Sarah studied constructed textiles at the Royal College of Art before launching a successful career as a designer, in which she’s managed to avoid being pigeon-holed into either lighting or jewellery category as she continues to work in both areas combining her collections with larger, bespoke projects for clients.
We tracked Sarah down to find out more about working with TOPSHOP, her fashion hero Hussein Chalayan and why everything happens for a reason . . .
Did you have a ‘big break’ moment?
I’ve had lots of big break moments and each one has led to the next. Being invited to be Designer in Residence at the Design Museum in 2008 was a massive step. I called all my family at 4am the first time I was featured in British Vogue in 2009. Being stocked at the V&A museum is a hugely exciting and here I am about to launch a collection in the greatest High Street Store in the world!
How was it working with such visionaries like Hussein Chalayan?
Fast paced, highly pressured and totally exhilarating. I decided when I graduated from my BA that he was the one designer I MUST work for. After two months of not being able to get a meeting, I went to his studios and just waited in reception until an assistant took pity and agreed to give me two minutes. I got my portfolio out on the floor in the middle of the entrance, everyone had to climb over to get through the door. Two hours later Hussein and I shook hands on our first collaboration. I’m very proud of that story of sheer determination. Hussein and I share a passionate for introducing new materials and technologies into fashion, we both love to break the rules. His drive to realise his visions is uncompromising and inspirational.
How did the collaboration with Freedom at Topshop come about?
This is a great ‘everything happens for a reason’ story. I couriered some gold chains to Paris Fashion Week last season and they didn’t arrive. I had three hours to find matching ones in Paris before the show opened, it seemed like a disaster. I asked a lady walking down the street if she knew where I should go, and thanks to her I got the chains. The next day the same lady came to my show and was surprised to see me there! I introduced myself as the designer, she was the buyer for Freedom at Topshop and had come to approach me about creating a collection (but she hadn’t known what I looked like). The rest is history!
What was your main inspiration?
What is it about jewellery that you love?
It’s shiny, I’m a human magpie.
Which designers – jewellery or otherwise – that you really admire?
Hussein Chalayan fuses technology and fashion seamlessly. His moving pieces are beautiful, integral and surreal – you don’t get the feeling that the mechanics are just there for a good story. I think that’s real style. I wish I had designed Thomas Heatherwick’s Rolling Bridge, Damien Hirst’s dot pictures, Jason Bruges Studio’s Panda Eyes installation [see video, above]
What’s your dream project?
I want one of my necklaces to be the inspiration for a building. Watch this space!
You can follow Sarah on Twitter if you like @SarahAngold