— FELIX BENDISH
Fashion Scout, London Fashion Week, champions emerging fashion and accessories designers from around the world and debuted three designers this season: Gyouree Kim, Figura Services and Felix Bendish. We couldn't have been more proud that Felix Bendish, who recently diversified into fashion design from accessories, had made the list and his handmade, hand embroidered apparel and accessories were appreciated by International press and buyers. In conversation with the fashion designer on his return from London.
Felix, how would you say your design aesthetic evolved from accessories to handcrafted ensembles?
My signature style is intriate hand embroideries which I have always applied in accessories. Over the years, though, there has been an increasing client demand for hand embroidered apparel. This inspired me to take the leap of faith and I diversified from accessories to fashion design. My process is personal. I first create an embroidery concept and then transform it into a digital print. Because I love working on Illusions. That is the USP of my label.
How has your business model evolved since?
Designing apparel is a challenge because of fabric consumption and fittings. In that respect, accessories is much easier. In apparel, however, a designer can play with styles, colours, body types and silhouettes which is real exciting. Now, I complement my clothing with accessories and am also reaching out to all genders.
What does participation in London Fashion Week mean to you? What excites you about London?
London is very bold and experimental in high street fashion. I see all genders wearing and enjoying fashion that we may never dream of wearing here in India. Londoners love breaking boundaries and creating their own unique styles. London celebrates fashion !!!
Despite the challenges of showcasing in one of the top four fashion weeks worldwide where hundreds of people are travelling in from different countries you have been meeting these challenges. How do you handle the pressure and processes?
My current collection is gaining a lot of traction from International press and buyers. London loves a story line and this is exactly what I gave them in my current showing. That said, before the show there is a lot of pressure as it is for an International audience. A lot of money is at stake as it’s very expensive to showcase overseas. As a designer, we must offer something new and in our own style. For me, most importantly, Fashion is about business and if you're confidant about your ideas and quality, then buyers will come to you. Thta is how I handle pressure.
What can you tell us about the inspiration of the collection for London Fashion Week?
In the past two seasons I have played with the element of water and earth. For Autumn Winter 2023, I decided to go with Fire. As inspiration I took the thermal form of the brain and morphed it into vivid colours of the Butterfly. The collection was titled “Cerebral Morphism“. We created the first motif of the butterfly brooch in hand embroidery... then with a lot of colour corrections it was digitally printed. This created a 3D illusion which was interesting to view on silk fabrics and twills.
If people could take away just one thing from this collection, what would you want it to be?
My 3D butterfly overcoat. Classy cut , quirky print and a statement piece. This is what fashion is all about.
What key challenges and opportunities have arisen, at London Fashion Week, for your business?
We are now getting an opportunity to showcase our products to stores in the UK and Europe. We also have enquiries coming in from Japan. Challenges are there as I need to work on finances and logistics to avail of these opportunities.
On a lighter note, what do you do right after the show? And, who would be on your dream front row?
After the show, I immediately leave backstage to greet old friends and interact with new people who have come for my show. I want to know their feedback about my collection as it helps me to grow as a designer. My dream front row in India is Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and International, it is Anna Wintour.
What's next, Felix?
Production!!!!! I also want to cater to my Indian clients. And, I have just opened my atelier in Bandra, Mumbai.