The Coral Call

Summer is edging closer and Spring keeps raising it’s pretty face with blooms and blossom and the occasional warm spell. Is your wardrobe feeling a little tired and in need of something that makes you feel in the Spring Summer spirit? I’ve been putting away the large knitwear pieces in my wardrobe and getting out the spring summer pieces. But what I think I actually need is a fresh colour. A bright colour that complements your skin tone in an easy to wear shape can update a wardrobe with ease.

So for me, I’m of course going with one of my own collection pieces; the Eloise dress from my Riviera Collection – this is an easy shape to wear as well as style in a variety of ways for different occasions.

Eloise Dress in Coral 100% silk crepe de chine
Eloise Dress in Coral 100% silk crepe de chine
I’ve had a look around and other brands are doing some bright colours for Spring Summer too. I’ve picked out some bright dresses in some lovely easy to wear shapes:
Splendid Stretch-jersey mini dress
Splendid Stretch-jersey mini dress
Rika Zarao Long Sleeve Dress
Rika Zarao Long sleeve dress
Goat | Tia Crepe Shift Dress by Goat
Goat Tia Crepe yellow shift dress
Tory Burch Brooke stretch-cotton poplin dress
Tory Burch Brooke stretch-cotton Poplin dress
If you can’t bare to go all bright but want to freshen up your wardrobe try adding a bold print into the mix:
GIAMBATTISTA VALLI | Floral Printed Silk Dress | Browns fashion & designer clothes & clothing
Giambattista Valli Floral black and white silk dress

She MET The Punk and The Couture

So many good exhibitions and things to see in NYC at the moment. Fashion exhibitions seem to be having a moment!

One of the best I saw was Punk: Chaos to Couture.

Sadly no pictures allowed in that exhibit. But, what can I say….a great range of designers and I think there were five rooms of pieces. It seems to be a massive exhibit with each room showing a different take on ‘Punk’.

For example; one room looked at recycling and another about deconstruction.

They juxtaposed 1970s punk outfits with couture more recent pieces.

It really highlighted how far Punk has infiltrated the mainstream consciousness and also how it has influenced designers in a huge variety of ways ever since.

There was the famous A/W 1992 Versace safety pin dress worn by Liz Hurley and a 2007 S/S Prada skirt made of pressed bottle tops.

Moschino pieces made from bin liners, McQueen dresses made from synthetic fabrics made to imitate bin liners and bubble wrap and Margiela pieces made from shopping bags.

Victor and Rolf channeled chaos in their S/S 1998 collection and used spray paint and Demeulemeester used paint splatter in the 2006 S/S collection. There was beauty in the chaos.

It was an amazing exhibition and I encourage all and sundry to visit if you can. Get there early in the day and also don’t go when it is raining outside because every single tourist in America will also be in there!! Although if it is raining it is a great place to get lost in and get inspired.

The MET is $25 (recommended) entry. Which sounds a lot but it is pretty reasonable when you consider you could spend a few days in there and not see everything!! They have quite a few special exhibitions on, I counted 26!! You don’t pay extra to see any of the special exhibits, it is all included!




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.

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