Monday, 2 July 2012

Designer of the Month: Daisy Harris-Burland, Dumpster Couture

Attending Brighton Fashion Week in late May/early June was a refreshing change to the extremely busy fashion week events that take place in London. There, I discovered the unbelievably talented Daisy Harris-Burland, south coast based designer and creator of sustainable fashion brand Dumpster Design. Two fashion lines stem from the brandthe more casual Dumpster Apparel and my favorite, Dumpster Couture. The couture line unites structure and softness, creating feminine, yet edgy gowns and dresses. They hold beauty capable of drawing in the viewers eye to look at every curve, and every detail. I had a chat with the light-hearted Daisy to learn more about her unique source of inspiration.

Krystle: What first inspired you to start designing? What’s the most exciting thing about being a designer?
Daisy: Everything inspires me, really. I bet everyone says that, but really it’s true. Although, I'm not one to flick through fashion magazines and get hugely inspired or riddled with ideas. It’s more like I go to the scrap yard and see an old engine and actual salivate when I see it’s only a tenner! I love the intricacy of engines and car mechanics. How the structure of the materials in their raw state can be so delicate and detailed just fascinates me and I really try and portray that amount of detail in my work. What’s great about being a designer is constantly being able to push my work to its limits—sometimes it works and sometimes it is an epic fail! It’s all about stretching the boundaries.

Krystle: How would you describe your couture collection?
Daisy: There’s only one word I can think of to express what I'm trying to achieve through my couture collection, and that’s 'limitless'. I’m trying to show how far you can take a material and stretch it and manipulate it into something completely different. Showing that anything has the potential to be transformed into something beautiful and daring.

Krystle: Do you have a favorite piece in that collection? If so, what do you love about it?
Daisy: My favorite piece is the 'clean sweep' dress. It’s made entirely from jay cloths, transforming them into something elegant and beautiful. It looks fit for a fairytale.

Krystle: Where do you find the materials you use, and how do you decide which ones to work with?
Daisy: I source my materials from anywhere, if it’s a company’s left over scraps of packaging or old deckchair material. Dumpster really focuses on the intricacy that can be created from such unusual objects. Working with the material, experimenting, seeing what fits and looks good. Every material is so different and you never know how it will respond to anything you try. The design then starts to create itself, always changing in structure and style as the building process continues. All working on the mannequin, never ever with a pencil and paper!

Krystle: How do you feel when you see people wearing something you’ve designed?
Daisy: Magnificent! Creating a bespoke garment is a very personal process, so when I see a client wearing a dress I have created for them and them being overjoyed with it, it feels incredible.

Krystle: If you weren’t a designer, what would you be and why?
Daisy: I’d be a stunt double for action films. No doubt.  My guilty pleasures are motorbikes and top speeds. Hopefully I’ll be able to merge my two loves of designing and daredevil somewhere along my career line! I'm nothing but an 8 year old boy at heart haha.

Krystle: Do you have any upcoming projects or things to look forward to?
Daisy: Lots of exciting projects coming up but nothing I can divulge as of yet, I'm afraid! All to be kept super secret and down low. But, be sure to keep on the lookout as big things are in the pipe line for Dumpster. We're just getting started, baby!

Photo Credit: Tori Clarkson

Find out more about Daisy and see her beautiful garments on her website:

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