by Sophie Brown


Meet Emma, a visionary costume designer and vintage style enthusiast. Having known Emma for a few years, I have always been in awe of how she puts outfits together in such a unique and interesting way, always looking like a true fashion renegade.  She studied Multimedia Textiles at Loughborough University, exploring her passion for creative experimentation and is currently working for the costume department at LIPA. I talked to her about her style and beauty inspirations and her aspirations for the future with her career in design.


Can you tell us a little bit about what your degree in Multimedia Textiles involved as it really fascinates me..

 An example of Emma's degree work.     picture © copyright Loughborough University 2013  and Loughborough University Textiles Graduates

An example of Emma's degree work.


picture © copyright Loughborough University 2013

and Loughborough University Textiles Graduates

It was a kind of twist on textiles, more of a conceptual way of making things to fit the body. So you could make jewellery that was absolutely crazy huge or design your own fabric that was embellished with your own pieces that you’d cut. It was very experimental. You could specialise in three different path ways which were print design, weave and multimedia, which is quite conceptual, you had to be very self-motivated and think for yourself. 

Now you have graduated what would you ideally like to be doing career wise?

When I finished uni I had the idea that I would love to work for the Cirque du Soleil. The type of stuff that I did, my collection, was really crazy and all colourful with big foam tubes that extended your body and glowed in the dark and reacted under UV lights. They were body pieces for performance and that’s what I wanted to get into and then now I've had experience in theatre which I love. I’m working in LIPA now and making amazing head pieces and costumes.  With the show were working on at the moment, I’m making big crazy head pieces. I’m given instructions on what they require for the show and I work from that and the mood boards that are in the studio. I would love to do this kind of costume design  for films in the future and also I still have a desire to work for Cirque du Soleil too.

In terms of your own look, is there anyone or anything in particular that inspires you?

I think I do things quite sub-consciously so when I watch films I’ll see something and think ahh I love that, maybe it might be like a little cardie. I like 90’s films, like silly high school ones, and you really can’t  buy anything in this style on the high street so I’ll just spruce up cardigans with a bit of fur or tailor dresses to make them look cuter on. It’s usually always things from the past and vintage that I like. I love 60’s style too, the short hair and the makeup. My life really in general inspires me, what I do kind of influences me. I don’t really get inspired by individual people, its more ideas that pop into my head. Like if I see a pair of shoes, Ill envision a whole outfit to go with them and then try and find the different elements of the outfit in charity shops and piece it all together. I always used to get lots of amazing stuff from Loughborough charity shops in uni. I love having a route around a charity shop. I’ll spend money on shoes, I quite like Schuh and Office in the sale. I love Ebay aswell, I always get great vintage stuff from Ebay and can spend ages looking through hundreds of pages to find something I like. If I buy something and its too big or doesn't fit right  I will just tie a knot in it or shorten the hem line or add fabric to it, I love to just experiment.  I also wear tights or socks with every outfit, they are an everyday essential for me. They just add an extra interesting element to any outfit I have on. 


Finally, I really love your make up and how it complements your style, what’s your essential everyday item in your make up bag?

Lipstick, I never don’t wear lipstick. I love experimenting with different colours and like it to fade on my lips too. So I’ll have a dark colour on the lip line, using a lip liner, and then fade the lipstick from there to the middle of the lip. I just couldn’t not wear it!  Barry M is a great brand for lipsticks as its not too expensive and they have a great variety of colours. I like to wear good quality foundation too, I use Bobbi Brown as with my fair skin it is hard to find a colour match  and Bobbi Brown does great pale shades. 

 Thanks to Emma for talking to me about her style and design passions, if you have any more questions for Emma get in touch!