Elysia Graace

This week we caught up with up and coming fashion blogger Elysia Graace for an interview about her work as a blogger and her future aspirations.

Tell me a little bit about yourself…

I’m a fashion blogger from the West Midlands, so I get mistaken for a Brummie a lot of the time, but actually residing in Manchester at the moment whilst studying at University. I’m currently studying Business and Marketing which I love to bits as you get leeway on all of the creative marketing campaign projects.

Explain the concept and purpose of your work…

When I stated my blog, my aim was to show people the occasional outfit of the day, but most of all how to style old and new together. I buy a lot from vintage and charity shops so mixing those styles with new trends can be tricky sometimes!

How and why did you get into fashion?

My first love for fashion was whilst I was studying my A levels and had to create custom pieces myself for a collection towards my end grade, after this I knew I wanted to do something that would put my mind at a creative edge. I love marketing and combing the two is my idea of perfect (education lifestyle talking).

Who inspires you the most?

Apart from the bloggers, companies and people I have met throughout my journey as a blogger, I know it sounds cliché but my father inspires me a lot, just in the way of how had working he is and his morals with work life. I recently went to work for Motel Rocks in London for a few days helping out with their sample sale, and the people I met there were so inspirational, how much dedication goes into what people think is just sorting clothes out is unreal.

Which fashion blogger would you compare your blog most to?

There are many fashion bloggers that do the same as me, some popular ones are ‘Fashion Influx’ and ‘Waiste’… featuring outfits of the day and pieces they’ve been sent by companies to feature on their blog (something that I am striving for!).

What is your favourite blog article to date?

My personal favourite blog post is from last summer, when I first stated blogging, featuring my Saltwater Gypsy vintage Harley Davidson leather vest… purely because it reminds me of the fun day me and my sister had shooting this and the waistcoat and boots I’m wearing are 2 of my favourite pieces! Plus it was in the middle of a super hot heat wave! Which we can never moan about. 

What is your favourite brand of clothing to wear?

I do love my vintage and charity shop pieces, because of the reaction I get when people find out that they’re actually from a charity shop etc. So I am a sucker for second hand, however, I do absolutely love Zara and Motel Rocks, the prints and uniqueness of motel rocks and the classy sleekness of Zara…

What are your aspirations and goals for the future?

In the future I would like to have my blog at a place where it has a reach of thousands, like some of the blogs I follow, so I can inspire a lot more readers daily; getting involved in many more blogger related and fashion events also. I’m going to continue working for companies to gain experience and network within my favourite brands so I can hopefully combine marketing and fashion for my ideal and desired career once I have graduated from University. I have a tiny little desire to open my own vintage and custom clothing company too with family and friends help, so this is a back seat aspiration at the moment! Fingers crossed.

To follow Elysia check out her Blog, Facebook, TwitterTumblr or Instagram

HOLLY FULTON DESIGNER

Eccentric songstress, Noosha Fox is my muse for this season” says Holly Fulton about her Spring/Summer collection 2014. And as the models walk down the catwalk  to “Only You Can”, it is pretty obvious that she was successful in recreating the summer vibe from the 70s that she was looking for. If her show was to be described in a few words, it would probably be energy and fun, two words that also seem to match her personality. Her quick but smiling appearance at the end, in a gorgeous kimono dress, finally convinces – me, at least – that Holly Fulton has a bright fashion future ahead of her.

Born in Edinburgh, she studied at first at the Edinburgh College of Art before entering the Royal College of Art in London. Despite her young age, she is considered one of the most promising designers in Britain, and has already won the 2009 Swarovski Emerging Talent for Accessories, the Young Designer of the Year Award at the Scottish Fashion Awards and the Elle Style Award for new designer in 2010. Today, after creating six shows with the same enthusiasm, Fulton has successfully imposed her very unique style among the London fashion scene. Her incomparable designs have even led some to describe her as the “Scottish Roberto Cavalli”!

Watching her Spring/ Summer 2014 collection, you will be caught by reminiscing thoughts of 70s disco nights overloaded with color and dubious prints. But Fulton, unlike my twenty year-old Dad, avoids fashion faux-pas, and successfully combines the modernity and vibrancy of New York silhouettes with vintage styles. That choker necklace that our Mum hasn’t worn in public in thirty years? Looks great when stylized with great taste and a well cut bustier dress! She has managed to impose geometrical prints as her trademark and the tribal feel that she has given to her work for this season falls in with what she has done in the past. Her unusual use of accessories, from XXL jewellery to unexpected fan-bags, never fails to surprise and is certainly worth the look.

Find out more about Holly Fulton on her official website or on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter!

