2005 BFA Fashion Design Graduate Rhice Ayn Mannelli Brewer backstage at Viktor & Rolf (to the left of the model with her arms folded). Rhice has also interned at Anna Sui and Catherine Malandrino and was in the first New York Fashion Week show on September 11th, 2005 in the Bryant Park Tents.
How are things going at Viktor & Rolf Rhice?
3-4 weeks ago I was asked to join the weekly staff meeting, which in of itself was a great feeling, and then Viktor suggested that the meeting should be in English which was mostly on my behalf. So of course this felt great.
That is great! Sounds like you are involved in a lot.
I think I should say that the company is very small and in a way very intimate. The whole company is about as large as I imagined a design team to be. So one of the great things is everyone is very involved with everything. We all eat lunch together everyday, at one table.
What about H&M?
They asked me to be part of that staff meeting because they wanted me to be part of the H&M project. Mostly I did research on everything, from inspiration to window display to garment accessories. I got to work directly with Rolf and Viktor. We would have meetings just the three of us.
What’s it like seeing your work come to life?
The first three months I was here I worked almost entirely in the Atelier. I really felt part of it. When I look at the look book I can see my work sprinkled all throughout it. That feels great. It’s nice to be able to show people.
If you look at this photo, the bottom half of the dress is almost entirely my work. And it’s actually much more complicated then it looks. Because of the silverizing process, the dress was really more of a sculpture than a garment, we weren’t able to just sew it together. The weight created a structural problem and getting in and out of the garment was something that took a lot of thought. Originally we thought about using piano hinges at the side seems. You should have seen my hands at the end. The last month my fingers were continuously covered in nursing tape.
These 6 months have been such a learning process. Overall it’s been great, but not easy.
In the design room I’ve been working a lot on the production end of things. Launch sheets, overviews, creating color cards, helping with the fabric selections and talking with fabric mills and manufacturers. I also got the chance to do a bit of designing and I am excited to say I’ve
designed 2 belts that are in production.
I am often bouncing around from thing to thing and and get exposed to a lot that way!