Dora Miller 24 London
Categories: Set design

Posted: 27th July 2015

Dora is a rare, rare thing. Firstly she is her own boss at 21 and secondly she is a genuine born and bred Londoner. In fact she's an authentic IRL Hackney resident who's watched her local newsagents, parks and pubs become virtual catwalks. It was her friendly neighbourhood relations that led to her first job within the fashion industry; manicure nail mogul and former Dalston resident Sharmadean Reid hired a then 14 year old Dora to help assist her on the WAH magazine, that FYI, existed before the salon itself. Dora found herself styling, collaborating and creating content for the WAH zine online- little did we know that she was at the epicenter of the biggest cultural movement in London-girl-land of the last decade. It was her time with Sharma producing articles and editorial that opened Dora's eyes and imagination to the world of set design.

Having her fine art foundation course and a traditional set making qualification from The National Theatre under her tool-bet (we can't confirm she wears a tool belt but we've seen her with a hammer) made her pretty useful to art-school friends in need of a practical pair of hands. Before establishing her passion as a set designer, Dora took on a big cheap unit in the same building as her boyfriend who had just finished working on the Quaker Street bowl (East London's premier skate bowl FYI) and the two, along with friend Billie Turnbull built an infinity curve in the unit converting it into a photo studio. In her own words it was 'pretty shabby' but they were able to offer super cheap rates to friends, photographers and magazine and so Dora had her own makeshift studio and began offering light set making and building as an additional service. Despite moving a year later to a studio in Chancery Lane, Dora continued to build sets- her room is a hoarders' dream; Papier-mâché palm trees, plinths, paints, half finished collages and books on books on books (not to mention a very cute cow-print cat).

Dora's work as a designer has become increasingly prolific, designing everything from a hand painted camo set with Francesca Allen for an Oh Comely cover shoot, to smashing up mirrors in the lake district for Suitcase magazine, Dora has worked with everyone from Adidas and Harvey Nichols, to Christopher Cowans via Vogue Italia and Pum Pum socks.

It is however, Dora's low-key attitude and loyalty to those around her that shines through her work and her latest collaborations have been with close friends; with stylist Louby Mcloughlin, amazing 3D artist Claudia Mate and photographer Adam Goodison on a Show Studio project and, in a cyclically poetic twist of events, Dora has once more found herself back where she began- with long term collaborator Sharmadean Reid at the not-yet-open fresh-paint-smell WAH, Dalston HQ. A self confessed working-gal, your more likely to find Dora in her studio getting her hands dirty, at home sketching or at your local East End pub than at a rave- and that's just why we love her.

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND WHAT YOU DO:I’m a Set Designer and that’s currently all! I mostly work in fashion and commercial events/shows, I also assist Set designers to push my skill set, I used to run a photographic studio so used to a lot of production work.HOW WOULD YOUR FRIENDS DESCRIBE YOU IN A SENTENCE?I would be scared to ask, as it’d be mostly ‘bonkers’ but I’d like to think, enterprising and hardworking ☺ haha.WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST?When I have time to muck about in my studio making whatever, phone off, internet off.FAVOURITE PLACE TO EAT/SHOP/HANG OUT?Tayaabs for food, I don’t really shop! But carboots obviously for great finds, hang out everywhere! Love trying new clubs/areas in London. I love the southbank, covent garden and all of London. WHAT’S YOUR BEST ADVICE?Focus on what you like and enjoy and not be caught up in what you like the idea of, don’t get angry at any knock backs and use it to make you work harder.WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?Be compassionate, care for others. WHAT WORDS OR PHRASES DO YOU MOST OVERUSE?According to Rae, my best mate, I say ‘how ruuuuude’ a lot , if something is good or bad so rather pointless use of the word too. I say ‘innit’ too much. BEST PARTY YOU'VE EVER BEEN TO?My NYE party was pretty good, and the ID x Moschino party was unbelievably fun, the music was amazing. SONG TO BE PLAYING AS YOU ENTER THE CLUB?Rich Homie Quan, Flex (oh, oh,oh).WHAT THREE THINGS WOULD BE ON YOUR RIDER?Inflatables, donuts and pictures of my friends.BIGGEST LIE YOU WERE TOLD/THAT YOU TOLD AS A KID?I told everyone I was a boy at primary school for a good 4 years, I was a massive tomboy.WHAT'S NEXT?Working with more friends, currently working with Charlotte Rutherford whose work I LOVE on an exciting project. I’m also doing more assisting to further my skill set. AND FINALLY...WHO IS YOUR NEXT BABYFACE GIRL SUGGESTION?Who: Billie Turnbull
Why: My old studio partner and best friend since age 16. She’s a model, musician, and casting agent with AAMO casting, she’s also an extremely creative and passionate person.
Contact Dora Miller