Spotlight: Alexandra Groover


19 Monday 19th July 2010

Inspired by octopi, and not just making clothes out of jersey, Alexandra Groover, who Sir Paul Smith picked as one of his six creative friends to be featured back in March's i-D, is a RISD graduate and a California native, who moved to London to launch her label to the international fashion market.

Now on her third collection, the LFW presentation for her AW1011, Encre Noir, featured Swedish dancer and artist, Anna-Mi Fredriksson, previously of the English National Ballet as the 'body', and barefoot models covered in ink and undulating like tentacles to complete the 'octopus'. Trippy. And I know, because I was there.

Her dresses, all black and in no ways flat; skim and accentuate with washed silk, yet also create shapes with her use of felted wool, giving a new dimension to the term LBD. Alexandra takes her design influences from nature, and the pieces allow you to 'self-style'. I caught up with her to chat about her collection, what the future holds for her label, and what California is really like. I don't believe it's a Candyland filled with slutty girls.

Groover has also been busy working on a special project with cult drone musician Stephen O’Malley of Sunn0))) fame. Following the huge success of their collaborative SS10 fashion film the duo have now joined forces again to design the robes for the latest Sunn0))) tour in support of the band’s new album, Monoliths and Dimensions.

You’re best known for your Black and Grey collections, do you plan to branch into other shades of monochrome; perhaps a White collection?
It could definitely happen in the future. I have experimented with other non-colours such as white in the past. For the moment, I have decided to keep the focus solely on black. I need to keep things monochrome so that they do not distract from the subtle design details that would get lost in a sea of colour.

If you could pick one designer who you never want to see a collection from again –
who would you choose?

I don't want to stop anybody from designing or being creative. That would be a sin.

Are you planning to go for another interactive exhibition as you did for your AW1011 collection – or are you planning to shake it up by doing the unexpected norm?
It's all top secret at the moment. Come and see.



Do you have any plans for collaborations or a diffusion line later on this year?
Yes, and yes. Things are all being planned out now. It may not be later on this year, but both will happen soon. I have already started meeting with a team for a long-term collaborative project that will most likely launch next year.
Is Groover your real surname? (I ask that because my surname is Bangladesh and people ask me all the time)
Yes, it is German in origin. When my ancestors moved to the U.S., they changed it from Grüber to Groover. It actually does mean, in essence, a groove. Of the Grove, or a hollowed out space.
Do you have any tips for the fresh batch of graduates such as things you learnt in your first year out of school?
Do as much work experience as possible before you leave school. It is, unfortunately, very difficult to find paid jobs in fashion, especially in London where there are so many fashion students and graduates living here already. Have a plan and know what you want.
What does the future hold in terms of your label – are you planning to branch into menswear or home, or perhaps artwork – or is it just womenswear you plan to stay with?
My company is very small at the moment so I can only take on so much at one time. I am however, itching to add menswear next.
Katy Perry said she wrote California Gurls to be as anthemic as Empire State of Mind is by Jay Z. Does it make you want to raise your lighter in the air and sing along?
Big Church by Sunn0))) makes me want to get out my lighter.
So California isn't full of bikinis, martinis and zucchinis?
Yes I suppose it is. We had all of those things at home. We even used to grow our own zucchini.

Don't Panic attempt to credit photographers and content owners wherever possible, however due to the sheer size and nature of the internet this is sometimes impractical or impossible. If you see any images on our site which you believe belong to yourself or another and we have incorrectly used it please let us know at and we will respond asap.