Designer diaries:
Bianca Saunders

Designer Bianca Saunders talks to ES about Parisian inspiration, perfectionism and making a business that stands the test of time

How are you feeling right now?

Really good! I am so excited for the debut of my AW21 collection, so my mood is definitely upbeat!

What has your collection prep snack been?

Ummm definitely ‘Celebrations’ - my intern got me a box for the anniversary of the brand, then someone else recently brought some for the studio, so I have been eating plenty of those throughout the day!

Sum up your new collection and the inspirations behind it?

I began my research for AW21 during my trip to Paris in September 2020, where I showed sculptural artwork for 'DRAWING IN THE BLANK' a group show on the 25th September 2020. This took place in the area of Palais de Tokyo, Paris.

The exhibition included a group of amazing artists, that showed in a variety of mediums. The artwork which I had created was about transforming clothing into malleable sculptures. The idea of creating movement within clothing without a physical body being inside fascinates me, sculpture without action.
This drove my research around surrealism. Which led me to visit an exhibition on Man Ray during my trip and further led me to come across the artist called Erwin Wurm. Wurm used similar mediums to what I have been using throughout my art practice.

I then looked at Jean Cocteau and immediately knew I wanted to work with Daniel Sannwald in creating a revised version of Cocteau's work for AW21. It's all about the placement of one thing over another, so that both are still evident.

How has it been putting on this digital-only show vs how you normally do it? What have you learned?

Considering I have only shown via presentations, I have found alternative ways to capture the audience's attention without it being static. It has been a great challenge to keep people interested. I feel digital formats and film have really become crucial for the brand and our audience gets excited to see what we have created.

There is a lot more planning and organisation in this rather than doing a physical presentation, but it's more considerate when designing and considerate in how I want people to feel when watching my films.


Have there been any silver linings to the pandemic for you/ your business?

I have really been able to smooth out the kinks. I am a perfectionist, so I've been creating the perfect patterns and selecting the right fabrics. More time has been spent on consideration, whereas sometimes these decisions might usually be rushed. This season has seen a lot of fittings.

What do you think the future of fashion holds?

It's challenging to say. I think it's creating stronger businesses. It has become such a difficult time and as a result it's made us able to survive the pandemic/Brexit, it has created businesses that can withstand the test of time!

How will you relax/celebrate once your show is finished?

I have been spending a lot my evenings hanging out with my family and cooking, that is my favourite thing to do to unwind.