I’ve always loved fashion. I’m not particularly fashionable myself, but I love seeing what people are wearing and finding interesting designers to check out.
My sister and I were fortunate our mum was a dressmaker, and there were always scraps of fabric to “dress up” our teddy bears and dolls. I’m sure some of you remember paper dolls? We had quite a stash of these and spent many hours designing and making new outfits for them. My dad was a draughtsman, so paints and coloured pencils were always on hand.
Even when I was very young I was interested in the clothes mum was making for us, and its only been in recent years I have appreciated what an exceptional dressmaker she was…even making our kilts and outfits for Highland dancing.
As I got older I had more of a say in what mum made for me…like this dress I helped design for my first school dance.
Once I left school and was working, I spent quite a bit of my wage on clothes…specifically designer clothes. I think back now to some of the outfits I bought and wish I had kept them. And of course I went through different styles from the hippy harem pants and “surfer chick” clothes to tailored jackets and skirts and all those bad 80’s looks.
I’ve always admired the style of Helen Bonham Carter. She has such a unique style and carries it off so well. I just love the mismatched look.
My favourite designer of all time Robin Brown, has this look about her designs and the clothes are so beautifully styled on her website. If you haven’t discovered this designer yet, please look at her website just for the sheer beauty of it. She created the Magnolia Pearl label and I love this quote from the site, “Magnolia Pearl’s aim is to attire all with a sense of integrity and lightness, resilience and bewilderment.”
One day I intend to purchase at least one Magnolia Pearl coat or dress.
Another label (or I should really say store) I find really interesting is The Collective. It features the work of Tania Angeli, a talented designer and dyer and Meg Wilkinson, a weaver who’s style I like very much.
It’s so nice to see handmade, dyed and woven garments for sale in a store setting. Too often textile artists who make garments are reduced to selling in markets, and in my personal view this can devalue the work. We deserve to be in high end boutiques, galleries and stores or in the case of The Collective and myself, we just open our own retail outlet.
These are only two of my favourite designers but of course there is more! These are some other favourites:
“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street. Fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”