Ladies Summer Collection: Fashion Inspiration

People often ask me what my inspiration is as a clothing designer. I can honestly say there is no one specific thing, although I am a prolific image collector – folders and folders of pictures from magazines, postcards, photographs and printouts. It might be a colour, a texture, an outfit composition, a line, a structure or a print that catches my eye.

For the summer collection, The Riviera, the design inspiration came from wanting to create of collection of pieces that you could just slip on, feel luxurious and summery in.

This was achieved through the cut of the designs. The Grace blouse is cut very generously through the body and arms and could be described as a batwing or kimono style shape. The Eloise dress and Rosa blouse are both cut in a leaner kimono shape; allowing for ease of movement but perfect for people who want something a little more fitted.

The Fabric: Silk is a fabulous fabric for summer and the crepe de chine fabric I’ve used feels amazing and drapes really well in the loose shapes.

The Colours: I started off with the Aqua green shade and this led me to think about coloursĀ  you see on holidays in other countries. The collection features aqua, coral, sky blue, Ivory and black. The colours have all been given holiday location names.

When I was pulling together fashion inspiration for the photoshoot look I immediately got drawn to the 50s with the fabulous icecream colours and then into the 60s. I’ve popped some inspiration pics below for you but click here for more!

Brigette Bardot - Hair inspiration
Brigette Bardot – Hair inspiration
Icecream colours!
Makeup with aqua and blue reference
Makeup with aqua and blue reference
Pretty pastel coloured beach huts at Mersea
Pretty pastel coloured beach huts at Mersea

Once I had these ideas I then researched possible locations. I’d seen the beach huts at Mersea and knew there was some lovely colours. The pastel coloured huts made a great photoshoot backdrop.

So that everyone in the photoshoot team is on the same page for the photoshoot and can prepare their kit for the day, I like to send out mood/image boards. A picture of the model can help prepare an MUA or Hair Stylist with the face shape, colouring and hair type they are working with and colour swatches and inspirational pics can give the look we are aiming for.

Close up on the makeup
Close up on the makeup

Tracy worked her magic with the makeup. She has so much experience working within fashion shoots, it was great that she could come and use her creativity in this shoot. The smokey aqua blue eye worked really well in the look.

Precision hairI was lucky to have Julie on the photoshoot team. Normally working as a hair stylist for brides, she creates vintage styles and looks that are a little bit different from your normal bridal do! So the model Sophie was in good hands. See this blog entry for the behind the photoshoot pictures of getting the hair ready and creating the amazing ‘do’!

Photography for fashion is not photographer Kerrie Mitchell’s main job role, normally she photographs weddings. But I’m really looking forward to the results as she always pulls it out the bag. I think as a designer you really have to find people you work well with and Kerrie is someone I continually work with as we really connect. She always understands the looks, concept and shots I am trying to achieve.

Creating a photoshoot – what happens in photography and fashion!

On Wednesday a lot of hard work and preparation came together in the form of our photoshoot. I love photoshoots they can be nerve racking but also exciting because it’s your vision coming together.

A crew of five of us got together for a photo shoot of my office summer wear collection which includes blouses, dresses and a skirt.

The clothes waiting

Sometimes the best bits are the behind the scenes shots, the goings on and the conversations you have with the team!

This shoot was no exception…. we had a random dog, difficult weather, one tiny room to prepare in and a deadline to get off the island before the tide was high!!Discussing the shoot

Whilst the model was having her hair and makeup done, the photographer Kerrie and I discussed the photoshoot. It had to be a military operation due to the weather. The huge amounts of wind meant it was going to be really difficult to stay outside for too long before the model got chilled to the bone, we had to move quickly!

On the shoot

We decided on the order of the five looks, each of their backdrops, the props and accessories, the poses we wanted and the angle of the shots!

Kerrie in action

I had a fight with the wind! The wind won and turned the umbrella inside out, it took two of us to turn it around (after they’d all had a good chuckle at me and taken some pics of me struggling!!).

Kerry fighting umbrella 1 Kerry fighting umbrella 2

















We were visited by a dog who decided he wanted to be involved and join us in the beach hut and be in the photos!! I think he owned the beach, what a poser!

dog 1

dog 2

We were shooting on an island and twice a day there is high tide. We got through all the shots and had to rush off before the tide was high! It was a bit of a crazy end to the day!

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