Party Beat: Graziadaily talks to Ben Grimes at FTBC

12 November 2009

ben grimes

If there’s one thing that Pearl Lowe knows how to do, it’s throw a darn good party. So when she hosted a shindig in honour of Fashion Targets Breast Cancer at the Proud Galleries last night, GraziaDaily was first in line to party hard for a good cause. Beautiful model-slash-designer Ben Grimes was on the decks and we couldn’t miss the chance to get the latest scoop on her LP.BG line and uncover her top style tips. Plus don’t forget to check out our exclusive chats with Pearl Lowe and Sophie Ellis Bextor too.

How did you get involved with Fashion Targets Breast Cancer?
My friend Olly Knowles contacted me about it and I though it was a great project. A few members of my family have had cancer and my good friend’s mother died of cancer recently. Everyone knows someone who’s been touched by cancer and as fashion is an area that also gives back a lot, I think it’s a great project.

Do you know Pearl Lowe personally?
I’ve met Daisy a few times and I love what Pearl does with lace. Her range with Peacocks is lovely.

Tell us about what you’re wearing tonight.
I’m wearing a LP.BG velvet dress from our A/W line with a vintage belt and a LPBG blazer. I also have a Tammy Girl cardy which is perfect because it’s age 14. Tammy Girl rocks but LP.BG rocks more! I also love these good old Freedom at Topshop earrings and the necklace that says “Trash” and one that says “Baby” so I wear them together as “Trash Baby”!

How’s your LP.BG label going?
It’s going so well. Sometimes my mind boggles because we’ve only be doing it for a year and we’ve got New Gen and we’re selling in Browns. My life has changed so, so much. I work everyday now rather than just going on a model assignment here and there. I’m just really happy at the moment.


And you’re working with your BFF, Lily Parker. What's that like?
She’s an amazing fabric cutting. With her, the brand gets credibility and I’m really grateful that she got involved with me. But she’s making enough money as well so it’s all good!

What are you working on at the moment?
We’re creating our A/W 10 collection and we’re really excited because we’ve come up with some really cool ideas and have had great inspiration and brought some great fabrics. We’re also finishing production for S/S 10 that will be in stores by February.

How did you find showing at London Fashion Week?
It was really great, it was the first time we showed on schedule and we did a presentation. Sometimes I’m like, “What the hell am I doing? This is insane!” We got a great review from Sarah Mower which we want because she’s great. And your Melanie Rickey has been super supportive!

We were talking about you recently, seeing as you’re in Grazia’s cool list as one of the coolest people we know…
Well I don’t know about that - if you saw me on a Saturday night when I’m round my mum’s eating spag bol! But I try. My mum would probably kill me if I went out dressed badly because she’s French.

Are you fan of the French labels then?
Yeah! Vanessa Bruno rocks! And Isabel Marant. But all those French clothes are made for comfort! They’re stylish but you never feel uncomfortable. French women look chic but feel good!

Did that inspire your S/S 10 collection?
Yeah, we looked a lot at cubists and art, and found inspiration from the south of France where I spent many holidays as a kid.

Who is your style icon?
That’s the hardest question! I don’t have a celebrity style icon. A lot of my friends aren’t on the celebrity circuit but they’re the ones who inspire me. Fashion at grass roots is far more interesting than when it translates up. They’re really cool girls that all work in fashion and are very creative girls. If I had to say someone then it has to be Jane Birkin or Katherine Hepburn. Katherine was one of the first women to dress in a masculine way yet kept it so feminine at the same time and Jane Birkin is just stylish!

Do you often go to Camden market?
I grew up in King’s Cross so we’d always go and be naughty by the canal but I’ve been going to Camden market for donkey’s years. Funnily, I was in Dublin Castle earlier and one of the first boys I kissed was in there, his name was Pete and he was from Newcastle.

We’ll give Pete a shout out on Graziadaily!
He wouldn’t remember me! I had bleach blonde hair which was actually orange!

What’s your hair colour naturally?
I don’t remember what my natural hair colour is, it’s far more fun to dye it.

ben grimes

Do you have a good vintage piece you have found recently?
When I was on Brick Lane, I found this amazing 1930’s silk dress that I wore for Halloween. You need to get to know the people who work there so they know what you like and you don’t have to be famous to do that! If you love fashion, they’ll love fashion back for you. It’s give and take.

Any style tips for us?
Make sure you are comfortable. I don’t ever wear anything that is digging into me whether it’s too small or too big. If you feel the part, you’ll look the part, it’s really that simple. Just wear it with confidence. The thing is with LP.BG, we make clothes that give you confidence. You need to find pieces that make you feel good about yourself because it’s more about what’s going on inside. You could wear a trash bag and if you feel amazing everyone will be like “Wow what is that?!” It’s just important to feel good when you’re walking down the street, you don’t want any chafing!

What designers are you really loving?
I wish Helmut Lang would come back. Come and do another collection please! I’m really liking a new designer called Emilio de la Morena who I think is genius with great ideas and a great understanding of women’s bodies.

What’s your current fashion obsession?
My LP.BG blazer! It’s really cosy and it’s 100% wool. It has really cute pocket detail and if you do it up, you can wear it as a dress. I love multi-tasking clothes, they’re genius. Dresses over jeans, every time. Love it.

What’s next for you?
A lot of working hard on the label. We’re talking to a few people about some possible collaborations as well.

Can you tell us more?
Noooo, if I say anything then the collaborations would be over! You’ll hopefully get to see soon. Otherwise, I’m working on the work/life balance and trying to have as much fun as well as working.

ben grimes

And you’re dj-ing tonight…
Yeah but I messed it up because instead of pressing play, I pressed back and this random song came on about eggwhites!

How did the dj-ing come about?
I’ve always loved music so much and now I can mix! A friend of mine asked me to dj at the George and Dragon pub and people were like “OK you can DJ at my party!” And then it happened. I never go and look for things, things look for me!

What music are you loving?
I like electro-grime and I love that Tinchy Stryder song You’re not alone - the remix version is brilliant. I’m loving the Howling Bells, they’re an Australian Band and I really liked The Cheek! They were so good tonight!


- Jessica Vince


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