LFW SS19: Alice Archer’s Prairie blooms
By Danielle Wightman-Stone
19 Sep 2018
Alice Archer presented her spring/summer 2019 collection at The Shop at Bluebird during London Fashion Week and continued to build upon her reputation as an exquisite embroiderer with a whimsical, romantic collection inspired by the American prairie.
Floral installations lined the catwalk for Archer’s salon show and provided a beautiful backdrop for her summery collection of Prairie blooms which were embroidered on playful pastel-hued summer dresses, trouser suits and her signature long-flowing kimonos.
Archer is known for her decorative embellishments and for SS19 she showcased a whole range of techniques including silk shading embroidery, appliquéd three dimensional flowers, oil paintings of flowers sublimated over embroidery and decorative finishing embroideries, with the most beautiful piece being a mint green dress featuring a tulle skirt embroidered with white prairie flowers that floated down the short catwalk.
Five Minutes With…Alice Archer
Following Alice Archer’s SS19 presentation, FashionUnited caught up with designer about the inspiration behind her romantic collection, what makes showing at London Fashion Week so special, as well as her goals for the next 12-months.
What’s the inspiration behind your spring/summer 2019 collection?
Alice Archer: “The American prairie as evoked in the novels of Willa Cather and in Andrew Wyeth’s painting ‘Christina’s World’. You will see embroidered wildflowers of the prairie including, echinacea, black eyed Susan and Yarrow. The woman wearing the clothes strong but also nurturing, in touch with nature like the women Willa Cather describes.”
What’s so special about showing at London Fashion Week?
“I’ve lived here for 15 years and did all my studies here. It feels like home. In London you are allowed to be an individual. There is so much energy and excitement to making a collection and showing in London. It’s very stimulating working with my team who are all different nationalities and bring their different expertise.”
If not London, then where would you rather be?
“New York! I absolutely love it there - the energy, the people, the food, the ambition!”
Can you describe who the ‘Alice Archer’ customer is?
“Bold, strong, confident, feminine, individual women who are interested in art and culture. The customer is looking for a piece for a special occasion that she will treasure forever. I want the pieces to be worn by women of all ages.”
What are the goals for your label in the next 12-months?
“To grow slowly my brand whilst continuing to put lots of love, energy and integrity into my ready to wear collections. To make beautiful wedding dresses, my bridal collection is launching at Browns Bride in October 2018.”
One piece of advice you’d give a student fashion designer starting out?
“Work really hard to find what you really love, learn as many skills as possible, do lots of internships, be humble and curious. And then master a skill and develop your own unique vision.”
If you wasn’t a fashion designer - what would you be?
“I’ve never wanted to do anything else but maybe a restaurant critic, a florist, a gardener or a baker.”
British designer Alice Archer graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2013, after studying fine art at Goldsmiths and Central Saint Martins. She then moved to Antwerp to work as an embroidery designer for Dries van Noten and produced her first Alice Archer capsule collection exclusively for Browns in the UK. Archer has become known for her ready-to-wear collections feature specialist techniques combining embroidery and print through the use of hand, digital and Irish machine embroidery.
Alice Archer’s stockists include The Shop at the Bluebird, Fortnum and Mason, Barneys, Bulgari hotel and resorts Dubai, Jane Davidson, Enny Di Monaco, Savant Tokyo, Tasoni, and The Place London.
Images: courtesy of Alice Archer