N503713456_838027_3659

I'm sticking my neck out a bit by writing about someone whose collection I've not yet seen, just by going on a few posts on a blog, but Charlotte Taylor's mission to document her processes of developing, designing, marketing, PR-ing and presenting her collection in February 2010 at London Fashion Week and thus shedding insight to new designers everywhere is worth pre-ambling about even if I have no concrete photos of clothes to show you.

One of her statements about starting the blog is a good un'…

"I know when I was at college we had plenty of lecturers come in to tell us about setting up a new label. They were VERY matter of fact and full of nasty figures and statistics. DEpressing. I guess no-one can ever fully know what to expect when they launch a company but I hoped/ hope that from my ramblings and knowledge gained on the way people might learn a thing or two..? All I know is that I would definitely have been interested to read a blog along a similar direction."

Coming from Central Saint Martins stock, Charlotte then went on to work in the creative marketing department of Luella (still hoping a backer is on its way before Christmas) giving her vital experience and for want of a better word, 'commercial nous' to start her own label.  She's also made Isle of Wight her studio base, so you can read about her getting chummy with pattern cutters and seamstresses on the fair Isle.

IMG_0015

On making it as a new designer, she sums up…

"Grandpa says I can do it so it must be true."  Yes, Grandpas are always right.  My one (now sadly gone…) told me Lea and Perrins sauce makes everything taste better and too right he was.

On one of her influences; old movies, soaps and eccentrics…

"Because Bird ladies are such a creepy, random and wonderful addition to society."

On going to Premiere Vision fabric fair in Paris…

"Note to self. A business card is worth its money in gold."

IMG_0188

On costing up samples…

"Samples cost twice as much as what an item would normally cost in production. She showed me examples from a top end designer that she is doing at the moment. So for example a medium difficulty dress would be £60 production, £120 for a sample. A shirt, about £30/ £40 for production, £60/ £80 sample."

IMG_0354

On an local ad in the paper searching for seamstresses in Isle of Wight…

"The best £18 I have spent so far. I have been inundated with phone calls and managed to find some highly experience seamstresses, as well as pattern cutters AND interns who had all seen the advert and got in touch. So many that I could potentially produce the whole collection from the Island and not use a factory at all!"

Advert

And what do I know about what Charlotte Taylor will be as a brand and what her collection might possible look like? 

Bus card flat blog

"Who is the 'Charlotte Taylor' woman?
She is: Endearing, quietly self assured, effortless, elegant and subtly exuberant."

"The label will be launched in London fashion week in February 2010 with an Autumn/ Winter collection inspired by grannies, bird ladies, penguins and much much more…"

Lg_Dame Edna Everage

"The label will focus around strong silhouettes, shapes, movement, bold colours, elegance and femininity with a slight sporty twist."

And colours/fabrics will consist of these…

Fabrics

Blog on, Charlotte and I look forward to seeing the fruits of your tea and penguins-filled labour in February!

Stilin1 Pah!  These bloggers and their books, magazines and what not.  Join me in my quest to keep bloggers as the lazy potatoes that they are, sitting on their couches, stroking their cheapie Primark quilt, hugging Totoro dolls, channel surfing through the shit-end of Freeview and maybe occasionally looking at their laptop to check Typepad.  I am of course perhaps brandishing a mass of bloggers with my own particular habits of good-for-nothing-bumdon.  Still, join me if you will in couch-warming if you're not as enterprising as the likes of Scott, Garance and now Mary Scherpe (kudos on interviewing Suzy Menkes at the IHT Lux-Tech conference) of Stil in Berlin fame.

Mary has printed her first issue of Stil in Berlin in print, in collaboration with Supermarkst Studio and Don't Panic (German version).  And best of all it's freeeeeeee to peeps in Berlin who can pick it up in person or you can order by paying the postage.  In it, there's a rather nifty guide to vintage shopping in Berlin that makes me practically press Check Out on Ryan Air for a flight to Berlin straight away.  It's the final icing to the multi-tiered cake of people that have been telling me that "Berlin is such a YOU city!" (yes, shamefully, I've not yet been…) and I'm just going to have to trust that these people are 95% correct in their assessment of what makes a SUSIE-city.  So yes, shame on you Mary for being erm…not lazy… but danke for the vintage store guide that I will follow to the book when I make it to Berlin.

Stilin2

Stilin3

Stilin4

Stilin5

>> This is really already ripened up for Charlie Brooker to rip into it with gusto in his column for the Guardian and I shouldn't really be enthusing about an ad for a product that has given me so much grief in the past what with its incessant beeps and vibrations that were like the siren calls of work chanting to me "You.Must.Check.Your.Emails.24.7."… but…

…on a morning when it's pissing down with rain outside, this Blackberry ad came on this morning and actually…

…I kind of like it.  There's something about the colours that reminds me of one of those fresh and zippy
editorials from Vogue Girl Korea (didn't manage to find that one in
HK…) and the room full of sketches and fabric scraps is an infectiously happy scenario.  Oh and the clothes at the end aren't half bad….

…**DISCLAIMER** Yes, I realise that collections, aren't necessarily made with bundles of laughs, pastel colours and vintage sewing machines and yes, I may retract this post when I'm raging and trashing everything in sight. 

Select1

Yes, this is a vintage store in Hong Kong and yes, this cat was shot purposely as part of the picture.  Another Hong Kong suggestion courtesy of a reader that I vaguely knew about before had to be sought out.  Despite the distinct lack of vintage stores in Hong Kong, Select 18 (18 Bridges Street, Sheung Wan) still manages to make itself stand out from the MANY that London benefits from.  It's a curious mix of furnishings, vintage jewellery, deadstock vintage sunglasses and a mass of designer consignment clothing and shoes.  Ye shall not find sixties frocks here but the hunt is still part of the game as the store is overly stuffed.  In the same way I comb through everything at Bang Bang in London and come across gems, Select 18 threw me open to Camilla Staerk, Comme des Garcons, Margiela, Valentino, Armani, Prada, YSL and more.  Turns out the owner has some a circle of pretty good connections that are constantly dropping off bags of worn designer cast-offs (I often wonder whether I'll ever get to the point where bags of unwanted YSL and Prada get shoved off to consignment stores… then I remember I'm a compulsive hoarder and destined to be a crazy clothes lady living in a house stuffed with rags…)

Select3 Select2

Select4

This Diane von Furstenberg dress stuck out in a mass of black and fits in perfectly with my current love of pastels that are decidedly not wishy washy. 

DSC_1817

DSC_1827