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International fashion & style: Meet Joe Mitchell, grand artisan

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Last in this week’s build up to Milan is someone who would fit into any fashion capital. Most importantly Joe Mitchell might be considered a “grand or master artisan” and perhaps one of a dying breed of the highly skilled artisans who would usually be found in the ateliers of Paris. Alas, he lives and operates out of the London area and is sought after by some of the world’s most renowned designers. His “oeuvre” is non-pareil and in many ways as rare as a rooster with socks on ... if you catch my drift.

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In my travels and years I find Mr. Mitchell to be a most unique “find” as he combines his skills with his intelligence and produces, well in my estimation, works of art. He indeed lends credence to the quandary of whether fashion is art and after you see his work you will agree, without hesitation, yes … fashion is art! And BTW, he has a superb sense of humor!

Here a little bit of how a creative mind thinks and lives... meet Joe Mitchell!

1-What is the most treasured possession in your wardrobe?

A Victorian mourning veil, it’s a bit tatty but it’s beautiful!

2-What is your most sterling trait and what trait do you treasure most in your friendships?

I like people who make me laugh! You would have to ask other people about mine, hopefully the kind ones…

3-What is your bliss?

Trawling through the internet for sequins and beads and all the other things…

4-What is your guilty secret?

I’m addicted to cake and desserts

5-Where is your ideal home?

I already live there

6-If you could not be a designer/retailer/etc.: what would you be

Well I only really do what I do for my hobby; I have a civilian job to pay the bills.

7-What is on your bedside table right now?

A few books, a photo of my cat, a photo of my mother and TV remotes

8-What do you wear to bed?

A CHANEL peignoir. Not really, I wear underwear to bed.

9-What if any, book are you reading now or last read?

Hmmmm, I read constantly, it’s the greatest invention of mankind! Currently engrossed in a biography of a WWII female allied spy, and the usual technique and pattern books.

10-What’s your advice to the “newcomer?”

That you have to be as good at business and self-promotion as you making clothes, maybe more so.

11-Who or what is your inspiration/style icon?

The Machesa Casati for women, and Hercule Poirot.

12-What is the best advice you ever received?

All advice is useless…

13-In 3 words or less, describe the current state of fashion.

Branding killed talent

14-If you were a retailer; would you wear your own designs or shop in your own store? or where would you shop?

I dress very plainly, so I don’t think I would wear anything I made

15-If you won a $200,000,000 power ball (lottery), what is the first thing you would buy or do?

I would give 200 of my struggling friends enough to set them up in business, or get them out of it…!

16-If you could invite up to 4 people for dinner, who would they be…dead or alive?

Dominick Dunne

Germaine de Stael

Christian Dior

Colin McDowell

17-What is your favorite movie /or movie star?

Favourite Movie: Dangerous Liaisons

Actor: Cate Blanchett

18-What is the one thing you would change about yourself?

I’d like to change a lot of things, but I am working on that!

19-Whose opinion do you value most and why?

I am very lucky to have a few people in my life whose opinion I trust, they know who they are.

20-What store or which designer do you most like to shop in or wear?

I absolutely loathe shopping more than I can articulate, I wear variations of the same thing, as long as it is well made and is inconspicuous then it catches my eye.

21-What’s your take on magazines, books versus the internet?

I think that the role of magazines has changed a great deal even during the last five years; they now have a kind of artistic obligation, as anything they print in terms of news is hopelessly behind the times due to the all-pervasive influence of the Internet. I dislike though how everything is passed over and done so quickly as a side-effect of that. And despite the abundance of material now I find that people on the whole are less knowledgeable about the history of fashion than ever before, but have never talked more loudly about it…!

22-Do you have a dream collaborator?

Anyone with a good idea, and who is capable of articulating it…

23-What is your crowning achievement thus far in your career?

Hahaha, being chosen for this interview!

24-What’s your music library like?

Comprehensive!!

25-What and where is your favorite meal?

Moules mariniere or anything patisserie….

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