Founded in 2018, Patrick McDowell has swiftly risen to prominence, challenging the conventional paradigms of the fashion industry. With a steadfast commitment to creating luxury sustainable fashion that centers around the client and the art of making, McDowell has navigated the complexities of building and maintaining an independent brand with admirable tenacity and vision.
In this exclusive dialogue with DSCENE Magazine‘s editor Pavle Banovic, we engage with the visionary designer Patrick McDowell, who shares with us the ethos behind his brand, highlighting the journey of resilience, innovation, and a deep-rooted commitment to sustainability.
As an independent brand founded in 2018, could you tell us about the challenges and efforts involved in building and maintaining it? – I’ve always wanted to do things differently at Patrick McDowell, I wanted to create a luxury sustainable brand that centres the client and craftsmanship. It’s been challenging and rewarding to do things differently. To really value clothing and create pieces that last for a lifetime. I believe in this way of working and I’m happy that over the last 5 years I’ve stuck to those values.
Your brand takes pride in contributing to the circular economy in fashion, particularly with your latest collection crafted entirely from sustainable fabrics. How is this achieved, and how does working with such materials foster innovation? – We work with a myriad of different materials to create our collections , from the finest vintage silks to new fabric innovations pushing the boundaries of material innovation. We use materials that can be returned to the earth. Working with such materials also fosters innovation by challenging traditional design methods, encouraging experimentation with new techniques, and pushing the boundaries of sustainable and circular fashion.
Your commitment to offering redesign, repair, and restoration services for its pieces is noteworthy. Why is this aspect important, and how does it contribute to the overall sustainability of the fashion industry? – Our commitment in offering redesign, repair, and restoration services helps extend the lifespan of garments, it reduces waste and promotes a more responsible consumption. It speaks to our commitment to garments for life, so you know that when your body changes or when you decide to pass your piece onto future generations, we are here to help with that.
The SS24 collection with the Rambert Dance Company centered around dance. How did dance and working with dancers impact the design and creative processes in these collaborations? – We were originally inspired by Marie Rambert’s life, Her tenacity and drive to push the dance world forward. Working with dancers impacts the design and creative processes by introducing movement, fluidity, and expression into the collections. The collaboration fosters a unique synergy between fashion and performance arts, celebrating the beauty of movement.
Ultimately that’s my favourite feeling – creating pieces for clients that make them feel more confident and beautiful. That’s why I do this.
Inclusivity and support for queer communities are significant aspects of your brand, as well as personal life. Could you shed light on the importance of these values and share insights on how to incorporate them genuinely and effectively? – Inclusivity and support for queer communities are integral values of the brand ethos and my personal life as they promote diversity, representation, and acceptance within the fashion industry and society at large. Incorporating them genuinely and effectively involves ensuring diversity in casting, representation in marketing campaigns, and actively supporting LGBTQ+ organizations and initiatives. For me this is part of our sustainable story.
Dressing several celebrities, is there someone you would like to highlight as particularly special or memorable in any way? – Dressing Nicole Scherzinger for the British fashion Awards was wonderful. We worked to create an incredible gown crafted from biodegradable materials and made it here in London reducing the carbon footprint of the dress. Nicole has just finished playing Norma in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset boulevard. She was incredible on stage. It was such a joy to create something that captured her during this new chapter in her life. Ultimately that’s my favourite feeling – creating pieces for clients that make them feel more confident and beautiful. That’s why I do this.
My collections are like writing a book, and telling the story through the clothes. I’m inspired by people who have pushed boundaries and done things differently.
Is there something—a book, person, or place—that has consistently served as a source of inspiration for you over the past few years? – I’m inspired by stories, people and places and the lives they have lived. My collections are like writing a book , and telling the story through the clothes. I’m inspired by people who have pushed boundaries and done things differently like Marie Rambert.
In the world of fashion this year, what would you like to witness more of, and conversely, what would you prefer to see less of? – We are in an interesting time in Fashion, I want to see more creative expression and marry that with sustainable innovation. I’d love to see people trying new things and stepping into their power.
Can you share any exciting upcoming developments or projects for the brand? – Our latest client focused collection has just released ‘ Eurydice’ , a selection of pieces made to order and limited edition , meaning that they fit and suit you perfectly. And our runway collection Orpheus’ Ball will show on Saturday 17/2.
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