London Designer in Residence: Harris Reed

24-year-old Central Saint Martin’s fashion design graduate Harris Reed has taken residence at The Standard, London in September 2020 following a year of extraordinary highs.

Hidden amongst the rooms of The Standard, London is Harris’ design studio; filled with flowing sequin-strewn gowns, wider-than-wide rimmed hats and custom lace blouses, worn by the likes of Harry Styles, Sam Smith and Ezra Miller, to name a few. Below, Harris speaks to The Standard, London about what it’s like to design for London Fashion Week within the walls of a London hotel, the importance of social politics within his designs, and some extra sweet top tips for staying at The Standard, London.

Your clothes were just worn by Harry Styles in Vogue US. Where were you when you got the call from Anna Wintour’s team, and what was your reaction?

It’s actually funny, I was at The Standard when I got the call. I was downstairs having lunch with my good friend and I got the call and I honestly thought I was being pranked. I was in a state of shock and so overwhelmed in the most positive and beautiful way by this amazing news that I started crying. It was a mix of laughing and crying! A state of disbelief I think. This was like my ultimate dream as a kid, coming to life.

This year has been anything but normal, what’s been your inspiration for your designs?

I think the thing that really pulls me through in my work is the narrative and ethos of my brand which is fighting for the beauty of fluidity. As a designer, I always aim to really inject this idea that clothing is truly a vessel to transport the wearer to being their best self, but in a way of making a statement, turning heads on the street, really kind of making people revaluate the role that fashion has in the ever-changing landscape that we live in today. I think for me, the constant goal and the constant drive for the crazy year has been the fact that fashion and what I create is escapism, and it’s bringing people to a higher self, a different self. It’s a way of expressing themselves in a way they didn’t think they could or even had the chance to.

What’s the best thing about having your studio in a working hotel?

It’s been so fantastic to be at The Standard because of the pure energy of the hotel. It's been amazing. Me and my fabulous interns were in the hallways steaming fabric all the way down the corridor to make a huge gown, and to be able to go and have meetings downstairs and then run up to my studio, plus having dinner at Decimo - it’s amazing. I’m like the modern, queer Eloise at the Waldorf Astoria. I love that it feels like i’m staying at a really fabulous friend's house and i have everything i need at my fingertips. It's truly divine.

Describe your studio space in three words.

Decadent, functional, fabulous.

Top three King’s Cross spots? 

Double Standard for a ginger margarita, the flower market inside King's Cross Station, plus the MAC counter at the station because i love myself some glamour. 

Favourite dish on the menu at The Standard, London?

Definitely the burger. It’s not just a burger. It’s the most juicy, divine burger with a side of fries. That’s my guilty pleasure and my poison.

How to spend 24 hours at The Standard, London?

Coming in in the morning, having a coffee in Library Lounge. I’d then head up to the studio, start by draping, then pattern cutting, then a client meeting. Run downstairs, have lunch at Double Standard. Maybe Harry Lambert or another stylist might stop by and do a fitting. I’d then end up at Decimo drinking and eating my head off in the best way possible. Then I’d end up back in the studio to have a fun evening of moodboarding and draping.

And finally, what’s next for Harris Reed?

I’m honestly just very excited by all of the opportunities that I’ve got right now. I think what’s next for me is just to creating a fluid world and fluid vision, and hopefully collaborating alongside amazing VIPS and companies that share the same ethos as me.

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