A travel experience can leave a long-lasting impact on a person, hugely influencing the way in which they see the world, as well as the work that they do. This is the case for many fashion designers, both up and coming as well as established, who find a constant stream of inspiration from traveling, creating fantasy-like collections that are not only desirable, but also extremely wearable.
Marchesa was founded by duo Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, who came up with the idea for the brand whilst travelling in India. Since then, they have continued to travel extensively around the world, to places such as Peru and the Dominican Republic, and have used these travels as inspiration for collections. A recent collection showcased the duo’s take on a wardrobe that can easily be packed, and featured printed loose pants and peasant tops. They also recently launched the Marchesa Voyage Exclusive Collection, with garments inspired by their global travels. In addition to being inspired by travel, the duo are designing for other women who also love to travel, whether for business or for pleasure, with many collections being influenced by the excitement of visiting and exploring a new place.
Matthew Williamson set up his label in 1997, after his love of travel inspired him to become a designer. Cornering the jet-set, bohemian market, Matthew Williamson gained a strong following for his use of bold colors and kaleidoscopic prints. He continues to travel at least once a month to seek out inspiration for new collections, with some of his favorite destinations being Marrakech, Mykonos and Beirut. Kerala, in India, is of particular inspiration to him, reminding him of a more beautiful version of Venice, and providing him with plenty of ideas for spring and summer collections that exude a relaxed and earthy way of life. The team at Matthew Williamson have recently announced a new website that will offer free global shipping and six smaller collections, rather than two larger ones, making his travel-inspired clothes more accessible.
Ulla Johnson launched her line in 2000, shortly after graduating from university, and subsequently produced collection after collection inspired by her travels around the world. The garments are effortlessly chic, with a bohemian quality. In addition to using her travels to inspire the designs, Ulla Johnson also uses traditional techniques from around the world to construct her garments, such as knitwear that has been hand-loomed in Peru and Shibori prints that were hand-dyed in India. She has also recently launched some denim pieces and swimwear, all with the fine tailoring and custom embroidery that has become synonymous with her brand.
Travel, with the excitement of exploring a new destination and experiencing an adventure, will continue to influence fashion designers for seasons to come. Whether they use travel as inspiration for new ideas, or create new garments that are aimed to be travel-friendly, all designers seem to be united by the fact that they all share this exciting and never-ending source of inspiration.