Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Katherine Pont

Katherine Pont, illustrator extraordinaire turned fairy-tale fashion designer, talks to jotta about cutting-edge collectives, creative collaborations and her latest venture, a pop-up boutique in the heart of Soho.
Katherine Pont is the designer behind clothing label 'Mine' and co-founder of the Swanfield Collective, along with womenswear designer Cecilia Hammarborg and couture cake baker Lily Vanilli. This July, Swanfield move from their East London home to the bright lights of the West End where they will be showcasing not only their own talented creations, but an inspiring array of upcoming designers and artists from jotta.

How and why did you start the Swanfield collective?
Cissi [Cecilia Hammarborg] found a space in east London on Swanfield Street, and thought it would make a great shop space, so we got together and started plotting for our pop. The Swanfield collective grew from there, inviting friends and designers to showcase and sell their wares leading up to Christmas.

There are natural collectives that form within friends doing the same things, but with Swanfield we wanted to push this merge between art, music and fashion so we host musical events as well as exhibits. Lily Vanilli also bakes a mean cupcake.

Running your own business is tough, so in this tricky time it makes sense to join forces and co-inspire each other to keep making, baking and designing.

What do you think about the new craze for pop-up boutiques?
I think the temporary nature of them makes them quite sought-after. Retail can be a ghost town too, so there are little boxes out there waiting to be shops. With Swanfield Pop-Boutique we are re-thinking things to create an inspiring and inviting space where customers can buy from the designers themselves, and drop in for acoustic gigs and events. So shop for a new frock, gorge on a cupcake and listen with your eyes too.

How important is collaboration to you and Swanfield?
You fall into natural collaborations within the creative industry, and borrow inspiration and influence through these working relationships. I really like the crossing of disciplines from art and design to fashion and music, these creative modes inform and inspire each other, and that is what is happening amongst those involved with Swanfield. Times are a little tough money wise, but there is always room for pretty things.

Official Launch Date and Party: Tuesday July 21st

Lily Vanilli Cake Party (featuring edible cake sculptures, think Hansel and Gretel meets Marie Antoinette!): Thursday August 6th

To read more about the Swanfield Pop-up Boutique click here

To see more of Katherine’s designs click here

By Stephanie Grace

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