to feel like I am being productive all the time, relaxing is very difficult. I find inspiration everywhere, and have a frustratingly overactive imagination. 

When did you first get involved in the fashion industry and more specifically lingerie?

I have been sewing since I was very young, and making my own clothes since I was a teenager. I did a diploma in fashion a few years ago and learned how to execute all my ideas. I always knew I wanted to have my own business, and lingerie was the perfect fit for a few reasons. When I started there was a huge gap in the market for fashion forward lingerie, and also I love working on detailed and small scale pieces. I have always loved how a great bra and knickers can make such a difference to your mood, to your day. So many women forget about that. 

How did the idea & concept of Hopeless Lingerie come to fruition?

It was literally a vision, I wasn't even thinking about lingerie, I was falling asleep one night and it just hit me. I got out of bed, grabbed a note book and drafted a business plan then and there. Over the next six months or so I developed all my ideas and launched my first collection. There was never any doubt, I just knew it was what I was supposed to do. 

What made you decide on the name Hopeless?

My sister actually came up with the name, we were brainstorming and as soon as she said it that was it. I like how it can interpreted in both positive and negative ways.

Where do you draw your influences for the label?

Film and nature. I am obsessed with movies, especially horror, thriller, and sci-fi from the 70s and 80s. It's not even necessarily the costumes, but everything from lighting to landscapes to facial expressions can inspire ideas. I also love being outdoors, even if I rarely have the time to do it. I am slowly amassing a collection of vintage National Geographic magazines and they are full of inspiration, so many places I want to visit and learn about. 

Who are some of your personal favourite female fashion icons?

Anna Karina, young Winona Ryder, Brenda Walsh, Kelly Taylor, Donna Martin, any of Russ Meyer's or Dario Argento's women

There is a very demure, feminine subtly to a lot of your collections. However, more recently you have been exploring more risque designing. How important is it to you to maintain femininity and sexuality as well as diversity in your designs?

It is always a balancing act between all of my loves, and my personality. I think it is much more interesting to have that diversity than to limit yourself to one aesthetic. I would get bored and frustrated if I stuck to strict femininity for too long, and I think that is really what is happening now. I am looking at the darker side of myself and my interests, and very much enjoying it. When I begun I was definitely nervous about being overtly sexual with my designs, however as time has gone on I am really not afraid of that anymore. 

Who are some of your favourite designers and labels?

Bordelle, Kiki De Montparnasse, Alexander McQueen, Sonia Rykiel, Fifi Chachnil, Lascivious, Betsey Johnson, Rodarte. 

Is there any one designer you would love to collaborate with?

All of the above. 

You have had numerous famous clients such as Courtney Love Cobain. Is there any one celebrity you would love to work with but haven't yet?

This changes frequently, but I am in love with Rihanna's style at the moment. 

What percentage of your work is custom one off pieces? 

Everything is made to order, and probably about 5% are one-offs. Logistically it is hard to do, but I love getting requests from people looking for something unique or a little different than what I have in store. It keeps things interesting. 

What are your favourite materials and embellishments to work with?

At the moment I am obsessed with lycra chiffon/mesh, and bondage-esque elastic and strap detail. 

When you are not designing what can we find you doing?

Watching movies with the boyfriend, cooking with my sister, reading about conspiracy theories, outdoors. 

 What can we expect from Hopeless Lingerie in the future? 

Something much more dark and sinister, and hopefully under wire bras. And maybe some day wear too.