Five things I know about style: Maria Grachvogel

1) I created my first collection at 14.

Five things I know about style: Maria Grachvogelem /em Bottle-green brocade trousers – like riding trousers with a cropped leg – and a purple shirt with a panel down the front, gold buttons and puffy sleeves… It was quite dramatic, but I thought it looked great at the time.

2) I'd describe my style as quite strong and Katharine Hepburn-esque. I love the whole masculine vs feminine look. I particularly love high-waisted trousers.

3) It's important to be comfortable. I never wear jeans because I find them so restrictive. I sit very upright, and the button tends to dig into my stomach in a really bad way.

4) Be your own person. If you look at any woman who is deemed stylish, they just choose clothes that they love. They don't follow fashion – they're in charge of their own wardrobe, and it looks effortless and gorgeous.

5) Make-up is transformative. One of the things that led me to design clothes was the realisation that you can do so much with cut and fit. It can disguise a million things, make you look taller or a couple of dress sizes smaller – make-up is the same.

Maria Grachvogel spring/summer 2011 is available now (

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Powered by article was written by Shahesta Shaitly, for The Observer on Sunday 27th March 2011 00.05 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010