Ria May Heighington

After being a fan for Ria May Heighington’s work for a while, I finally had the pleasure of chatting to her in depth about her designs, as well as seeing her latest collection. As always her work is stunning, enchanting, with so much life. The vintage style Ria favours is one she has worked with and developed over the years, but she is not someone who is afraid of pushing boundries or her self. Her work is not only vintage, but modern, with an identity of it’s own. With so many young fashion designers out there, it’s difficult for each to develop their own unique style, but Ria has done this almost effortlessly. The beauty and depth of her pieces have so much character, they almost seem to tell a story. It’s all these things that make me a big fan of her work, and because of this I’m delighted to introduce you to her today. Here’s what she had to say…

Can you tell me a little bit about you and your work?

I’m a fashion design student graduating from Cambridge School of Art. I love the forties and fifties, bows, lipstick, dolls and Disney princess!  My interests of Vintage and childhood memories bring feminine pieces with a creepy and humorous twist to my collections.

By researching and adoring print designs from the 1950’s known as conversational prints, this is where my ideas formed and for this collection and my previous collection I collected random vintage items from charity shops, vintage fairs and markets and scanned them straight to the computer and presented them in a story like way, this time dolls from around the world were used.

What are your biggest inspirations as a designer?

As a designer my inspirations come from girly and cute styles from the 1950’s, the innocence and dreamlike fairytales from Disney Princesses and the creepy context of Alice in Wonderland and also the use of dolls for the outstanding exhibition by Viktor & Rolf that I adored at the Barbican art gallery many years ago.

You have a very strong visual identity, do you have any advice for young designers looking to develop and establish their own style?

Advice I would give to young designers trying to establish and develop their own style, would be to try every aspect they can; if it be print, embroidery, womenswear, menswear, childrenswear etc and once you have the aspect you prefer then bring everything you love into that and experiment as you might surprise yourself!

Finally what can we expect to see from you next?

After graduating I hope to set up my own label named Little Dot and hopefully collaborate with other up and coming designers.

In the future I would love to have my own boutique shop whilst working on many other collections which is very exciting!

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To see more of her beautiful pieces, visit her page on the Cambridge School of Art website.

All the best

Katie

Can you make a silk purse from a sow’s ear?

Aztec triangles, Labrador lockets, Scottish thistles, Stags and Octopus earrings…. sound amazing?! They are just a few items that Eilidh Strang hand makes under her business ‘Silk Purse, Sow’s Ear’. Her jewellery has popped up recently in almost every boutique shop in Edinburgh and is the essential, unique item for every girls jewellery box.

With no formal jewellery training, I’m amazed at the craftmanship behind Eilidh’s designs and production. Using mainly vintage materials – found and reworked – many of her items are limited runs or ‘one of a kind’. My favourites are the ‘Scottish Thistle Locket’ a perfect keepsake of Scotland, the Seafoam Triangle Earrings and the Swallow brooch (see images). She has something to suit all tastes from floral studs, Moroccon influenced rings to personalised lockets.

I asked Eilidh some questions about her work, her inspiration and her success…

What is your inspiration for your jewellery?

 My inspiration tends to be picturing the different ways that my jewellery can be worn.  I especially love the idea of my jewellery being ‘bunged on’ with an old jumper and jeans, without having to be dressed-up or styled particularly.  When I imagine my jewellery being worn by women, it’s always in a really casual, day to day way.  The idea of a lion brooch or frog locket making an everyday outfit just a little bit different is inspiring to me.

Was it easy to get your business started?

Fairly easy.  I’ve had quite a strong sense of where I’m going with my designs, and ethos more generally, from the beginning which I think helps enormously.  For instance, while I can see the beauty and simplicity in very delicate, silver jewellery, I still recognise that it’s not where I want to go with Silk Purse, Sow’s Ear.  Things have also grown fairly slowly and steadily since I started out, which has given me the chance to keep up!

How do you see your business progressing?

For the moment, I am happy carrying on as I am.  From the beginning I have operated by making the most of every opportunity I can, and just see where it takes me – I will definitely continue to do this and see where I end up!  For me, the most important thing is having the freedom to design and introduce new designs on an ongoing, weekly basis, rather than being restricted to a couple of ‘collections’ a year.  From the very beginning this has been a really important thing for me because it keeps things fresh and interesting – for me and my customers.  Selling online and in small, independent boutiques is ideal for this way of working, and I’m really happy with it!

What is your favourite piece?

At the moment, my favourite design is my Bee Hive Necklace (below). It just incorporates the two areas of design that I love best – clean, classic and wearable geometric shapes, with little element of fun to make it worth talking about. 

What would you say your biggest success so far is?

One of my proudest moments to date was being asked to sell in the Fashion and Textile Museum, London.  I’ll freely admit I did a lap of honour round my living room that day!

Seek out a one off item for yourself at www.silkpursesowsear.com or at Eilidh’s Etsy shop

You can also follow her on Twitter and  Facebook to keep up to date with new listings as Eilidh seeks new materials, vintage items and shares her quirky ideas.