Buzzy designer Alexis Barrell may be London's new fashion darling--but her road to success has traversed continents.
Born in South Africa, Barrell went to school in Capetown, where she had what she called "a long, strained affair with architecture," that ended abruptly when she "discovered what it felt like to make clothes." She boldly started her own line in 2010 because she didn't want to work for anyone else. "I just had my own story to tell. I believed I'd find a way to make it work, and if not, well at least I made the clothes I wanted to make." She's lived in six cities in the last ten years and is now based in London, where, she says, she likes the "unknown."
Her clothes are modern and directional, but still elegant--a difficult balance to strike. She says "freedom" is a word she uses a lot to describe her aesthetic. "I naturally gravitate towards free cuts, shapes, the freedom of movement in unrestricted pieces." She describes her customers as a "curious, inspired woman. She is someone you'd like to talk to. She has a point of view."
Barrell's own point of view has clearly been shaped by her upbringing and travels. For spring 2013, she was inspired by a road trip she took with her mom through South Africa. Fall, she says, was a reflection of her experience of a trip to Berlin. As for next spring? Barrell just got back from California. "I think it's time to lighten up a bit. Let's see what comes up."
For now, click through for a look at her spring collection, which you can shop now exclusively at my-wardrobe.