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Sera Ulger

Interview: Sera Ulger

This month saw London-based designer Sera Ulger join up with Malibu to release a limited edition summer bottle. The conceptual print designer captures her vibrant and energetic designs, transferring them onto one of this season’s favourite drink! This year to celebrate the collaboration with Sera Ulger, Malibu Rum has also commissioned an exclusive capsule collection which will feature the limited edition feather print and includes four structured dresses, a bikini and a swimsuit – showcasing the company’s ongoing support for British talent. I caught up with the expressive Ulger to talk about her brand and what we can expect in the future…

Planet Notion: Tell us a bit about your label and how you began designing?
Sera Ulger: Art has had such a huge impact on my journey to designing womenswear. I discovered that I could express my art and paintings through fashion and textiles; I’ve always wanted to design clothes that women feel amazing in. Designing prints and being able to adorn the female form with my paintings/ illustrations is the best feeling ever. Sera Ulger London is formed to create collections that have FUN written all over them – through my use of luxury fabrics and shapes it allows the designs to become sophisticated but edgy.

PN: Where did you grow up and how did this influence you?
SU: It’s been quite the experience actually and a major influence on my style. I was born in London Dalston then moved to Portsmouth, so a drastic difference, and I am now back home again. Living in two totally different worlds has given me the advantage to really adapt to a style that creates pretty and attractive with a particular feel that only London gives you.

PN: What was it like studying at Ravensbourne, what key skills did you gain from the course?
SU:Studying at Ravensbourne was an amazing experience. I formed close bonds with such influential tutors who I have maintained a great connection with to this day. Working in the fashion department allowed me to develop my skills in pattern cutting, designing prints and I created my unique style, which all lead to forming my own label.

PN: With your prints, you have set the bar for maximalism…
SU: I love colour and prints! I think the beauty of prints lay within making the colours work, and textures, which are the best parts of designing. I like using bold prints that stand out, and playing with scale on the shapes.

PN: What is your aesthetic?
SU: My aesthetic is discovering new design ideas to use for my prints, by taking something small and appreciating its beauty.

PN: Who is your fashion idol?
SU: I first fell in love with prints after discovering Roberto Cavalli. His work inspired me to design and create stunning clothes that would make a woman feel sexy and exaggerate a woman’s confidence. Also, Stella McCartney has to be one of the most successful labels, I really believe the brand has everything to offer.

PN: You have collaborated with some great brands such as Topshop, how did this come about?
SU: Designing prints for Topshop and ASOS was pretty awesome, especially so soon after graduating! Learning to design for the high street gives you a bit more sense to commerciality, and this is something I’ve definitely aimed to work into my brand.

PN: Can you tell us about your most recent work with Malibu?
SU: Collaborating with Malibu has been an honour. They’ve really allowed me to be expressive with the way I design and creating the bottle was absolutely amazing. The again, being given the opportunity to design and create the Couture Collection has gone beyond what I could have expected. The limited edition bottle and fashion line definitely captures the sense of summer.

PN: What has been the highlight of your career so far?
SU: Working in the industry for over three years in such diverse areas, such as – printing for high street, bespoke tailoring – and creating my own label has been a huge learning curve. I feel so lucky to have been able to explore so many areas in fashion and meet truly great people who have taught me a lot. Starting up my label has definitely been the best experience so far, it’s brilliant to see how I have worked and how I have put myself out there!

PN: With so many digital advances in technology, how important is silk screen printing to the fashion industry today?
SU: I believe that silk screen still has and always will be a huge part of fashion. It has such a unique feel to it, and the fact that it’s the first form of printing gives it that quality of something quite precious.

PN: What do you love most about London?
SU: The city’s culture and style, I love everything that London has to offer! Especially the food.

PN: What’s next?
SU: I’m working on the next season, and creating some gorgeous and exciting accessories too! I want to really concentrate on my business and make it successful. I would also really enjoy doing more collaboration in the future, designing on some more amazing collections.

- Hardeep Gill

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