“I LOOK AT THE SAME THING AGAIN AND AGAIN. I’M NOT REALLY BROADENING MY HORIZONS. RATHER, MAYBE DOING THE OPPOSITE, LIKE FOCUSSING MORE ON ONE THING.”
Ilan’s slow-cooked approach to fashion manifests not only in the time she takes, but also in the volume she creates. ‘When One Becomes Two’ consisted of four different looks, rather than “twenty looks that nobody is going to buy,” which is a quote taken from her previous interview with us last year. Having designed an eight-outfit collection this season, it’s evident that the principle still prevails. For Roni, it’s definitely a matter of quality over quantity: “So many changes had happened to me since my graduate collection, I had to kind of take it easy and produce something that I was really happy about. I didn’t have a studio, I was working from home, so I wasn’t there in the sense to just make loads of clothes, I wanted to make one thing that was strong.” In the same way that producing around twenty different looks that nobody is going to buy is just not economically viable for an emerging designer, neither is it necessary.
When it comes to inspiration, Roni says: “It’s mostly not just something I look at. I have very limited interests. I look at the same thing again and again. I’m not really broadening my horizons. Rather, maybe doing the opposite, like focussing more on one thing.” For Ilan, without a strong concept, there’s nothing. We can see how this approach manifests, looking to the very specific concepts from which she draws inspiration, which have thus far been connectivity and childbirth. Roni divulges that she cannot be inspired by the inanimate, because it’s more about reading behind what is displayed on the surface. Fashion, to Ilan, is just the medium through which she produces an image, which comes from an initial idea, explaining that, “you need to have visual inspiration, but it comes from a concept rather than just a thing.”
Initiation is both name and inspiration for AW16. Since giving birth to Baxter and finishing her previous collection, Ilan informs that she has been doing a lot of yoga, referencing Elisabeth Haich’s book, also by the same name. It’s an evolution from the physical connectivity that she used as a motif for AW15, into the incorporeality of this season. Ilan states, “AW15 was about one becoming two and how we’re connected in that way…physically. This collection is more about a spiritual connection.” Connectivity plays an integral role for Ilan’s work, both past and present, but also future. Without divulging too much about the inspiration for the upcoming SS17 collection, Ilan simply mentions the Bhagavad Gita – the main spiritual book in India – and the story of Krishna going to battle. But she has two weeks before she needs to finalise anything.