Mar 20, 2014 9:00AM

Mood Boards: Eska Alikai AW14

Effortless and refined.
eska alikai is the creative project of Micha Dyball, a designer with a thing for (cow) skin, luxe natural materials and trans-occasional minimalism — all of which come together nicely in the label's tencel, voile and fleece-filled AW14 collection. We spoke inspiration and the design process with Micha.
Jerico Mandybur: What is this collection about?
Micha Dyball: The inspirations grew from wanting to diversify the brand into wearable complete eska alikai outfits with other fabrics that had a refined, minimalistic feel that's both understated and modern. I get my inspiration from my own lifestyle, what I want to wear and emulate.
Can you talk about the design process that you undertook for the range?
The brand initially started as a leather concept so it felt like an organic evolution to include different fabrics in the collection. Getting hands-on with fabrics to find the right textures and thickness takes time and consideration to make sure these are wearable pieces that feel comfortable. I wanted a relaxed and luxe feel so tencel and cotton voile was a perfect fit. The natural textures really inspired me to also create some prints, which was a new experience. I feel that all elements of AW14 complement each other.
What can you tell us about your mood board?
I love untouched nature, modern architecture as well as thought-provoking editorials that tell a story and set a mood. My mood boards give me sense of being and presence, almost a timeless feel. Clean and simple yet inspiring.
What are the overarching references that you were interested in when designing this collection?
The key word would be minimal. Finding the right balance of a classic shape with a modern interesting element, staying true to who I am and what I want the eska alikai women to represent and feel, when wearing the garments.
What's your sense of how your inspiration and ideas are understood by others?
I sense there has been a real understanding that they can make the brand their own, that they feel confident and realise it's a brand that can be used for different occasions with an appreciation of its classic yet modern feel. You always hope the people wearing your designs feel that a piece enhances who they are and how they feel about themselves. I believe good materials and design can do that.
Is there a muse, era or medium that you find yourself frequently channeling?
My ideas and visions for my designs really come through channelling what I would feel confident in and what I would love to feel and convey. I struggled to find the fabrics, the cuts and designs I wanted to wear in other brands and I think this frustration created my ability to really channel into ideas and designs for me.
If this mood board was a sentence or quote, what would it say?
"Confident with effortless refinement."