Style Stories - Maria Grachvogel
Maria Grachvogel, 42, Fashion designer
What is a typical day at work for you?
I walk to work every day through the park, which gives me time to think and plan my day. My morning times are my most productive and creative, so I try and keep these clear for creative tasks, problem solving or tasks that require a lot of thought. I reserve the afternoons for meetings, catching up with my team and any emails and correspondence. I try and leave by 6pm to have some time with my son before he goes to bed.
How long have you been doing this job?
I have been designing as long as I can remember- ever since I was 8 years old I knew this was what I wanted to do and I have constantly worked towards that aim. I started the Maria Grachvogel label in 1991 and in 1994 took my first exhibition stand at London Fashion Week, which is when the business really started to take shape.
How did you get to where you are today?
I have a real passion for my work - I am constantly pushing myself to achieve new ways to sculpt, cut and fit around a woman's body and I am constantly inspired by many different women. I have always said how lucky I am to be doing something I love so completely. This gives me a determination to succeed and the ability to carry on when things get tough.
What is your go-to outfit for a night out?
One of my fabulous jumpsuits - I always know they are perfect for any evening out whether it's dinner, cocktails or dancing and I always feel fabulous in them.
What is your go-to outfit for an important meeting?
My current favourite dress is the Bolt dress in sand from my SS12 collection which is in store at the moment with my sleeve scarf always in my bag in case it's chilly. For me it's the perfect dress - so glamorous yet understated with the ease and simplicity of a T-shirt and in the sand it's a perfect summer neutral that works with lots of different accessories.
Where do you go for your style inspiration?
I am inspired constantly by nature and all things around me and I am constantly absorbing things. My creative process is completely free and I love to simply allow the ideas to come through. For this I need time to reflect and just be so I ensure I make time for this and also time to travel and immerse myself in nature.
What is your latest style obsession?
Summer jumpsuits for day ... the ease of a dress but so much more comfortable and takes you on so easily to anything after work.
Whose wardrobe would you love to raid?
Katherine Hepburn in her heyday
What do you think can make or break an outfit?
The way that you wear it - it's totally about attitude and choosing an outfit that works totally with who you are as a woman.
What should people look for when putting an outfit together?
The best piece of advice is always dress to make yourself feel comfortable - this always gives an ease and a sense of effortlessness that is the ultimate in style.
What is your favorite eBay find ever?
Some Victorian silver teaspoons that I bought as a christening gift
What is your dream get away?
I love travel and being immersed in nature, so love anywhere that has great natural beauty where I can walk, explore, take photos and generally immerse myself with the great beauty that surrounds us.
What song would you listen to on repeat?
I am never bored of Soul to Soul, though I would be hard pushed to choose just one song!
What is your guilty pleasure?
Cheese- I think I could definitely eat an entire pot of Vacherin Mont D'Or ..