art: fashion: Alexandra Groover

Alexandra Groover is a Californian who has been resident in London since attending St. Martin's Academy. Below are some pictures of her first collection along with her commentary.

'With Grey Label, I felt there was a gap in the market for attractive, yet wearable casual clothing with interesting design details. I wanted to create versatile pieces that would be comfortable enough for lounging around the house, as well as being flattering and stylish enough to wear for a night out.

'My current collection is inspired by the classic zip-up hoody. This comes from the fact that I grew up in Southern California where the black hoody was a wardrobe staple for myself, as well as most other young people: skaters, Goths, punk rockers, indie kids, etc. When I first moved away from California to the East Coast with a suitcase full of California clothing, I found myself layering up several hoodies in order to keep warm during the nasty New England winters. This obviously had a heavy influence on my Grey Label designs as you can see with the 5-hooded hoody variations.

'Grey Label is a collection of basic pieces that I will build upon each season. For Autumn-Winter 08, I have taken my inspiration from old black and white cartoons such as Olive Oyl, Minnie Mouse, and Betty Boop.

'With Black Label, I noticed that most formal dresses followed the same traditional silhouette formula and I wanted to challenge this. I wanted to design a collection of dresses with somewhat avant-garde structures and silhouettes that could also be both timeless and classically beautiful in their appearances.

'My inspiration often tends to be autobiographical:

'With my Black Label collection, I chose to focus on my lifelong obsession with natural science. Growing up in sunny Southern California meant that I spent most of my time outdoors in the garden or on the beach, always collecting natural objects wherever I went. This particular collection was inspired by my fascination with the various forms of seashells. These dresses are the results of my experiments in using fabric to mimic the architectural structure of shells.

'For next season, my new Black Label collection will have much softer feel and silhouette, as I have chosen to focus mainly on the fluidity of bias cut silk as I continue my experimentation with shell shapes and geometry.

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