Interview with leather fashion designer, Louise McKay
Where did your inspiration for creating these wonderful leather fashion pieces begin?
It all started when I studied Art & Design for three years at South Downs College. Following this, I continued my work at a north London university, focusing on Fashion Jewellery and Accessories. During this time, I also worked as an intern for designers Victoria Grant, Paul Seville and Nichole de Carle. And this is where my love for leather bloomed. On commencement of my final year I accepted a position as a leather worker’s assistant in an erotic boutique, but sadly the business was forced to close after my graduation. Over the next few months I was invited to attend the Goldsmith’s “Getting Started Course” and joined the Prince’s Trust Enterprise Scheme
What are you main fashion influences?
My work is completely influenced by my slightly erratic thoughts and over active imagination. When I start a new collection I just draw, and find upon beginning the piece that it rarely resembles the original design. My products constantly change as I create them.
What happened to your passion for jewellery making at university?
I have no patience, so when it came to the choice of making a silver ring that could take anything from 3 days to a week to complete or have a harness made within an hour, it was a no brainer. Leather for me is the best media it has some many different uses and has an unimaginable variety of grades. The hides can be transformed into some hard like plastic or soft as silk, what more could you want from a material, not to mention its durability.
Where do your fashion pieces belong?
I believe anywhere and everywhere is the best place for my pieces to be seen, they have no limitation (except maybe the ones you can’t see out of).
There is an animalistic quality to your fashion spread, where does this stem from?
I have slight obsession with animals so if I were to spill ink on my table I would mostly likely see a creature of some sort. Whether that be a mythical one, or not. I would then proceed to spread the ink over the table making the desk into a piece of art.
Do you have any other creative passions or skills?
My other creative skills include latex clothing and milliner. Again lastly my patience dyed with the millany as it can take a fair while to hat block. With the latex clothing you can get the fast paced production going if you’re making multiples of one item. But I am a messy person and you have to be so clean and tidy for latex. I just couldn’t do it, whereas leather I can get covered in dye and it doesn’t matter.
Interview by Jennifer Le Roux
Photography & fashion spread credits available at louisemckay.co.uk