Eat Work Art SPOTLIGHT: Designed by Alice
Alice Williamson is a former professional ballerina with ten years of experience in the industry. During her ballet career, she founded Designed by Alice which originally stemmed from her personal desire to wear clothing that could act as an extension of her art.
Continuing this passion for combining functionality with art, Alice also explores incorporating dance with science, tech, photography, film and more. Most recently acting as 'Artist in Residence' at Harvard University’s ArtLab, experimenting with a human and robot pas de deux and working with sweat crystals to create sustainable bio-fabric for dance. Her photography has been published in Vogue Italia and she has directed films for the Southbank Centre, created communication campaigns for Freed of London, and designed for Jellycat toys.
Having recently moved into her light-filled studio on the top floor of Netil House, we took the opportunity to find out more about Alice’s fascinating career and have a peek at what she’s been working on behind closed doors…
Would you mind introducing yourself and telling us a bit about your work?
I am part artist, part designer with an artful movement wear brand. I used to be a professional ballet dancer and everything I make and do is still very much animated by movement and inspiring people to move!
During my time as a ballet dancer, I tried to combine my skills in product design with my lived experience of dance in order to craft ballet skirts, bodysuits and accessories, first for myself, but then quickly for others too. And this was how DESIGNED BY ALICE was born. Now the studio creates wearable art for dancers, wild swimmers, or anyone dressing to express themselves.
Collections are inspired by the natural world, from clouds to coral reefs, using my own hand-painted illustrations to try to capture the beauty of the passing seasons.
When I am not designing for DBA I am keeping myself challenged and inspired by collaborating with other creatives. I am particularly curious about the intersections between the disciplines that I specialise in; mixing dance with science, tech, photography, film and design to explore the human form.
Can you tell us what your day-to-day looks like as a multi-disciplinary creative?
Everyday is a little different but these days I try and keep a fairly-rigid structure 4 days a week so that I can keep the consistency of my service for clients and focus on the business-side of what I do. I try and keep a few days a week free to be creative otherwise admin threatens to swamp everything!
A piece of advice or something you've learned along the way that might inspire someone reading this?
Do things that inspire you. You never know where they may lead you and what doors they might open up!
Anything exciting coming up that we can look forward to?
I am looking forward to expanding my clothing collection of activewear bodysuits and artful accessories…
And I’ve got a few artistic projects bubbling away too!
Interested in joining the Netil House community? Discover our available studios here.