Marina Guergova is the designer of silk-focused brand Marina London. Having scored high points from the fashion blogosphere, Marina and her designs are pushing forward and looking into a bright future. Each season Marina creates investment pieces and wardrobe classics in silk – a material sometimes forgotten. Having sensed a gap in the market, Marina London brings the world of silk and contemporary fashion together.
Can you tell me a little about your background?
I am Bulgarian born and bred until the age of nine when I came to study in UK and have stayed here ever since. After school I studied at Kingston University and then did my BA (Hons) course at Central Saint Martins.
How did the course at CSM set you up for a career in fashion?
I did the Fashion Design with Marketing course and we were more encouraged to think about creating a ‘brand’. Towards the middle and end of my course I just got excited about the meaning of fashion. Yes it can be expressive and wild, but it’s also utilitarian and pragmatic. I love this kind of fashion – the ‘I’m getting stuff done’ kind of vibe. But I guess the obvious answer is: I can say that I graduated from there.
Why did you choose to specialise in silk? What is it you love about the material?
I love silk for so many reasons. I feel like it has resurrected in the last few years. I am into simple/sporty shapes and silhouettes and silk is one of those fabrics that should be let to drape and just hang there with minimum fuss, minimum seams. Slip it on and off. It’s tactile and the main kind of silk that I use is heavy, sand-washed Crepe de chine, which has such a satisfying weight to it; it’s like butter. I wanted to be a specialist in this fabric and that’s how it started. It love it because it’s a noble fabric; it’s romantic.
When it comes to design, what inspires you?
I love the 70’s in a big way. High waisted pants, billowy tops, long hair. I feel like that decade runs through my veins everyday. That’s my nostalgic inspiration and on the other end I am inspired mainly by street style. It’s the practical part of me that loves following what happens on the streets. What are real people wearing? How is that changing? Who is ahead of the curve on the street? Street style is not always trend driven, which is why I love it. I’m not into trends. They are annoying and totally over-rated. No, I don’t want to look like a leopard or a Mongolian child for 4 weeks this season – I’m fine. Really.
Having previously worked for Alexander McQueen, Proenza Schouler and David Szeto, when did you realise you wanted to start on your own?
I realised a year and a half after graduating. I can get lost in my brain sometimes and I come up with all sorts of things and I do get excited in my own way. I love mulling over ideas and then doing tons of ‘surfing’ online, I love that you can surf online. Internet waves are easy. I just slowly began getting momentum for this idea and I followed through.
You create wardrobe staples, but what is yours? What piece couldn’t you live without?
Good question. I guess I love my ‘Man Repeller’ jumpsuit a lot. It’s mega simple, but it really hits the spot for me. Never have I ever found a good jumpsuit. And what I mean by that is that I have never found one that I don’t have to mortgage my life for. Mine is £500 and it’s a killer. Apart from that I love high waisted pants, I love a great shirt buttoned all the way up. And the wedge sneaker is one of those things that I shouldn’t admit to, but I love wearing them. I really do.
What can we expect for AW13?
AW13 is taking silk back to it’s romantic roots, colour-wise. Expect jewel colours (deep teal and fig) with a few of my staple styles as well as a few new shapes as always with subtle sports-luxe references.
How would you like to see the brand grow?
I would love to see the brand in Harvey Nichols and Net-a-Porter.com. It would do so well there. I would love to start selling to even more international markets such as Japan and Asia in general, as well as grow further within the European market. I would love for it to reach it’s full potential as a specialist brand. To be known for making silks that people can afford at a quality that is as good as any mainstream design house, which would otherwise charge you twice as much.