Tell us about your new collection, what was your starting point of inspiration?
The starting point for this collection was following on from my graduate collection, based on the idea “Be Fragile! Be Brave!” which was a name of an exhibition of Estonian artist Anu Põder. From that point I began focusing on designing womenswear that is practical but elegant; combining the ultra-feminine with the ultra-functional in garments that improve an existing wardrobes’ power. I want to make the Johanna Parv wearer feel confident like they are capable of anything. I think this is connected to my personal interest in the women I see around London; commuters in constant motion. I wanted to change the way we perceive female power and strength in urban environments.
I met Stavros from Machine-A in October 2020, when he proposed I produce pieces for the shop. I was given the amazing opportunity to fully develop and execute my collection, launching it both online and physically. When designing the collection I was thinking about practicality and usability. Will it be easy to wear? Will it be functional when in motion? What does elegance mean to me? I created pieces that are lightweight and protective, with extra pockets which can be worn over existing garments and enhance their usability. I designed with a focus on re-using vintage pieces, adapting and updating them to contemporary life: I used existing fabrics I had left from my last collection as well as combining them with vintage handbags.
“I try to spend as much time as possible around nature to balance out the long hours I work in the studio. I go running and I cycle everywhere. I try to regularly take a moment to just sit in a park by myself.” – Johanna Parv
Is there a piece you’re particularly proud of?
The nylon shoulder bags, which I developed especially for this season. They are fabricated in waterproof nylon which is a fabric I used throughout the collection. They have adjustable straps from repurposed vintage backpacks I’ve been collecting. All the pieces are handmade, produced in London using local factories and independent artisans.
Describe your studio space, how do you work? What are your design essentials?
My studio is quite small, maybe because I have too much stuff. I always have multiple projects all going on at the same time so I try to be as organised as possible. I usually try to concentrate a whole day on one main project. I play music, listen to lectures and usually work until late. I try to spend as much time as possible around nature to balance out the long hours I work in the studio. I go running and I cycle everywhere. I try to regularly take a moment to just sit in a park by myself.