04.02.2013 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

They say that behind every great man there’s a great woman… and behind every great man’s great wardrobe is an even greater woman. Especially if his clothes rail is crammed to the sides with 1205 – the unisex fashion label set up by the tailor–turned–fashion designer, Paula Gerbase. “I had been on Savile Row for five years and felt it was time to move on to new challenges,” Paula told Twin. “I wanted to explore the possibility of taking the knowledge I had acquired on Savile Row further – that is when I launched 1205.” With previous experiences under her belt that nestle within both the womenswear and menswear market, Gerbase set out to create 1205 as a brand accessible for both men and women, but with a sartorial aesthetic which is consistent between both lines, focusing on the intriguing balance between femininity and masculinity.

Following a successful presentation of the latest menswear collection during London Collections: Men earlier this year, 1205 will also be debuting their Autumn/ Winter 2013 womenswear offering through the renowned NEWGEN initiative at London Fashion Week this month. Whether it’s due to excitement or curiosity (or perhaps just downright impatience) we decided that we couldn’t wait much longer so we asked Paula to give us more of an insight into 1205 plus an exclusive cheeky sneak peek of what fabrics, textures and colours feature in the new womenswear collection…


Firstly, what’s behind the name 1205?

1205 is simply the day I was born. To me it signifies the beginning – a fresh start. I had no interest in having my name on a label, I really just wanted to make clothing, and the graphic anonymity of 4 numbers felt right.

Although tailoring is very much a significant and fundamental feature to 1205, did you find the transition from designing for a traditional tailoring atelier to creating a contemporary fashion label challenging?

The most challenging part of 1205 has been to find manufacturers who are willing to find the balance between tradition and modernity, working with unusual fabrics, lighter constructions but still retaining a defined silhouette. My experience on Savile Row was with a tailor who was forward thinking and so the transition between Savile Row and 1205 was a natural progression.

Harvey Nichols hosted your latest menswear presentation during London Collections: Men earlier this month – how did that go?

Harvey Nichols hosted a preview of the collection, but in a way it was more of an introduction to the 1205 aesthetic, through Kindness’s performance wearing bespoke 1205. The idea was to collaborate with other creatives to showcase the wearability and versatility of the collection, as well as to show tailoring in movement, removing it from its usual rigid representation.

Does your personal style reflect similarities to the androgynous/ masculine aesthetic of your own womenswear designs?

It was never intentional, but my personal aesthetic probably does reflect in the collection. I have always loved men’s clothing for its attention to detail, focus on fabric and cut and its considered construction – I have worn men’s pieces for as long as I can remember. The subtle thought process and continuity of a man’s wardrobe was always interesting to me; they are values 1205 encompasses also.

You will be showcasing your Autumn/Winter ’13 womenswear collection next month as part of the NEWGEN exhibitions at London Fashion Week – any hints as to what we can expect? What was the inspiration?

The Autumn/ Winter 2013 collection is based on a few ‘Recits de Voyage’ I found by a Swiss writer and photographer who was most prolific between 1934 and 1942. They inspired a collection about travel, which translated into a redefining of the new 1205 uniform playing with contrasts of formal/casual fabrics and shapes, as well as introducing new fabrics such as waterproof flannel and knitwear. As ever, the focus of the 1205 collection is on subtle details and texture contrasts.

Who is your all time style hero?

Anyone with a strong sense of self, someone original!



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