Category: Interviews

FashionFunny Granny Pictures and Fashion Design?

This week, I was perusing blogs and websites about fashion, design, art, and all things I love, when I happened upon a blog by a young woman named Charlotte Taylor. I found out that Charlotte is an up-and-coming fashion designer who is spunky, bright, and brimming with an optimism that is hard to find in the fashion industry right now.

Charlotte’s blog documents the process of starting her own line. I thought this was genius. It shows such a down-to-earth and human side of fashion that you can really relate to. This was very refreshing when compared to the normal snobbery of the fashion world that attempts to work as far away and as secretly as possible.

Charlotte went to Central Saint Martins, which is a fashion design school that most of the students at Pratt (the design school I attended in NYC) idolized. I was interested in her experience at design school and after design school, so I asked her if she would do an interview and explain some of her experiences of being and becoming a fashion designer with all of the lovely Lulus.com fans!

So here is the interview and some pics of her design process. Check it out!


Here is a picture of one of her mood boards that has some of the images that have inspired her line!

How did you get into fashion design?

I have always been artistic. I spent my weekends painting the Lake District, where I grew up, in watercolor. (Could I be more twee?!) I initially wanted to be an architect but changed my mind in my late teens. I am definitely a designer, as opposed to a “fashionista.” I love being creative and experimenting. I’m also one for pushing and challenging myself; I think it comes from having an older brother. If I didn’t keep up, I got left out!

What was fashion design like at Central Saint Martins?

To be honest, I didn’t really enjoy it for the fist few years, and I nearly left on a number of occasions for a number of reasons. However, I did a sandwich course, and in that I mainly worked with Marcus Constable, who was brilliant and taught me so much. I owe a lot to him. When I returned to college for my final year, we had a new tutor who was super enthusiastic and really pushed the course and the system. I loved every minute of that year and have really fond memories. We were like a family and would take it in turns to bring each other treats to keep us going.

What are the things that really get you worked up and going when it comes to your work? Is it the drawing, production, fabrications, etc.?

Hmm, all of it, really. It is the most satisfying thing, looking back at an inspiration board with finished garments in your hand, picking out where all the details, fabrics, pleats, etc. came from. I find the whole process totally exhilarating. Even being creative with marketing and PR is exciting. I am totally in love with what I do. It gives me such a buzz.

Who are some designers that have influenced you the most? Or any artists that have had an impact on the way that you see/approach design?

Jenny Saville influenced me a lot in my early days (about 15 years old). She paints overweight ladies in a “no frills” manner. She shows people, warts and all, and accentuates the bad parts more than the good. I love her paintings, although some of them are truly grotesque. It really got me started on “ugly beauty.” I then moved on to beauty in age, decay, etc. and am still today influenced greatly by all these things. I wouldn’t say that I am influenced by designers as such; it is more everyday life.

What are some of your favorite trends or fashion movements?

I love the mods. I have a lot of respect for punks too. It was revolutionary. To be a punk, you have to sacrifice a normal existence to some extent. It’s a life change. I’m also a closet 80′s fan, mainly because most of it makes me laugh a lot. The film Working Girl is one of my favorites. White socks and trainers over 10 denier tights with a mini skirt and a perm that would put any poodle to shame … you’ve got to give that girl credit.

For your upcoming debut, what is the concept/inspiration for the collection? Or how did grannies start to inspire you? What details/attributes to little old ladies are you implementing in your designs?

The collection is inspired by trashy grannies, penguins and the eccentric within. I take aspects from all of these. Colour, shape, fabric, story, etc. The clothes do not look like they have been swiped from a granny’s back; they just have hints of it.

And what are some of your hopes and dreams for where your ideal landing place would be with your line and business?

I aim to sell to small boutiques in the UK and online, starting small to build up good relationships with retailers and make sure that all deadlines and targets are met. There is nothing worse than a designer getting too big for their boots at the beginning, falling flat on their face and then looking like a fool the next season when they end up with half the budget and rubbish collection/lookbook etc. People don’t forget that. Fashion is all about image and the publics’ perception of a brand. If people like the brand’s image and the “Charlotte Taylor girl,” they will buy the product. Marc Jacobs is exemplary at this.

Any other hobbies/interests that you have?

When I’m not in the studio I’m doing sport of some kind. I’m big into my watersports and have been wakeboarding and skurfing all summer. I am learning to surf too. I also did a half triathlon last year and am doing a half marathon in March with my bro. We intend to do a full triathlon by the end of the year. I would love to run the New York Marathon as well. I am a massive skiing fan too.

FashionNyala Reporting from PAKISTAN!

Sooooo this week I received new news from Nyala (our makeup artist) in Pakistan! The process of finding the PERFECT wedding dress has been a journey for Nyala that has taken her all the way from California to Pakistan.

