Welcome to the Mignonnette Tea Talks, where we speak to wonderful women who inspire us and explore what it means to be a modern day enchantress.
Today our guest is London-based artist Mila Alexander. Mila started her career in couture fashion before finding a way to blend all of her passions together in her artworks - female beauty and sensuality, fashion, cinematography and literature.
Her work has an enthralling otherworldliness to it, while always depicting her strong female muses in their element. Beautiful faces are half hidden, sometimes masked, crowned with flowers or nonchalantly wearing bunny ears and smoking a cigarette.
Bewitching, beguiling - every woman featured in her work is unquestionably a real life goddess, so we believe Mila is the perfect woman to teach us a thing or two about how to unleash our inner enchantress.
Mila, you started your career in couture fashion; what was it that drew you to that world?
I had always been interested in fashion, for as long as remember I’ve been making garments for myself. Mostly because I always wanted what I couldn’t find in the shops or couldn’t afford to buy.
When did you realise it wasn’t quite the creative outlet you were looking for?
Becoming a full time painter/ artist is what I always wanted but I just didn’t believe that it was possible to support myself financially doing this job professionally. Everything changed for me mentally when I met another female artist. That’s all I needed to know… that it was possible!
How do you bring your couture experience to your art pieces?
Most artists start their paintings by taking pictures or having a sitting session with a model/ muse. I start my process of creating a painting in the fabric shops. Making something unique to dress my muse in is essential to my creative process - as that is the only way I can bring a character to life that I want to depict in the painting.
You have a wonderful mix of inspirations going into your work, how do you start planning a project? And what comes first - the concept or the muse?
Good question! I always say that the inspiration comes to me from women that I meet. There are a few paintings in every woman, just like there are many sides to everyone’s personality.
All the women you feature are projected as incredibly powerful, even if there is a hint of vulnerability to some of them. Where do you find your muses, and what are the qualities you look for in them?
Thank you, I’m happy to hear that this is how you see my work. I think this world is really tough especially for women, but women are the powerful force that will turn this world around at some point. I already see it happening.
I find my muses everywhere I go - public transport, shops, restaurants, sometimes social media. I do like to see some vulnerability in a person for sure, as well as the strength.
With Mignonnette London, deeply embedded in the core of our brand, is that when you put our clothes on, they bring our your inner enchantress, you transform. It starts from our design process, through to the way the finished clothes move on the body. With your work, you create these incredible characters from the garments they wear right through to the finished art piece. Can you talk to us about the process of how your muses transform into the goddess-like women on the canvas?
What someone is wearing definitely transforms the mood, and the internal vibration therefore will consequently project the final look. I honestly think my muses are already goddess-like women when I meet them for the first time, I am just painting what I see.
Do you think through creating these mythical, empowered women that, over the years, some parts of their characters have shaped your own personality?
Every painting that I have created will always stay with me just like a child that never leaves. I don’t know if they change or influence my character but they surely give me the strength to create more and more bravely and confidently.
The garments you create for your muses are incredible, what happens to them after the art work is complete?
Thank you. I often recycle pieces; what I mean by this is that I use one garment to create another for the next series of work. I have a few feathery headpieces on display in my studio as part of my decor. But of course I do like to wear my creations myself if it’s fit me or it’s wearable.
Your muses exude confidence whether they’re in a state of undress or completely covered, is there a secret you can give women to feel more confident in their own skin?
Oh I wish that I knew the secret! For me it’s definitely not what I wear but if what I choose to wear for the day matches my mood.
In daily life – what do you love to wear?
I’d love to say that I look all dressed up and fabulous every singe day, but that isn’t the case. Being a painter it’s simply not practical to wear something expensive or valuable, so I wear leather (vegan) pants (it’s very easy to wipe the paint away from) and just a t-shirt. I leave dressing up for special occasions, and then I go wild!
What does style mean to you?
To me, style is ART, I consider my self a collector. I collect pieces that I’m planning to wear for the rest of my life. I look after my collection and I only wear certain pieces for special occasions. Otherwise for everyday life I like to have minimum amount of clothing, in fact I’ve owned only one pair of jeans for many years.
Who are some of your personal style icons?
I really can not think of anyone, I get my inspiration from everyone. I like to mix modern and vintage pieces together that’s for sure. Anything that says elegance to me is beautiful.
What’s your favourite Mignonnette dress?
I love your Charlotte Sometimes High Wrap Dress in Black with the Apricot floral print. I like the pattern and the dark background of the fabric. The cut of this dress is really flattering, it made me feel feminine and beautiful. I love everything about it!
You can discover more about Mila and her work at: