Monday 21st August 2017

Olivia Von Halle

I caught up with fashionista and designer Olivia Von Halle about her new luxury pyjamas brand which are taking London by storm…

What do you do and how did you end up doing it? I was working as a trend forecaster in Shanghai, China and had the most incredible tailor. He was every girl’s wildest dream and could replicate Lanvin dresses from pages torn out of Vogue. One day I started fantasising about how elegant it would be to have a beautiful pair of printed silk pyjamas to lounge around in when coming home from partying with friends.  He made me a pair and I instantly became addicted to them and started wearing them all the time. Friends begged me to make them some and before I knew it I had an order list longer than my tailor could ever manage, so I decided to launch the Olivia von Halle brand.

What are you working on at the moment? I am designing my SS/13 collection which I will be showing in Paris in July. We design and manufacture all our own silk so we have to be really ahead of schedule.

Who are your favorite artists/designers at the moment? Fashion is my art – I am absolutely hopeless in art galleries and always end up spending more time in the shop at the end than in the gallery. Designer wise – Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen leaves my jaw on the floor season after season… also Mary Katranzou has turned the print world on its head with her incredible designs.

Why fashion over art? It comes down to a very basic button which is pushed by fashion and which art never quite reaches. The dry mouth, racing heart, head rush and want want want to WEAR IT. Not something I have ever felt in a gallery.

What makes you laugh? My boxer dog Bathtub is an endless source of amusement.

What gets you out of bed in the morning? A large cup of earl grey tea, with milk and the bag left in.

Perfect holiday destination? I’m going to have to say the Maldives purely so I can show off that I’m off there for New Year. Soooooo excited!!

What’s your favorite London hangout? The Drapers Arms pub in Islington. Amazing food, hot cider in the winter, Pimms in the summer and they let dogs in. Heaven.

What annoys you? I listen to Radio 4 day and night and occasionally you get people who make this ghastly salivary noise when they speak. Horrific.

What inspires you? I am inspired by the eccentric British aristocracy – I love the faded glamour and the history of the houses and families with a good dose of British madness thrown into the mix..

Where’s your perfect place to get down with a good book? In the bath, with another big cup of Earl Grey tea. For this reason none of my friends or family will lend me books anymore – I destroy them.

What are your current obsessions? Manchego and quince, Ottolenghi brownies and salted caramel. None of which I’m allowed right now as I’m on the New Evolution diet (and is why I’m obsessing about them….)

Favorite film? My family and I have watched the BBC adaptation of Cold Comfort Farm starring Kate Beckinsdale and Joanna Trollope on an almost weekly basis since we were tiny. The test of a new boyfriend was to see if they could stay awake the whole way through – my husband was the only one who managed it (hence the reason I married him).

You can wear 3 designers for the rest of your life. Who are they? Celine for everyday perfection pieces, Jonathan Saunders to indulge my love of print and Givenchy Couture to outshine everyone else at the party.

Last fashion disaster? Wow. I had my tailor copy a Mathew Williamson pink trouser suit. It came out very pink, very shiny and very, very wrong. It is now in the fancy dress box.

What is the most exciting thing that has happened to you? Riding home on my first pony. He turned out to be an absolute pig but I couldn’t have been more in love with him.

What’s on your bedside table? A Diptyque candle, stack of intellectual books I will never get round to reading and 6 different types of moisturizer; for face, eyes, hands, body, feet and nails. I am obsessed with moisturizer.

What do you talk about with your hairdresser? Sex. Always.

What can we find in your handbag? Miu Miu purse, iphone, Nars lip pencil in Dragon Girl, Chanel powder, Aveeno hand cream, old dry cleaning receipts and if I’m feeling really switched on my house keys.

What do you never leave the house without?  A full face of slap and a decent outfit.

What can we expect from you next? Silk nightshirts with matching hot pants.

What do you think will be the next big trend after pajamas? Silk nightshirts with matching hot pants!

[Above Olivia von Halle]. To buy her beautiful pjyamas click here.


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