The latest edition of International Talent Support 2014 was full to the brim with fascinating creations, incredible artists and well-developed concepts.

Today we want to tell you about Anita Hirlekar (Iceland, 26 years-old), winner of the Best Fashion Collection award at ITS. She studied Fashion Design at the prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, and specialized in Prints before doing a Master’s at the same school in Textiles. The Master’s thesis she produced was even shown in the Autumn / Winter edition of London Fashion Week 2014.


Anita Hirlekar

Her internships for the program also took her to some of the biggest fashion houses: Christian Dior Couture (Paris) and Diane von Furstenberg (New York).

It was the unnamed collection that she presented at ITS, however, that really caught our attention with its daring colors, hand-sewn fabrics and the rough shapes which together created some interesting looks. The fabrics (sewn by Anita herself), reminded us of what embroidery looks like on the reverse and the final result was at the same time elegant and chaotic. Who ever said that embroidery had to be perfect and exact?

We couldn’t wait any longer so here at So Catchy! Where Fashion Begins talked with Anita Hirlekar recently to find out more about the creator of the unnamed collection that left everyone talking.


SO CATCHY!: Congratulations Anita. How are you feeling?

ANITA HIRLEKAR: Really happy and really excited.

SC!: Your pieces are unique and colorful… Could you tell us about the concept behind your collection?

AH: I wanted the collection to be seductive and have a strong sense of individuality so one look is unique.  I was inspired by the glamorous photographs of Guy Bourdin, marrying it with craft using strong artistic influences. I always give a lot of thought to the colours I use, I wanted to be quite brave with them, without it looking like an artist gone mental!  I used unexpected colour combinations, colours that you wouldn’t think of putting together but somehow work beautifully.

I think the idea of making things by hand is really modern. I love the idea of taking something from the past and reworking it to make something new.

SC!: It’s definitely a special collection, What techniques did you use?

AH: I used embroidery for my MA, all hand embroidered. Needlework is something that takes time, and can be quite intricate and delicate and usually in fashion quite detailed., I came across a few antique samples and to me they all had the backside saying a lot more  than the front side. The front side had this really intricate, organised craftsmanship and the on the backside there was this unique hand quality about it, quite organic and dramatic which can be hard to make in a machine. It looked like an artistic drawing. my collection was based around those samples… seeing the beauty in the imperfection. I want the embroidery to evoke more emotion to the quality of human handicraft. I also love the idea that people would find the embroidery slightly odd and question how its done.


SC!: What fabrics did you use to create the textures? They’re such an important part of your collection.

AH: All the textiles are made by me, embroidered with different threads, cotton, acrylic with sequins to get interesting textures.

SC!: How do you come up with your creations? Do you start directly from the first sketch?

AH:  The inspiration can be everywhere…fashion, art, film, photography. Usually inspiration comes when you least expect it.

SC!: What are you going to do now that you’ve won ITS?

AH: I’ve got a few things coming up, nothing I can say at the moment.

SC!: Are you selling anything?

AH: Not yet, that is something that is yet to come…


SC!: What kinds of people would you like to wear your clothes?

AH: Confident, strong personality and free spirited with elegance and a little bit witty

SC!: Your imposible dream is…

AH: Not impossible.

SC!: A place to lose yourself…

AH: In nature in Iceland

SC!: Are there any new designers that you like?

AH: I am a big fan of Thomas Tait.

SC!: You can’t live without…

AH: My wooly jumpers at the moment, it is cold in Iceland.

ITS Photo: Diana Gomez

Hair and make up: Margret Saemundsdottir.

Runway photos courtesy of London Fashion Week and

Translated by Michael Padilla

Want to see more?  Scroll Down!