Womenswear designer and Central St Martin's graduate Marios Schwab is fêted for his intricate, feminine designs. He chatted to Flo Wales Bonner about the London style scene, shopping in our capital and designing Aqua Kyoto’s roof terrace.
What are your favourite local shops?
What's the most fashionable bit of London?
'The St Martin's campus. Louise Wilson left a huge legacy at the school, and I was lucky to be part of that era. Even now you can sit in the square outside the building and just be surrounded by a great amount of young energy and ideas. It's still a legendary place to study.'
What inspires your designs?
'I'm not that interested in the fashion scene. I'm more interested in the unexpected that you can find in area with a diverse cultural make-up, like Ridley Road Market in Dalston. Skate parks are also interesting places to observe youth culture. And I spend a lot of time in Peckham - there are so many young artists there, with something interesting about the way they dress and put things together.'
You're obviously a people-watcher.
'I'm quite a voyeur. I'm very happy sitting with a coffee and watching people pass by. I often spend the evening walking my friend [stylist] Katy England's dog on Peckham Rye - it's a great way to spy on how people put together their casualwear.'
Most treasured possession?
'A box of memories. I collect museum tickets that remind me of special exhibitions, notes from ex-boyfriends, so many different things. I'm from Greece and I've been travelling since I was 15, moving cities, so I like to keep things to remind me of where I've been and what I've been doing.'
How did yo end up designing a roof terrace? We didn't see that one coming.
'I was approached to redesign the terrace of Aqua Kyoto restaurant on Regent Street and thought it was a great chance to experiment in a different medium. I revisited my spring/summer '15 collection for the project. When looking at an outdoor space there's lots to consider, including making everything fireproof and waterproof - I don't have to worry about that usually.'
How would you characterise London's fashion scene?
'it's a cliche but because London's a melting pot of ideas and cultures, you're free to be who you are. Which means people in all different jobs and from all different backgrounds are into fashion - it's not limited to "fashion people". And I think that's unique to this city.'
What's next for you?
'I'm working on my next collection. I can't tell you what to expect, I'm quite secretive. But it'll be out in December.'
Fashion inspiration from the capital's best-dressed
Beyond Retro Dalston
Beyond Retro's flagship vintage superstore houses a vast but well-edited collection of vintage and second-hand clothing for men and women as well as an on-site café benefitting from vintage tea sets, old Singer sewing machines for tables and free wi-fi. VIDEO: We took a look around Beyond Retro when it first opened six years ago Beyond Retro is number 22 in our list of the 100 best shops in London.