Yaelle Caplan, Scarves designer

Who are you Yaelle?

British born, 24 years old.  My mother was born in Tunisia and then moved to Nice when she was 2 years old. This has always had a huge influence in my designs. My mother has always loved color and I was brought up to embrace it! … I design digitally printed silk scarves. All designed and made in the UK.

I gained a BA(hons) in fashion design at Manchester Metropolitan University. I then moved to London to do a work placement with Matthew Williamson. After 8 months of living in London I decided to go back to my hometown of Sheffield and I simply started designing prints.

Why did you decide to design scarves and how did it all start? 

At university I loved designing bright colored prints and using embroidery. Unfortunately some tutors encouraged us to use as many different shades of white as we could! I found this so frustrating. I often felt I was doing the wrong thing as when I looked around I felt like my designs didn’t fit in with everybody else’s.  It was when we had a request from London Fashion Week for a colourful outfit to be sent down to be photographed by Mary McCartney (Paul McCartney’s daughter) I had designed a floor length silk dress completely covered in my hand drawn prints and hand-sewn embroidery. It was published in The Mail on Sunday supplement ‘You magazine’ and was modelled by Leah Weller (Paul Weller’s daughter) It was then I realized I could do something with my prints.

When was your first collection born?

Around 4 months ago.

What were you doing for Matthew Williamson?

I was working closely with the print and embroidery designers. Working with the head print designer I was allowed to be really creative and contribute some of my own ideas. I helped design prints for both women wear and the menswear collection. I was also doing embroidery samples and placements.

It was an amazing experience and I learnt so much. I also helped backstage at the AW10 show. And was then invited to the after party!

Is he a source of inspiration?

While I was at university he had an exhibition on at the Urbis Gallery. I think I went to that exhibition about 5 times! It was then I truly fell in love with his work. I loved the unashamed approach to color and texture. It was really refreshing to see.

Ideally, if you had to design a line for a famous brand / designer, which one would it be?

I would actually love to design a range of home wear for a shop like habitat. I have so many ideas my prints could be related to. I really want to do bedding and cushions. I think I could relate my prints to all sorts of home wear. I made my mum some place mats with individually drawn Russian dolls on each place mat. I made them for her for mother’s day and she loves them. When she has guests round for dinner they always ask where they can buy them from!


Which celebrities would you be flattered to see wear your scarves?

I think at the moment it would have to be Rihanna, I love how she is so confident and not afraid to try out all different styles and most of all I love her music!

What is your “must have”  accessory for the summer?

It has to be the turban! If you take a square scarf you can cleverly wrap it round your head so it forms a turban. These look amazing in bright colors and patterns.

What is your favorite thing to do when you are in London?

I love going to this Vintage Magazine shop in Soho. It is packed with ever single issue of Vogue magazine from the very beginning. I feel like a kid in a candy store!

A favorite restaurant?

I love Busaba! This Thai restaurant in Soho. I used to go with my cousin after a long day at work. The smell when you walk in is amazing!

A favorite bar?

I went to the Ice Bar once with a friend and it was really fun…. You have to wear these huge fur coats and gloves and everything is made from ice. Even the shot glasses are made from ice! There were all these amazing carvings in the walls of ice of under the sea. We stayed there for about 30mins and got so cold we decided to leave!

A favorite shop?

The Marc by Marc Jacobs shop on the corner of Mount Street! I think I was a little obsessed with this shop! I had to walk past it on my way to work every morning!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I think I would like to live somewhere with a hot climate! I’m at my happiest in the sun! I spend a lot of time in the South of France. I love the climate and the way of life here. I think maybe one day I could see myself living here.

What’s next? Any project?

I really want to do a menswear collection! I have a lot of men asking me for individual designed scarves. Like the ones Chuck Bass wears on Gossip Girl!

I have also added a bespoke design service to my website. If there is a certain design someone wants me to draw I can design and make one off scarves for any occasion.

Prices: £140-£150
For more info and to buy Yaelle’s scarves, visit her website http://www.yaelle.co.uk

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