Alice Vandy creates a magical edit with Couturie and talks about life as a young designer.
Photography: Ray Burmiston
Words: Lara Journo
Shop the edit and 20% of the profit will be donated to Alice's chosen charity, Peta.
Cornish born Alice Vandy is one of the UK's most exciting designers whose debut collection was snapped up by Jessie J for the way it morphed the contours of the body to create organic, exotic and robotic second skins.
Her alternative UK based brand creates unique, fun clothing that fuses fairytale fantasy with youthful streetwear delivering magical madness. Her notoriously bold signature prints has a growing tribe of Diamond Warriors and Bubble Wall cuties.
Alice Vandy was asked to collaborate with My Little Pony launching her third exclusive collection of ponyland power pieces with the sugary sweet Hasbro phenomenon. Alice has successfully designed showpieces for The X Factor, Britain’s Next Top Model and The Clothes Show Live. She also has her own media agency, The Walls Are Talking.
Our collaboration with Alice exemplifies her belief in magic and all thing custom.
We meet Alice in our studio, she has worked with Ray before on a shoot for Cosmopolitan Magazine. "I LOVE working with Ray", she beams, "he’s so effortlessly talented. The first shoot we did was for Cosmopolitan. We connected immediately, and his pics are to date some of my favourite pics. It's a pleasure getting the chance to work with him again for Couturie".
Photograph by Ray Burmiston for Cosmopolitan Magazine
We're so happy you have chosen to collaborate on this magical edit! Tell us why you chose it?
The crystal really stood out to me. It’s exactly the type of piece I would buy, and I have a few in similar styles but since I’ve had this I genuinely haven’t taken it off (sorry Lara!!). I had to message Lara one morning to tell her I felt it had magical powers! The tags I just love as they’re so bold. The juxtaposition of tags in a very high quality style is really unique and I love the layering. The Roman Numeral Medallion is really elegant and again really unique. The edging is slightly tribal and I love things that on initial glance look symmetrical but when you look more closely they aren’t. I’m obsessed with leaves and plants for this reason - constantly looking like a lunatic studying leaves! I decided to mix match the metals as I think its more authentic and less contrived. Jewellery should feel like a part of you, and at different times I think you feel connected to different ‘embellishments’, so for me if I’m wearing multiple items of jewellery they’re not likely to match! A different piece for each different personality ;)
Your fashion brand, Planet Vandy, has caught the eye of many high fashion loving celebrity. What's happening with the brand at the moment?
My current collection is very bold, brightly coloured and heavily printed. My signature style are prints that morph the body, with catsuits and maxi dresses being key pieces. I’ve also done collaborations with brands including My Little Pony and Care Bears. I try to keep the styles really streamline and simple so that the print is the focus, but this year things are moving in a slightly different direction which is really exciting. It’s a direction I feel personally more aligned with, but I will still have some items that resemble the old style.
What was your breakthrough moment?
When I graduated I knew I wanted to be featured on the catwalk at The Clothes Show, and was put in touch with the stylist Alexis Knox, who took my final collection and also commissioned me to do catsuits for the opening sequence. From that things kind of snowballed, and I ended up working on Britains Next Top Model, the Range Rover Evoque launch and The X Factor. These events led to my work being spotted by Jessie J’s stylist who commissioned a one off racer girl catsuit. Since then I’ve dressed other awesome people including Paris Hilton, Rita Ora and Miley Cyrus.
Who is your charity and why?
I’ve chosen Peta as my charity as I feel very strongly about the wellbeing of animals. In 2015 I was verified as a vegan brand, which means the brand is 100% cruelty free. Peta awarded me the ‘Best Young Designer’ award that same year so I feel I’d like to give something back.
In terms of Planet Vandy what is the dream?
You’ll see ;)
Tell us about The Walls Are Talking.
Around mid 2018 I started to feel less connected to my brand as the style felt less ‘me’ and realised I needed to take a step back to work out where I wanted to go creatively. In that period of time I was given the opportunity by a friend to work on some huge projects in social media management so immediately started an agency with my business partner.
The agency is called The Walls Are Talking (abbreviated TWAT!). It’s mostly social media, ads and content creation but we also handle PR and community management. I love switching between working on TWAT and AV as there’s so much creativity required on both sides that often one inspires the other and ideas bounce between projects. It does mean I always have loads of work on but luckily I’m surrounded by loads of hugely smart, talented people and we often collaborate so its not as daunting as it sounds!
In terms of your work life, how would you describe yourself?
Headstrong, hardworking, scatty.
When and why did you move to London?
I grew up in Cornwall, studied at Plymouth art college and then moved to Woking about 4 years ago before moving to London almost 2 years ago. There is not as much opportunity in somewhere like Cornwall for a career in the arts, and although I was lucky to be able to build the foundations of my brand whilst living in Cornwall ultimately I needed to be in London.