Having launched just over 2 years ago by London-based Central Saint Martins graduate Lillie Hand, MISCREANTS is one of the hottest newcomers to watch, with the founder/designer stands firmly behind the brand’s rebellious nature that transcends from soul to sartorial attitude.
The brand, known for its daring yet flirty designs as well as the signature matching dress and opera glove sets, has taken the hypercritical industry and the hard-to-please Gen Z consumer demographic by storm. The label’s reasonably priced yet ultra-stylish pieces are frequently featured in prestigious editorial titles such as British VOGUE, TATLER, DAZED, and have been seen on new fashion royalties including Sydney Sweedey, Lizzo, Harry Styles and Doja Cat.
The new campaign shoot features Claire Caudwell at her home in Staffordshire, England, and emanates an unmissable air of alluring old-school glamour combined with a heavy dose of self-indulgence.
Speaking of the collaboration with Hawkins, founder/designer Hand says: “I’ve been following Alice’s work for years, finding endless inspiration in her documentation of fashion, showcasing real people in their natural surroundings, bringing a sense of normality to a world that thrives on smoke and mirrors. Our pre fall collection was directly inspired by her editorial stories, the contrast of romance and real life.”
“The new collection is built on the mystique of the brand,” Hand continues: “We live for the extravagance, which is very clear from my designs! But we also want to champion real women, the extraordinary of the ordinary.”
Angela Lei (AL): What inspires you as a designer and entrepreneur? And is there a particular moment in history or famous personality that inspired the brand’s aesthetics?
Lillie Hand (LH): Running a brand means you have to wear a lot of different hats, and sadly not all of them are glamorous! I thrive when travelling, taking in new experiences and surroundings. I try to give myself creative breaks when I get the rare opportunity. It’s so important to take the time to reflect on your work, which is easier said than done.
I have always been inspired by the glamor and extravagance of the golden age of Hollywood and spent a lot of time in LA myself, which only helped to inspire me more. Zsa Zsa Gábor, Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren and many other screen icons really helped push the initial MISCREANTS aesthetic. I feel like a lot of people can get caught up in trying to create something completely new, but with MISCREANTS, I wanted to look to the past. For me as a designer it’s much more important how people feel in my garments than them being revolutionary. I want people to put on our dresses and feel that timeless glamor and strength.
AL: Favorite pieces from this campaign?
LH: It has to be the Zsa Zsa robe (the pink robe featuring a blend of unicorn-colored feathers). It’s a piece that has been in the back of my mind for ages and to see it come to life was really rewarding.
AL: In a post-pandemic world where many think we are heading towards a recession, your theatrical style seems to have resonated with many and remains popular with consumers. Why do you think this is?
LH: Looking back at history, the more turbulent times tend to be followed by the most exciting fashion. I love the idea that people wearing Miscreants can take a step back from reality and feel aspirational and maybe even let their alter ego out to play… especially after all the lockdowns and restrictions. There is always time for glamor and I hope MISCREANTS is helping people to explore that side of themselves.
AL: How would you describe MISCREANTS in one word?
LH: Powerful. I know that our designs give a lot of people permission to give into their more glamorous side, our styles are made for bodies, not for hangers.
AL: What prompted you to start your own brand, without following the footpath of many who would work for big name design houses first? What do you find the most challenging as a designer/entrepreneur?
LH: It’s really hard to do your own thing — although sometimes it would be nice to have the inside scoop of how the big names do it, but that can also hold you back. When I started MISCREANTS I didn’t ever expect it to turn into a business, it started with just one dress and everything since then has just happened organically. It’s difficult to manage your time and a lot of it is a guessing game, but it means that every day, if not every couple of hours, you’re learning and growing. Balancing what I want to do as a designer versus what I should be doing as an entrepreneur can be challenging, but I take that project by project and collection by collection.
AL: What do you love the most about the industry you are in?
LH: It seems like now more than ever there is a real uncertainty within the industry. Over the pandemic I noticed there is a lot more transparency about the inner workings of it and in my eyes, a bit more honesty about how difficult it can be to keep up with seasons and the endless demand for new. I really appreciate that there seems to be comradery between designers. Personally, seeing other brands do well only drives me to do better myself, I really love the challenge!
AL: Fun facts about MISCREANTS or you as the founder?
LH: Fun facts or secrets? I’ll give you a bit of both, as a true MISCREANT would!
– When I finally registered MISCREANTS I had actually intended to be a streetwear brand, which I still laugh about because we couldn’t have gone further from that direction!
– I wear my own pieces before they go out into a collection — it’s so important to me to know how my customers feel in my garments and finding any little changes to make them better.
– I take HUGE inspiration from real people, I love going to an event and seeing not only what people are wearing, but how they are wearing it. Especially someone in head to toe vintage — that really inspires me. People watching is hugely important to me, rarely to recreate an actual style but more to try and capture a certain feeling, the way someone carries themself or they way they move in certain fabrics tends to give me more ideas than anything.
You can now order MISCREANTS’ new made to order collection via the brand’s website at www.miscreantslondon.com.