We sit down with our latest Designer at Debenhams, Savannah Miller, to find out everything about the new and very stylish Nine collection.
We were delighted to reveal the new Nine by Savannah Miller collection earlier this month. Offering stylish, smart-casual wardrobe pieces for day to evening wear, the range comprises of luxury knits, authentic denim and ‘hi-spec’ leathers as well as accessories including shoes, boots and bags. Answering an array of exciting questions, Savannah spills all the details behind her Nine collection:
Please can you tell us a bit about your background?
I studied womenswear and knitwear at Central St Martins. Following Uni I worked for Alexander McQueen, Matthew Williamson and Betty Jackson before launching twenty8twelve with my sister Sienna in 2006.
Tell us a bit of info about the Debenhams Collaboration.
Debenhams have been collaborating with designers for years, and the results have been fantastic so I was really excited to be working with them. I wanted to create a collection that felt effortlessly cool and elegant providing women with those perfect smart, casual, cool separates which bring a wardrobe together.
What was the inspiration behind the collection for Debenhams?
I always try to imagine the woman who is going to wear the clothes in her most aspirational self. She is slightly bohemian, with the eclectic styling of a London woman and Parisian nonchalance.
What’s the key to a successful outfit?
Dress to suit yourself. Don’t stick religiously to trends and as long as you feel great in what you are wearing you’ve nailed it!
Any tips on stylish party dressing?
Understated glamour is imperative. If you go all out with the outfit, keep the makeup minimal and if you have very glamorous make up keep the outfit understated perhaps swapping heels for flat boots. Wearing a leather jacket over an evening dress can give it an amazing edge.
Which women would you define as style icons?
I always look to fabulous icons like Mick Jagger, Penelope tree and Patti Smith. Modern versions are my little sis Sienna, Poppy Delevigne, Alexa Chung and Suki Waterhouse.
We love Nine Savannah! Why did you want to join the Designers at Debenhams gang?
Debenhams have been doing fantastic collaborations with designers for years. I really enjoy working at the high street price point and couldn’t have chosen a more fantastic partner. They really understand what I am trying to achieve and have been a joy to work with.
Tell us what’s behind the name Nine?
Nine is my lucky number. This collection really feels like a coming of age for me so it felt like an appropriate name to give it.
You’ve had a bit of a break from the fashion industry lately. What have you been up to?
I did a collaboration with a Swedish on line retailer and also spent a year out living Robinson Crusoe style with my family on the beach in panama while my husband set up an adventure tour company.
Your sister Sienna is known as a true style icon. Did she inspire any of the pieces in the collection?We share a style aesthetic so inevitably things in the collection will feel like old favourites to her. The black sequin dress felt a little braver than anything I would normally do and I definitely was thinking of her when I designed it.
What is your favourite piece and how would you style it?
My favourite piece is the leather jacket because it’s the sort of piece that you can throw over anything and it will instantly pull your look together.
What drew you to designing for the high street? Do you think it’s important to make fashion more accessible?
Absolutely, I think it is really important to make this look available to everyone. It shouldn’t be exclusive to people of a particular earning capacity, size or age. My 18 year old cousin wears my clothes as does my mother and it looks equally fantastic on both of them. I have three children so affordable fashion that I can throw in the washing machine is a really important thing for me. I still want to look elegant and well-dressed despite the fact that most of the time I’m covered in ketchup.
The collection nails the whole ‘effortless French chic’ vibe – is that a style you love?
Absolutely, I think particularly Parisian women have a way of putting things together that seems so effortless and sexy but yet so chic.
Nine incorporates a lot of wardrobe staples like the LBD, skinny jeans and leather biker jacket. Do you think it’s important to invest in the classics?
Absolutely, we have refined these styles to be perfect wardrobe staples ensuring fit is super flattering and forgiving and cloth hand feel is exceptionally luxurious for the price point. The jeans sit just that little bit higher on the waist so you feel held and supported and with clever zip styling details the eye is drawn down to make them really flattering. The leather jacket is made with butter soft leather and is a classic. It’s the sort of thing I can see still being in my wardrobe in twenty years’ time.
Which autumn/winter 2015 trends are you championing with the collection?
I tend not to follow trends too strictly. Obviously they infiltrate the collection by osmosis but generally we focus on the pieces that we feel are missing from our wardrobes and that we are coveting. The summer collection is heaving with beautiful embroidery that I can’t wait to get my hands on!