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.
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."
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."
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!"
And what do I know about what Charlotte Taylor will be as a brand and what her collection might possible look like?
"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..."
"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...
Blog on, Charlotte and I look forward to seeing the fruits of your tea and penguins-filled labour in February!