This week at Debenhams, one of our favourite designers, Ben de Lisi, popped into our office for a Facebook takeover. Here’s a peek below of what everyone wanted to know…
FB: What inspires you to create such bold patterns/colours with your collections?
Ben: I am inspired by the 1950s and abstract artists such as Picasso, Kadinsky and Rothko. It was all about bold, strong, sharp colour with a definite point of view.
FB: Have you achieved all the goals in your career?
Ben: I have achieved beyond my wildest dreams, however there’s still a lot more I have to give and say with my design career so watch this space!
FB: Need an outfit for a wedding in October – I have red hair and fair skin so autumn is my season but I am top heavy – 16 on top and 12 from waist down! Help?
Ben: You have to stay subtle at the top with dark colours with bold print or bright colour at the bottom to even up your figure. There are some great pieces in my new autumn collection which will be in – in a couple of weeks. I would recommend a shift shape dress or, depending on your height, a dress with a fitted waist might work as well.
FB: Do you have any 1920s styles in your collection. I have seen some amazing 20s inspired pieces in the media/catwalk and wondered if you had designed anything that embraces this wonderful era?
Ben: I have designed some flapper style beaded dresses but unfortunately my customer prefers a much more subtle approach to eveningwear hence less beading, no drop waists and all about the body. This black gladiator pleat dress is the closest 1920s style we have in the current collection. Hope you like it! >> http://bit.ly/ODxRYC
FB: Hi! What is your must-have piece for this autumn winter?
Ben: There is a firecracker red, 3/4 length sleeve peplum crepe dress, coming soon, which is my favourite piece.
FB: Hi, what is the one ‘must-have’ item for this season?
Ben: For autumn/winter I would say the black tweed military coat with black leather tipping. It’s perfect for day-to-cocktail and will be available soon.
FB: If there was one person you could design for, who would it be and why?
Ben: Julianne Moore, Kristin Scott Thomas and Sandra Bullock all infinitely attractive, articulate, strong women with very discrete sex appeal.
FB: Who influenced you to become a designer and how did you begin?
Ben: Coming from a family who were encouraging in all that was creative, I would have to say my paternal grandmother was my inspiration. It was as simple as this; I once saw a pair of trousers that I wanted to buy from a store in New York called Bloomingdales but as a student on a budget I couldn’t afford them. It was my grandmother who said simply ‘make them yourself’ and so my career began.
FB: Would you ever consider coming to a Debenhams store to promote your products?
Ben: All the time!
My takeover has now come to an end, thanks for all your questions. Look out for my autumn/winter collection that will be in stores and online shortly. Before I go I would like to leave you with a favourite piece, my military inspired black tweed coat with leather-like tipping shown here with my wool tartan tote. I hope you like them as much as I do, look out for the rest of the collection.