Interview with Award-Winning Designer, Tina Malhamé

Photograph of Tina Malhamé

The multi-award winning designer Tina Malhamé, who was branded ‘The best designer on the high street’ by fashion king George Davis, shares her passion for fashion with Luxurious Magazine’s Sabi Phagura.

George Davis and Tina Malhamé worked alongside each other for years. Tina went on to become the principal designer for favourite UK brands including Per Una, Monsoon, Next and Laura Ashley. Building on her solid credentials as an established talent, Tina launched her own label “NoLoGo Chic” in 2011, an online store offering luxury clothing for women in carefully sourced natural fabrics. Today, Tina visits Italy, India, Paris, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, the Philippines and beyond to source the most authentic craftspeople and the finest fabrics for her designs. She has won multiple awards including the Christian Lacroix accolade for International Linen design.

LM: How did you get involved in creating NoLoGo?
TM: Having worked in the industry as a designer for many years, it was time to go alone. Buying teams were becoming very unsure of themselves and creativity began to take a back seat in favour of costings

A female model wearing one of Tina Malhamé's design

LM: Describe your range of clothing. What are the benefits for travellers?
TM: I tend to create women’s clothes which can be worn by women of any shape and size. I create Jersey dresses which can be worn from dress to dinner, and printed and linen tunic dresses which can be worn on holiday, cruises, and home entertaining. Jersey dresses pack beautifully and doesn’t need pressing. Linen resort wear in simple easy to wear styles are great for travel. Styles that you can really use, be it for breakfast or lunch over swimwear, sightseeing (long sleeves, always), and for the cocktail hour, they can be worn with a piece of lovely jewellery picked up from a market that morning!

LM: What factors do you consider when designing your collections?
TM: Comfort. Originality is key. My garments are definitely not seen in High Street stores. I also love colours and incorporate them a lot in my pieces. Garments must be washable and well made.

LM: We understand you work a lot in India. You design using traditional artisans in India and spend a lot of time travelling there and to Italy. Why have you chosen those countries?
TM: I design the fabric, embroidery and garment. I continue to work with numerous craftspeople like block printers and hand embroiderers. Once or twice a year, I work with a fabulous photographer in Jaipur and we shoot a few garments against stunning locations. I have worked at source in India for 30 years. From the North to the South, embracing artisanal techniques. Inspiration is on every corner. The cloth is made there, yarns are dyed, printed, and embroidered. In Italy, it is very different. The jersey cloth is superb quality and made close to Como.

Two floral dresses

LM: Tell us about the different print processes you use in India.
TM: Digital printing for linens is extraordinary. They can print anything swiftly and accurately and in smaller lengths of fabric. It is fresh. Colours can be as bold as you want them to be! Block printing is something very close to my heart and comes from the opposite side to the digital process. It is slow. It requires a certain strength and quality of sunlight to bring out the desired shade I am looking for. There is magic in the air at the block printing factory.

LM: Where does your inspiration come from? Did anyone inspire you in particular?
TM: Inspiration really comes from everywhere. Be it a mind fizzing trip to Marrakesh or rifling through a basket of treasured embroidery swatches in my office. An idea surfaces and a sketch begins. I must also credit my mother. She was a beautiful, elegant lady who loved fashion. Buying Vogue and Harpers and Queen was a monthly treat which we sat and read together.

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