Exclusive Interview with Designer, Mia Jafari.
Let me introduce you to an Artist and designer behind those beautiful printed silk scarves, Mia Jafari. Central St. Martins & Goldsmiths graduate Iranian born, London-based designer has just come out with her beautiful new collection ‘Ladybirds heart strawberry cosmos’. I recently had the chance to speak to Mia on her background, inspirations and future plans… enjoy! For more, check out her website Miajafari.co.uk
Hi Mia, Let us in on your Background. How did you get into designing?
I actually started designing and creating little mini collections when I
was 12 years old. I used to use my sister (who was about 4 at the time) as
a mannequin. This was a quick and cheap method of my testing my ideas out
and scrapping them when if they failed before working to scale! I then
studied Textiles at London’s Central St. Martins and then Visuals Arts at
Goldsmiths College. Upon graduating Goldsmiths worked as a photo-based
artist, but I was discontent my work being hung on a wall, I wanted to
create something more versatile and less preciousness. I was eager to
create more functional pieces hence I launched by debut collection of
digital print silk scarves in April 2010.
A scarf has versatility, it can be a functional and depending on how you
wrap, twist and/or fold it will look different each time you wear it. My
scarves are designed so that they can be worn as jewellery pieces, day
after day to accessorize an outfit, and this really appeals to me.
I am constantly inspired by my Iranian heritage and living and dreaming
designer goods in London. There’s a tremendous crossover between Bond
Street iconography and traditional carpet design in my work. I am inspired
by Persian carpets and luxurious commodities that come to life. For
example in ‘Summer Breeze’ Cartier-esque broaches cascade around a
cocktail glass, in ‘Asian Manhattan’ crabs drag Miu Mius across the
border. I like to make the impossible possible in my designs.
When I designed the collection I imagine a bird of paradise in the Amazon
making her nest from Chanel lipsticks, Dior sunglasses, Christian
Louboutin, vintage Cariter and treasures found from her travels… The
type of woman I picture wearing my scarves is like that bird of paradise!
She is not defined by a particular time or place but rather her spirit:
fun-loving, playful with a sense of humour. She likes to make an entrance.
If I had to pin this identity down I would say the scarves epitomize the
spirit of M.I.A
I’ve always got my eye on what’s happening in Vogue, Tatler and Elle. I
use style.com alot and get inspired by new bloggers. Most recently I got
inspiration from a article by Maria Kihogo on structural shoes, which I
will most probably be using for a scarf design very soon! But in general I
try to avoid being directly inspired by fashion. My art training has
taught me to be stimulated by the most unusual things, I always have my
blackberry with me snapping away. For example ‘Ladybirds love Strawberry
Cosmos’ the title for the collection came about when I was sitting outside
a Mexican bar in Brick lane waiting for my Strawberry cosmopolitan when I
saw a ladybird try her very best to get to my drink, but she kept
slipping. Due to her persistence I concluded that ladybirds must love
strawberry cosmos so it clicked as a perfect title. This moment was later
designed into my ‘Strawberry Sour’ scarf, which features a ladybird
dragging my emblem whilst drinking a Cosmo!
For my next collection I am going to be looking at the V&A’s collection of
Middle Eastern miniature paintings and fuse them with mythological animals
This year alongside my scarf collection I did a dress collection, mainly
to showcase scarf prints but I have had such a good response from the
collection that I want to spend this year focusing more on my mainline
collection. I’m going to be going to Iran in December to work with a
traditional pattern cutter to fuse traditional pattern cutting with
contemporary twists! In February I’ll be launching a collection of blazers
lined with my prints. Its going to be a very busy time…