Designer Spotlight - Edward Mongzar
Ever thought of putting fashion design with the technique of marbling? Our next designer has won our hearts and our wardrobe with his stunning and distinctive designs. If you don't already know him, the name Edward Mongzar is definitely one to watch out for.
Edward's designs possess the quality of unfading beauty and effotless elegance that not many other brands have achieved. He uses an artisanal practice of hand marbling to tell a story. All the patterns created are hand dyed by Edward himself, showcasing the passion and love he has for marbling and designing.
Apart from producing beautiful clothing, Edward also has strong beliefs in being ethically conscious and maintaining a sustainable approach with the brand. Therefore, the use of recycled water and natural heat of the sun played a huge part in the process of creation.
Without further adieu, we bring you behind the scenes to an interview with the designer himself, to get more of an insight into the fascination with marbling and the incredible process that happens behind every piece.
Raw Ruffles Dress - £350
Curated Crowd : What inspired you to get an MA in Fashion Design?
Edward Mongzar : Whilst coming to the end of my BA in Fashion Design I was offered a job as head designer of womenswear for a high street brand and I thought to myself, “Is that it now? Will I go right back into more designing and working from 9 to 5?”. I wanted to take a step back and make sure I knew what I wanted from my work and where I fit into the industry. I had initially thought about taking a year out, but I realised it would be bad for my career and my creative journey.
My best friend was studying for her MA and I thought perhaps I would join her and take a Masters course to pause for a moment, whilst still doing something in the field of my interest. I wanted to fully explore the possibilities in fashion and expand my skill set, and the MA course allowed me to do just that. Instead of designing, I chose to write a dissertation for my MA degree, taking time to read, research and write, which also helped me come to a comfortable conclusion about my life as a designer, what I wanted to do with my skill set and where to go from there.
CC : Where did the idea of marbling come about? What about them fascinated you?
EM : I believe it was when I was doing my foundation in Design during my BA under Nottingham Trent University (2008). We were exploring the idea of surface design and I casually dropped some black oil paint in our studio water pool and used paper to get the imprint of the oil from the water. 8 years later, when I decided to launch the label, I revisited the technique as something about the process stuck with me.
My core beliefs as a designer are perfectly represented by the hand marbling that I use. The gentle swirls of the marbling, juxtaposed with the unpredictability of the dye, represent my belief that womenswear should be soft and gentle, as well as freeing and liberating. I view the marbling process as a representation of the ideal 'live and let live', with the water and dye acting independently but coming together to create something beautiful.
Marbling also doesn’t use any electricity and is very energy efficient, making the process really eco friendly. It also doesn’t compromise on the art of the process, with each piece coming out very unique.
I think, of all the dyeing and printing processes one can use, marbling spoke to me the most because it’s in complete contrast to the status quo of the fashion industry, where everything is controlled, systematic and a total rat race. I understand that it’s a business but I also need to always remember that I am a creative catalyst, so I needed to do something that freed me and my work from that sense of predictability, similarity and control. I wanted some liberty from the rigid fashion calendar, fashion forecasts and saturation of honest ideas that seem really safe and similar.
Raw Edge Cut Top - £245
CC : What makes your designs stand out from other clothing brands?
EM : I would like to say it would be my love for colours and print, as well as my play with effortless silhouettes in an unconventional way. Most importantly, I believe that my clothes will always be unique. Each piece being beautifully different in print and colour from the next one because of the marbling process I use and, for a ready to wear designer label and designer, I am really proud I am able to say that.
CC : What is your design process?
EM : It usually starts with ideas and visual interactions I have during my travels, such as phrases I hear or read, colours, buildings and landscapes I see or people I meet.
Of all the mental notes I take, a few things stick with me and I start my design process with those ‘few things’. Based on the small mental note of what gave me inspiration, I usually think of details of the garments first, then colours, then the silhouette.
The best example I can give would be our Spring / Summer 19 collection. I was so inspired by the simple phrase ‘summer on a plate’, I spent an entire month exploring the idea of how to make my clothes look and feel that. I wanted to my SS19 collection to feel as if someone had caught summer and wrapped it around herself. Living by the beach, the sea breeze inspired me to make it breezy, hence the big use of tulle in our pieces.
Once I have delved deeply enough into my ideas and inspirations, the process from there is quite simple. Designing the pieces usually is the quickest part of my design process, as I am just putting all my ideas together and making a flat sketch directly. Then our wonderful sampling team in their studio in London make a toile for me and I make a few corrections as we go along, and before we know it we have a collection ready!
Marbled Semi Slit Skirt - £315
CC : Have you ever had a designer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it?
EM : Yes, it always happens. Sometimes it comes in big waves, while sometimes it’s just a tiny hiccup when your brain is telling you not to be “too creative”.
From what I have experienced, it typically happens when I have too many things I want to do, or I haven’t thought about something well enough before starting the design process. To be honest nothing helps me except a walk on the beach alone to clear my mind. It works like magic!
CC : What advice would you give someone who’s just starting out in the fashion industry?
EM : I have always been asked this question and it always makes me a bit nervous, but as a young and upcoming designer myself, I would say to listen to your gut feeling and always try to have a clear mind. You will hear a lot of “NO! Too edgy! Too dressy! Too loud! Too simple!” and everything else you can think of, but if you have a product that’s exceptional and you have a clear creative intention, the journey always gets smoother.
CC : Are there any new collections coming out soon or exciting news?
EM : I am now working on my Spring / Summer 20 collection, which is taking up 99% of my time. Thankfully I have Josh (my business partner) to take care of everything whilst I design.
I recently launched our Autumn / Winter 19/20 at Scoop London and it was very well received. It has been a really exciting season, and we might have some big news coming soon (dare I say it), hopefully we can share it soon and of course we are really excited about our amazing launch at Curated Crowd!
Well we are extremely delighted to have you on board as well Edward and we can't wait to spread the word about you and your unique designs!
Shop the full collection here.