Saturday, August 11, 2012

Hermione de Paula: Hand Drawn Silks and Obligatory High Heels

Hermione de Paula's work stirs the imagination.

Among those who have followed  historic textiles and garments for some time, it is frequently designers who develop new and exciting contemporary style based on an understanding of the nuance (rather than the creation of a pastiche, or direct copy) and the underlying aesthetic philosophy of past eras, which intrigue us.  

Such was the case when I first happened on the work of Hermione de Paula at Liberty of London in 2011. Her striking signature, handpainted prints, design and styling exhibit a core understanding of the exotic interest in flora and fauna of the late 19th century.  While she pays indirect homage to 19th century Liberty prints made famous by William Morris and members of the Arts & Crafts movement, Ms. de Paula also understands the "total design" aspect of the the art nouveau and art deco periods, where on the surface, prints and patterns and colors may seem at odds but, when combined, create a breathtaking composition, from head to toe. 

A visit to her website, and the opportunity to download her current season look books, will transport you and you will not be disappointed.


Born from London’s prestigious Central St. Martins,Hermione de Paula began her career working for luxury labels including, Christian Dior Couture, Alexander McQueen and John Galliano. Renowned for her stunning, hand drawn, floral prints, she channels her signature ‘twisted English rose’ aesthetic across her collection of delicate silk dresses and chiffon kaftans.

Excerpt from interview with Sarah Bonser, Elle
29 March 21012

    Hermione de Paula

SB: How would you describe your personal style?

HDeP:My style is fairly eclectic with lots of layers. I'm really into shirts and capes at the moment. I wear a lot of my own pieces and mix them with vintage. I have lots of art deco jewellery collected from my travels and pieces which have been passed down by my grandmother who had an incredible wardrobe. High heels are obligatory.

SB: Where do you look for inspiration if you don't know what to wear?

HDeP: I love old movies - beautiful actresses in Hollywood from the 1920s to the 1950s. I like to dress-up to change my mood so on a rainy day I’ll get a sequin gown or beaded cape out to brighten the mood.

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