On the first day of London Fashion Work, like clockwork you will see me racing around Somerset House in the exhibition areas gathering up some interesting bits and bobs for a shoot for LFW Daily. I categorically always find something new and relatively untapped and proceed to promise to revisit said designers at a later point.
After stints of working at Sharon Wauchob, Amanda Wakely, Romeril carried on her studies at the Royal College of Art and wound up working for Alberta Ferretti in Milan. "It was a so-so experience and I was glad to be finished but I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do next," says Romeril. "I was talking to a friend of mine who works at Margiela and she was asking me where I would like to work, I just couldn't imagine the right label to work for as I am at my best when I can drape, sketch or work on fabric manipulation as the mood takes me, I also love to be in the work room working side by side with the machinists seeing garments come alive, I just turned to my friend and said, 'I've no idea' and she paused and said 'Maybe you need to do your own thing'. It was then the decision was more or less made! I had never seriously considered it before. I thought I would make a really great right hand woman. The behind the scenes grafter. I owe my mate a drink and a thank you!"
Romeril's S/S 14 collection immediately grabbed me not by the usual visual monikers of colour and print but with unique texture. Turns out Romeril was inspired by the amount of bubble wrap and sticky tape that was building up in her studio. She worked with an Italian mill to create a translucent paper-esque "bubble wrap" fabric as the main anchor to her collection in addition to the paper-esque laces. Romeril also used performance tape, the type used to seal Goretex jackets, to create zig-zag seams and frames around lace panels. The Cubist artists Mainie Jellett and Albert Gleizes informed the haphazard frills and asymmetry of some of the dresses. Nothing feels laboured or overworked though as Romeril favours a relaxed and easy feel to her clothes that makes even the most complex and unusual surface detailing immediately tangible.
When asked to define her aesthetic codes, Romeril makes a salient point about the beauty of being a young fledgling label and what she can offer as something of a USP. "The hand crafted is really important to me. I am always being told 'That is going to be a nightmare in production' but I really don't care! So what if the factory can't do the fringing or the hand cut tape finishes! We can do it in the studio, we'll just work harder; isn't that the great thing about still being quite small? This is slow fashion, it's craft, we do it this way because it is beautiful this way. It makes the pieces special, it makes it worth spending money on a young designer as the big guns don't operate like that." There are so many young designers and you wonder whether it's increasingly harder to be heard but Romeril is content to work quietly away in the background, plugging away at her brand. Her second season was already picked up by Avenue 32, so she's certainly making steps in the right direction. I'll leave you with another salient quote of Romeril's that should be printed on tees and totes and handed out to other young guns in fashion: "I would like to be the tortoise in this mad fashion race."