Thanks to Tabie Ledesma for interviewing me for her magazine project.
When did you realise fashion designing is what you wanted to pursue?
I’d say it was when I was a teenager. I’d become really interested in Design Technology and Art at school, alongside spending lots of time with my Nana who was a dressmaker. I watched Period Dramas growing up so I’d always had an interest in period costume so it was a tough decision between Costume and Fashion. I also used to visit lots of exhibitions in museums like the V&A which really sparked my interest and I used to collect all the memorabilia and leaflets from each exhibition in a scrapbook.
How would you define your personal style?
Well I always look for clothes that are either vintage, or have that kind of flair to them. Also I like to find clothes that have a timeless style with a bit of an edge. If I wear jeans I’ll wear them with a Victorian style blouse, or long floaty dresses and skirts with trainers or tapestry cowboy boots. I’d say my style is similar to my designs because I love to wear feminine and romantic clothes. I’ve started to think about where I buy my clothes from and I’m trying to buy more second-hand or vintage/antique clothing. I’m also in love with antique jewellery - my favourite is a Victorian Mourning Brooch I bought recently from a vintage market.
Who are the top three designers that you take inspiration from?
I always find this question hard as I appreciate so many different styles and designers. However, the top three which I always find myself coming back to are; Erdem for his amazing fabrics, prints and attention to detail, Emilia Wickstead for her impeccable tailoring and shapes, and Simone Rocha for fun and quirky styles - but the list could go on and on!
When/where did you land your first internship and what was the most valuable thing you learned from this experience?
I landed my first internship with a lovely bridal atelier in Cheshire. I think it was a useful experience for me as I learnt a bit about running a small business and also all the attention to details when constructing wedding dresses. I spent most of my time adding the finishing touches to dresses and veils; like hand-sewing and manipulating lace and beading.
What do you do to get out of a creative block? / How do you stay inspired?
I always have so many ideas in my head so sometimes it’s not the creative block that’s the problem - sometimes it’s trying to pick one idea and just go with it. If I do get a creative block I usually try and pick up a book and see if any ideas come to me - or I’ll have a search through my Pinterest boards and see if anything jumps out at me!
Do you have any words/rules you like to live by?
I’d always like to live my life through art and design. I’m definitely a maximalist and I think that will continue forever - I know I’ll never be able to dress or live in a ‘minimalist’ way. I always think this quote from Bill Cunningham is very fitting; “Fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life.”
What is a fashion trend that you will always stick by?
Giant Victorian puffy sleeves! I’ve always loved them and it’s great to see more of them easing into everyday styles!
Other than fashion designing, what other hobbies do you enjoy?
I love visiting old houses, I’m a member of the National Trust and I find it really fascinating how they keep these lovely places going! They can provide so much inspiration. I like to watch period dramas and read classic literature (when I have the time), I think it’s nice to transport yourself to another world or time, even if just for an hour. I’m also a film extra so occasionally you’ll find me on film sets in period costume! I actually really enjoy putting together styling shoots and boards in my spare time on Pinterest - even if I never carry them out it’s nice to save my ideas so I can look back on them. I usually make a pilgrimage to the V&A and the Fashion and Textile Museum in London at least once a year to give me a big kick to get me back into designing!