I remember this summer, when I first met her, Nyala was showing me pictures of this Pakistani fashion designer and I remembered being in awe of the color, textures, and intricate bead work covering the gorgeously constructed gowns that she showed me. Now Nyala is actually having her dress made by the very same designer that she was showing me that day almost six months ago!

Read the rest to find out about Nyala’s journey from Nyala herself!

So, who’s doing my wedding dress?

I had been eyeing Pakistani fashion magazines for years now, in anticipation of what my dress will look like. I had my heart set on a ivory gown — not very traditional in color for my culture, but nowadays, red is no longer mandatory. After years of research I’ve came across many designs, but only a few excited me.

While meeting with various designers to view their collections, I found her! If there were ever another Pakistani who envisioned the fusion of Western wear with the grace and tradition of Pakistani fashion through my eyes, it’s Saadia Mirza.

Saadia has created a brand that caters to many. You won’t, however, get to see the real effect of her work through just any magazine ad or picture, as I learned after visiting her showroom. You must see her fabrics, stitching, intricate and detailed embellishments in person.

She is one of the few designers who uses nothing but real stones (garnets, topaz, turquoise and real crystals). I also love her recent use of the very vintage technique of hammered nakshi (metal thread) to create motifs.

As I visited her, I did not know what to expect for my bridal appointment. I whisked through her showroom, and my eyes landed on this one dress. It was a perfect structure that needed to be re-designed to fit my personal style and needs. Many designers feel their designs are perfection and not to be messed with. So I was nervous by the suggestion of many customizations although as I tried it on, I began to visualize all of my changes.

She was sitting on her chair with a sketch pad and pencil. As I began sharing my thoughts with my sister and aunt who came along, I noticed her sketching away. Every suggestion was being transformed to the dress on her pad. I was incredibly impressed with her amazing ability to visualize my words exactly how they were in my mind.

I have yet to see the dress, but I have full faith in her work. Her fabrics are incredible, and her skill is unmatchable. I feel very fortunate to be able to have my dress designed by Saadia Mirza!

Here’s our mini interview with Saadia Mirza:



How long have you been designing?

It’s been about 10 years now.

At what stage did you feel you’ve made your name known?

I still feel that I haven’t reached the point I’d like to be at, which would require me to become a fully international brand.

I’m sure LuLu*s fans would love to know if you do custom work for individual needs?

Of course! I love to customize, and that’s what I specialize inL custom designs for each client.

From all of your “V” brands — Virtue, Velocity, Vision, Voyage — which is your most favorite to design for?

Velocity is my favorite.

Do you enjoy the shapes and style of Western fashion?

Yes. I love doing Western pieces. I went to the London College of Fashion. I was trained with that style and vision.

What is your favorite event to design for?

I love bridals. It’s a lot of work, but that’s the most enjoyable … to see a girl wearing my piece on such an important day.

When choosing your runway models, what do you look for?

Unfortunately, we don’t have much choice when there are runways shows. The models are choosen by the sponsoring agencies. I do, however, look for models who have grace and confidence, when they carry my pieces.

FashionLulus.com Model Profile!!

We have been doing model profiles and interviews with models from our vintage section, however, we have not yet done a profile on any of the in-house LuLu*s models!

So, I am here to introduce you to one of the first Lulus.com models and one that will be leaving us and moving to LONDON this month! We are sad but very excited for her and (selfishly) can’t wait to get fashion updates from London!!!

Here is Serine…. and she is, needless to say, one of the funkiest and fun models I have EVER worked with! Below are some pics done outside LuLu*s (in my designs) for a little sneak peak into her “real” personality!! Keep posted this week for the newest pictures of Serine in CUTE dresses on Lulus.com!!

Serine was born in Santa Cruz, California. She grew up in San Francisco, and then moved to Chico, California, for high school. During her junior year of high school, Serine got an internship at the LuLu*s Fashion Lounge boutique in downtown Chico.

Soon after she began her internship, the Lulus.com website was launched, and she became one of the online team! Now, Serine does everything from modeling on the site to supervising and coordinating our inventory.

In her time off, Serine travels. Her favorite places are Serbia, Croatia, London, Amsterdam, Bosnia, Switzerland, Greece, and Rome. At the end of this month, Serine is actually leaving us and moving to London. When she gets there, Serine plans to work in the fashion industry.

Pictures were taken by Daniel De Porres and Kyle Delmar.

InterviewsAn Interview With a Nikita Model and Free Goodie Bags!

 

This week I got to do an interview with another Nikita boarder, Gabrielle Maiden!

How did you get into snowboarding?

Started off skiing, saw how much fun snowboarding was, then shortly after I traded in my skis for a board. It was a hobby that turned into something way more amazing.

When did you first realize that it was your “thing”?

