Wellington based designer Desiree Turner began her epinonimous fashion label back in 2009, creating made to measure pieces and providing garments for stockists Rex Royale. This year Desiree is showing her latest collection 'Whispers' at New Zealand Fashion Week as a part of the New Generation show. We can't wait to see it! We caught up with Desiree in the lead up to NZFW to ask her a few questions.
Tawa. Just on the outskirts of Wellington.
What was the last great book you read?
Minimalist Lifestyle by Evelyn Craig. It’s all about how to declutter your life and it was really inspiring and very useful.
Have you always had an interest in fashion?
As far back as I can remember, I have only ever drawn women in clothes, I still only draw clothes. So that interest has always been there but not in the sense of being a 2 year old who is clearly interested in being a fashion designer, it took a bit longer to develop. The first time I really got properly into it was at 14 when I first started to sew and realised that I could become a designer. From there on things progressed very quickly and by 16 I was studying fashion design at Massey University and, as they say, the rest is history.
Tell us a bit about the name Desiree
Growing up, I had seen so many amazing designers use their own name and that desire to follow in their steps always stuck in my head. I have also been blessed to have a name which I love and has special meaning to me as I was named after my great grandfather. On top of that the name Désirée has a beautiful meaning, it is of French origin and means to be desired. Perfect definition for a designer clothing label.
As far as designing the clothes go it never ceases to amaze what can inspire me. Everything around me sparks an idea that turns into something beautiful. However in general, my biggest overall inspiration would definitely have to be my family. They are the ones who really believe in me and what I am trying to achieve. Their love and belief inspires me to keep going even when times are tough.
Do you have a fashion muse who you channel when you are designing?
To be honest I don’t have one particular muse. I design for myself and the people around me who fit into my target market. For example this season I needed a great raincoat so I have put one in the collection. My sister loves florals, which I have never been a big fan of, but this season I have found a floral which I love and now it features in a few of my favourite pieces.
How are the preparations going for your show at NZFW?
It is a real roller coaster ride! Things are going great but everyday is different and can throw something new and difficult at me. It is amazing how many things there are to think about. It is a really exciting process and I am really looking forward to our show but there is a lot of work to get done before then.
Do you consider yourself to be a feminist?
Yes and No. I really dislike the connotations behind being a feminist because it is always perceived as a ‘we as women are hard done by’ and ‘men are bad’ type view. My personal point of view is that as women we are amazing and something to be celebrated. I believe in men and women having equal rights but I don’t believe we need to try and be men or tear them down. We need to be positive, celebrate and enjoy who we are and what we can achieve.
Anything else we should know about Desiree clothing?
We are super excited to be showing at New Zealand Fashion Week this year and to be meeting tonnes of wonderful people such as yourselves. It is such an exciting opportunity and we have been really touched by the support we are getting from so many people.