In her most personal and, self-confessedly, most eclectic collection yet, Roberta Einer pays homage to her grandmother and celebrates the inspiring life of the woman who taught her how to knit and embroider – and bring to life what have become the distinct design hallmarks of the Roberta Einer brand today.
The designer, who makes her second catwalk appearance this season, looks back to a project she was working on during her final year at the University of Westminster to revive ideas and techniques with the knowledge, experience and skills she has now as a four-year-old established brand. She combines this with the telling of her grandma’s story.
Motifs and embroideries inspired by artwork from Soviet era postcards and posters combine with traditional Russian embroidery, vintage scarves inspired prints for graphics on shirts and pyjamas, flowers and a remake and update of classic items from her grandmother’s wardrobe to frame the collection, which simultaneously marries Roberta Einer signatures; such as sequin-drenched disco trousers and embellished suits, as well as the smocking and denim stories from last season.
Via an Estonian knitting group, Einer recreates the crochet flowers her grandmother taught her to make when she was young; and rekindles her collaboration with knitwear designer Alice Lee.
Einer builds on this with puffa jackets that riff more on the side of a gardening jacket – for Einer’s grandmother was a keen gardener and once won a prize for the most beautiful garden given by Estonian president. It’s in this cherished memory that the collection is peppered with references: big retro crystal-shaped floral earrings – there are bold and bright snakes and geckos too; rich, lush mossy greens for a show-stopping sequin and frayed silk bomber-puffa; and the floral jacquard wrap-around buckled skirts, which also appear in tartan. The latter is a direct nod to her grandmother’s wardrobe, which Einer recalls had very many checks in it. The fabric also forms the basis of eveningwear, a new category from Einer this season, which sees the exploration of vintage Forties and Fifties shapes, dripping with sequins or wrapped up in tulle stars.
Luxury Womenswear designer Roberta Einer moved from her hometown of Tallinn, Estonia to London to study on the prestigious fashion courses at Central Saint Martins and the University of Westminster. During her studies she completed internships with Mary Katrantzou and Alexander McQueen, before moving to Paris upon graduation to assist at Balmain for a year where she continued to develop her craft.
Establishing her label upon her return to London, the Roberta Einer brand is now in its sixth season creating experimental, luxury womenswear which focuses on textiles and working with traditional couture techniques. Playful embellishments and hand-embroidery decorate specially sourced fabrics to create her daring more-is-more, feminine aesthetic.