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Avsh Alom Gur, backstage, London Fashion Week

The celebrated London-based designer reveals his unique take on the 'credit crunch' and his love of rubbish to MARIAN BUCKLEY.

For the last three seasons, Avsh Alom Gur has managed to combine designing for the relaunched Ossie Clark label with collections under his own name. This fall/winter Av's woman is truly indulging herself.

There are glamorous floor-sweeping corset dresses with netted petticoats in soft shades of dusky pink, daring asymmetric catsuits and a powerful oversized trench coat. Along with florals, the collection is punctuated by two beautiful dancing girl prints.

With immaculate finishing and tailoring, this collection of just 15 looks is one of his most focused to date. Juxtaposed with his luxurious approach, Av addresses economic issues head on with a series of crystal declaring 'Credit Crunch' across his clothes.

 - Avsh Alom Gur, backstage, London Fashion Week
©Marian Buckley
 "As I was designing the collection I had this mad vision of a ball in Paris with these beautiful virgins looking for husbands," explains Av backstage.

"Funnily enough I have realized that that has all happened when the whole world is doom and gloom. If you only have one party to go to, spend one more credit card that you can't afford anyway."

"You might as well just splash and go mad and do those things you shouldn't do like put crystals all over your body and have fantastic dresses that use 15 meters of fabric, because if you are going to be bankrupt you might as well look fantastic."

So while other designers may have decided to take a sober, somber approach this season, budgetary concerns have had the opposite effect in Av's world.
"Fashion is about fantasy," he says. "It's not like the car industry where they can say 'right, let's stop making cars for six months'  - I don't think people will stop buying clothes for three years because there is a problem. They will just buy different clothes and in vision they will buy mad ones! "

©Marian Buckley
For a man who usually explores his ideas in dozens of outfits, creating 15 looks is a big change, but what we may have missed in quantity was made up for in quality.

"This collection is definitely inspired by and aspiring towards couture, towards the creation of an idea. I think by now having done shows with 40 and 45 looks which always have been done on a shoe string, I have proved I can do it.

"Creatively, Avsh Alom Gur is bursting with ideas and he's brave enough to make last minute decisions. "The idea of the 'credit crunch' came to me on Friday," he reveals. "I did my collection and then I hated it! So I made it again. I re-made three outfits yesterday. I don't have sketches or patterns for them, I had the idea and we just made them."
Collaborations have become a key part of Avsh Alom's working methods and this is an area which brings him satisfaction.
"I collaborate every season with young up and coming people, whether it's Kate Ruth my stylist, Kaoru who does my knitwear or Omoe who does my music: all these individuals bring something very unique to the show. I think that when you are starting out, it can be very lonely but now we are like an ideas factory and therefore I am able to bounce ideas - it's not so personal any more. If something doesn't work it goes out of the window."
©Marian Buckley

We've already witnessed Av's love of rubbish: his entire spring/summer 2008 collection was formed from discarded objects and refuse gathered from the streets of London!

This season he created an art installation for Vauxhall Fashion Scout, transforming rubbish into art. Hardly surprising, then, that his dream job involves piles of the stuff!
"If I could go to a dump yard for three months and just color-co-ordinate it first and then shape co-ordinate it and then mess it all around that's what I would love to do" he enthuses, before changing his mind.

"This is quite a spoiled idea actually, because I am actually doing what I want to do. It's tough, it's deranging and it is making me insane sometimes, but it is what I want to do.

Doing two labels, Ossie Clark and my own is two parts of my personality. I am actually very grateful for that." He beams a huge smile and heads off to meet Mrs Gur, his formidable partner in business as well as life.

More interviews from Fashion Week:
William Tempest
- Emma Bell
- Paul Smith
- Harriet's Muse

Catwalk photos and reports here.

Marian Buckley


Fashion Editor
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