Acne Studios Morning Gabardine Dress - £363   Charlie May Leather Foil Jacket - £625
Blake LDN Foxborough Sweater - £120   Topshop Unique Pool Sliders - £55
Etre Cecile Bad Ass Paris - £70   V Simplicity Tier Ring - £75
Merchant Archive Leather Tote Bag - £430   Moxham Otto Silver - £62

Interview: Marina

Today the international fashion industry flock to London Fashion Week, as young and established designers present their Autumn Winter 2013 collections to the press, buyers and bloggers. As a publication that promotes local creativity, we can't help but think about the plethora of talent that lies beyond he hyped up schedules or those who aren't fortunate enough to fund a presentation/show, (not to mention PR, stylist, models, hair & make up, the list goes on). One designer who's been quietly creating a buzz in the capital is Marina Guergova who started her own label MARINA in 2011, after seeing a need for silk wardrobe staples. Not one to follow trends, MARINA's collections stand the test of time, creating quality silk dresses and separates in modern yet timeless shapes.

MARINA's third collection for this season, 'The Best of Silk Essentials' includes classic pieces such as the 'Garance' and 'Virgin' shirts, the Perfect Silk Tee 'Caro'. Whilst contrasting sporty panels feature on the 'Leila' and elasticated bands on the 'Mija' top. Our favourite styles have to be the 'Hanneli' t-shirt dress and the 'Man Repeller' jumpsuit; two casual one-pieces that we would never expect to be made completely in silk. Easy to wear luxury. Yes please.

We love MARINA's timeless simplicity and think she deserves as much hype and attention as the usual bunch at LFW. We spoke to her to find out more about her influences and future plans for her label.

Tell us more about your background and education.

I am Bulgarian born, but have studied in England since I was nine. After school I was accepted into Kingston for foundation course and then at Central Saint Martins, where I studied Fashion Design and Marketing. I have also worked in the design studios of Alexander McQueen, David Szeto when he was in Paris and Proenza Schouler in New York. All of these have accumulated to teach me who I want to be in fashion and what kind of aesthetic I envisage to create.

Do you remember the moment you decided to start your own label?

Yes I do, it was a moment that had built itself up I think. I had been sketching ideas for a while and realised I was very attracted to simplicity and also to silks. I thought about the awesomeness of silk and that it can be so versatile, it needs it's own realm. This was right about when Equipment was re-launching their signature silk shirts and I saw a space for another good silk brand that can build momentum and bring people an alternative that would be better priced, with better quality, however with a reputation that needed to be build up from scratch. So I went head first!

You've worked for Alexander McQueen, David Szeto and Proenza Schouler, what was that experience like and do you think it's helped you to grow your label?

I believe that is what made me understand where I was most satisfied and what formula I preferred. I learnt the most at the smallest brand, David Szeto. I will never forget my experience there and the kindness that David showed. At McQueen I was designing jacquards, embroideries and prints which kept my pen going for hours on end, whilst at Proenza I learnt the sampling process and the logistics of a brand. They all taught me different things about myself and starting an own brand can be daunting, but you need to keep it manageable and niche at first. This was my goal from the very beginning.

What's influenced Marina's design aesthetic more? Your Bulgarian background or your upbringing in South London?

I think my mother has been a big influence on me. She was always a bit cool and dressed unlike other mothers, dancing like mad and watching Woody Allen movies. I was always a tomboy when I was little, beating up boys and climbing electric poles. As I grew up in England I transitioned into my more feminine self when I was seventeen and took up art more seriously at school. That is why I love sports luxe, it is exactly the niche that I am working in and I cannnot think of something I love more in fashion, the mix of feminine with a boy's attitude. I guess I am most influenced by American sports wear and women be it from movies or real life.

Have you always been interested in working with silk?

I found silk and its many qualities when I was at Saint Martins and during my graduation collection fell in love with it. There is no other fabric that caresses you body in the same way and that is lovingly made by a little creature that works it into a little cocoon. So precious and romantic, with so much wonderful history, it makes you feel special having it against your skin. I love it, smart and sexy every time.

What other designers do you look up to? What names (emerging and established) are exciting you at the moment and why?

The list for designers is long, but Stella McCartney is the mother of the minimalist woman with a soft streak and she has always been at the top of my list. Phoebe Philo follows with Alexander Wang, Chloe, ACNE, Calvin Klein Collection, Proenza Schouler, Mother of Pearl, David Szeto, Roksanda Ilincic, Givenchy and others. These brands are always at the forefront of my fashion inspirations and I admire them. A new up and coming brand that I love is Yasmin Kianfar, she is fantastic and so original!

What are your plans and aspirations for the brand? Accessories? Collaborations?

I have two products that I am trying to develop in time for AW13, one is a silk bow tie to go with our shirts and the other is a bit of a secret still, so I cannot say, but I am very excited about it! I am hopefully going to collaborate on a project with an eyewear brand for SS14, but we will keep that under wraps for now too :)

Lastly if you had to wear one outfit, listen to one song, eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I would wear my SS13 'Hanneli' dress in white with white wedges and flowers in my hair. Listen and dance to "Beast of Burden" by The Rolling Stones and eat walnut bread with avocado, ricotta, smoked salmon and eggs forever.

MARINA London ss13 from Alexander Stanishev on Vimeo.

MARINA is having pop-up event with the amazing jewellery brand, Moxham at Shoreditch House on the 17th March, to which all readers would be most welcome. Marina and Moxham will be selling their SS13 collection and it would be a fantastic opportunity to come meet us and try on some silks!
Outfit photos by Joseph Piper.

Louisa Lau
23:54 - 14/02/13