I guess I realized it after the first couple days I was learning. I wanted to keep riding, better my skills and explore the awesome sport.

Where did you grow up? Where is your favorite place to board?

I grew up in Southern California, mostly in Woodland Hills, Topanga Canyon and Marina Del Rey. Big Bear Lake is my home mountain and will always be my favorite place to ride. Brighton in Utah is also a favorite of mine.

(Photos by Nick Lipton)

Where are your favorite places to travel or your favorite place that you have been to?

My favorite places to travel are Iceland, Japan and being back home with my family. Favorite places I have been to are Iceland, Japan, New Orleans, Berlin and Barcelona.

What are some of your other hobbies? What kind of music do you listen to?

I like to watch movies, read, and paint, draw on restaurant napkins, act, model, play sports, skateboard and so much more. I like to listen to a wide variety of music. Such as, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Devendra Banhart, Devotchka, Velvet Underground, Hendrix, The Beatles, Billie Holiday, my dads music; Rufus and Chaka Khan, Sly and Family Stone. The list is endless.

What gets you pumped up?

All the little things get me pumped … string cheese, applesauce, or even seeing an old friend randomly at the grocery store. It doesn’t take much to get me excited, or happy.

What is one of your best boarding experiences?

Riding every day with all my friends is a freshly new and fun boarding experience.

How did you get into Nikita clothing? How would you describe your style or what you look for in clothes?

I started riding/modeling for them since I was 18 and its been a perfect match ever since. My style is I guess a retro mix of funky. It depends on my mood, but mostly, my style is from the 60’s and 70’s persuasion. I grew up with many musical influences. I just appreciate and prefer the classics.

I shop in thrift stores a lot, reason being, because I don’t like walking down the street and someone saying, “oh I have that shirt in blue!” I’d rather have what no one else has and something that’s of special value, so people would be more like, “Whoa, where did you get that outfit?” instead.

Soooo in the vein of LOVING NIKITA they have sent us “Gift With Purchase Bags” (goodie bags) for every Nikita sale! That means, lovely ladies, that every time you buy a Nikita product from LuLu*s you will receive a FREE goodie bag! Woop Woop! We only have so many of them so you MUST get them while we still have them!

A few Nikita suggestions for this year’s winter weather! From left to right: Afternoon Coat, Fandango Hoodie, Faithful Sweater and  Footloose Hoodie [sold out!].

MusicNEEDTOBREATHE on Lulus.com!

Recently, on Lulus.com, we have been hosting a contest with the band NEEDTOBREATHE. Here is a short interview I did with the lead singer of the band.


How did you first come to play music? Did you grow up with it or find a love of it on your own?

 
I got involved in music at an early age. I think my parents recognized that I had a natural talent for it, so my mother got me started early with piano lessons and children’s choir. I finally got my first drum kit when I was twelve. I was hooked after that.

What are some of your biggest musical influences? Who did you grow up listening to, and whom do you consider a musical role model?
When I was little, I was a huge fan of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” record. It made me want to play saxophone.  I got into a lot of the early 90′s alternative stuff right as I started playing drums, so I was all about Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains. My favorite band of all time is a band from South Carolina called Jump, Little Children. They aren’t together anymore, but I followed their entire career since I was fifteen. They had a huge impact on how I think about songs and harmonies.

 
Who do you listen to now?

 
I listen to whatever I can get my hands on. The new Band of Skulls record is great. The Alternate Routes are great, too. They came out with us for a few shows last month.
 
You guys just came back from touring, I believe, do you enjoy touring besides how exhausting it is?

 
I love touring. It does tend to wear you down after a while, but, for me, touring is the ultimate goal of what we do as a band. I love working in the studio and developing new stuff, but the best part of being in a band is getting in front of a crowd and really connecting with people.  
 
What is your favorite part in the process of making an album, writing the songs, practices, recording, filming the music video, touring? What is the most rewarding?

 
I think recording and touring are rewarding in different ways. Like I said before, I love the personal interaction we get with the audience when we’re out playing shows. But I think the albums themselves can be more rewarding for the fans. That’s how they really spend the most time with our music and make connections with our songs.
 
And lastly I know that you probably don’t have a second of free time on tour but what are some of your favorite places that you have been to on tour?

 
There are a few cities that stand out for me. I’m a huge fan of San Diego, Chicago, Boston and Portland. And we loved Charleston so much we decided to move down here. I think Charleston is the best city in the south.
 
Do you have a favorite gig/concert that you’ve done so far?

 
On our last tour we played our old hometown, Greenville, SC. We played a club where I saw Jump, Little Children for the first time and a ton of other bands while I was growing up. We sold out an entire weekend, Friday through Sunday, and the atmosphere was amazing! Those have been my favorite shows, so far.
 

Check out the contest!