Giles Deacon Reveals The Secrets Behind His Latest Ariel Collaboration

giles deacon ariel collaboration

by Katie Rosseinsky |
Published on

We've all tentatively placed a favourite dress or T-shirt into the washing machine and crossed our fingers, only to open the door and find it (often literally) to be half the garment we parted with an hour ago.

Giles Deacon's latest fashionable endeavour seeks to combat precisely that moment. The designer and Ariel ambassador has joined forces with the brand once again, this time to create clothes that look just as good as new after they've been through a spin cycle. The result, the Redefine Clean Eek! collection, takes Deacon's instantly recognisable design hallmarks and translates them into vibrant, accessible styles.

We caught up with the designer to learn more about his new collaboration...

How did the idea for this collection come about?

I've been Ariel's ambassador for three years, and the combination of fashion and technology is something I'm really fascinated by. We started off in the beginning with the concept of making clothes that people couldn't ever imagine being able to put in a washing machine - ballgown-y affairs in very unusual fabrics. This collection was designed to be much more affordable, with interchangeable pieces that have been fully wash tested. During the design process, someone from Ariel came up with the clever idea that we stain the hell out of things and then shoot the campaign video. We basically sprayed these predominantly white garments with everything from mango sorbet to strawberry jam, then put them through the one wash test: they came out not only clean but looking as good as new. You'd never know it had been through that process.

Fashion-wise, what was your point of inspiration for this collection?

First, I knew I wanted it to be aspirational yet accessible. The [Ariel] collections have always been demonstrations of what the products could do. With the 3 in 1 pods, we wanted to make it a viable proposition with the pop-up shop experiment, so people could see the technology in action for themselves. We took some of the sporty graphics and colours from my previous collections: they're sports-inspired styles, without actually being sportswear. It was important that the styles would suit every woman, and still have the Giles signature.

Which signature styles did you end up using?

Print, particularly animal prints, always plays a big part in my collections, and then we introduced the little mouse character, that felt quite cheeky and fun.

giles deacon ariel collaboration
Giles Deacon x Ariel Collaboration ©ARIEL

What do you think is the key to a successful crossover collaboration?

It needs to have a strong message behind it – there needs to be a real reason for it to happen. I take my involvement in collaborations very seriously, and helping to make people’s clothes stay looking as good as new for as long a time as possible is a really positive thing. If you’ve invested money in buying a piece, you don’t want it to just disintegrate. We all have that first wash anxiety, when that great t-shirt you’ve just bought shrinks away to nothing.

What was the biggest difference (or similarity) between working on your couture collections and working on this project?

With couture, the great thing is that each piece has its own character, and you have space to explore and continue themes season after season. At the same time, I've always believed in democracy of design, and so I love the fact that we can put in the same amount of effort as we would with a couture collection, in a slightly different way. It's just as involving as couture, in terms of the science and technology that makes the garments work at an affordable price. I appreciate that not everyone can afford couture, and it's great to know that your collection is accessible and affordable. It's taken about a year in work and development to find the right fabrics.

Who would your dream client be during awards season?

I’ve been so spoilt on that front with so many wonderful clients, from Cate Blanchett through to Miss Piggy. Rooney Mara is someone I’d like to dress; we’ve not worked with her before and she certainly has very interesting personal style.

See Giles Deacon's Redefine Clean Eek! collection in action with Ariel's 3in1 pods in the video below

Win an Eek! Giles Deacon dress

Fancy the chance to win your own dress from Giles' Redefine Clean Eek! collection? Simply enter the competition below by selecting your size (small, medium or large) and registering your details. Good luck!

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