Planet Kitsch

As promised earlier this week, here’s a pic of the skirt that I made a few days ago – it’s a very simple A line shape, made from my skirt block so it fits like a glove ! Highly recommend making a block up if you haven’t already.

But really, it’s the fabric that I wanted to show off. It is just so gorgeous – by Timeless treasures and from the fabric store Fancy Moon. What I especially love is the vibrancy in the pattern and it’s really good quality.

The elevated three strap PVC heels are Vivienne Westwood Anglomania / Mellissa and are sooo comfy.. and bubble gum scented :) My sunnies are by Miu Miu..

If you have made something from a retro / kitsch fabric recently or have created a vintage inspired piece – It’d be great to see it – and share it with everyone here on my blog ? Send an image over with your name and a link and I will post a little montage soon ! Yey !

Feel free to use my images, just please ping a link back to LucyLovesYa :)

Please share the love by clicking on the links below xx

Cool cameras and Parklife !

Hoorah ! Lomography managed to get this leopard print ‘Diana Mini” camera *swoon* over just in time for the weekend ( thanks, guys :) ), so it came along to the Blur/New Order/Specials Hyde Park gig on Sunday… which I might add was, as expected – brilliant. Don’t ever stop making music, Blur… pretty please ? Can’t believe that twenty ( plus ) years on, Damon still has as much energy as he always did. I’m a bit hoarse today from singing along.. but all worth it :) it was really good watching some of the Olympic closing ceremony too on the screens. What a couple of weeks it has been.. long may the positivity continue.. Can’t wait for the paralympics now !

Were you there too ? Would love to know what you got up to on Sunday ? Did you watch the Olympic ceremony ? Has it inspired you too ?

It took literally a few minutes to get going with the Lomography camera ( as aforementioned, I usually hold phone in direction of desired image and snap a pic ) but I’ve worked it out now and absolutely love the flash bulb. I am a bit of a sucker for aesthetics too and this little leopard lady is doing it for me ! Also really like the fact you can hang it around your neck.. would be a crime to hide ‘Mini Diana’ away ! :)

I don’t know about you but nowadays I use my phone so much to take pictures and then very rarely get any of them printed off, so I can actually fill a photo album for once with some lovely memories !

According to the cool little booklet that accompanies the camera – you can snap up to 72 pics with one film roll… and am going to try my first ever multiple exposure panoramic image. Actually feel like a proper budding photographer now… who knows where this will take me :) Really looking forward to developing the first film later this week.

www.lomography.com have a huge selection of equally delectable cameras, have a look if you haven’t already…

In other news, I am making myself a skirt in this fabric this evening from my skirt block and will show the completed number soon…

Please share the love by clicking on the links below xx

INSPIRE ME – with This is Rude

Todays ‘Inspire Me’ is all about the brilliant London based cult product design duo – Rupert Meats and Abi Williams, aka – This is Rude.

This is Rude started out thirteen years ago as a t-shirt label using hand drawn illustrations incorporating their passion for screen printing. Before long they expanded into a street brand selling their clothing as far as the United States and Japan.

Since then, This is Rude have collaborated with a huge amount of high profile clients such as Sony, Vogue, The Guardian, Tate Gallery, The National Theatre, Boden.. to name just a few with their easily recognisable illustration and animation product design.

With the amazing Olympic fever going on right now here in london, it seems a perfect time to chat with Rupert as This is Rude have also just designed the t-shirt for Samsungs Warm and Win Hope Relay Competition. I wear mine with pride :)….

  

How did you and Abi meet ?

Abi and I met at a design company in west London almost 15 years ago. We’re now married with 2 x kids, so we work together and run a family together. It seems to work.

  

 What inspired you to create ‘This is Rude’ ? 

After I left the design company (I was only there for a year) I wanted to do something on my own which was creative, a reaction against the corporate work which we were made to do. Around that time no one was doing illustration onto T-shirts or product.

  

I first bought one of your t-shirts around twelve years ago  – Did you know at this point that you would evolve into such a diverse company ? 

I knew that our road would not be straight forward and in any creative business there are lots of twists and turns. As long as the work we do is creative thats all that matters to me.

Do you do all of your illustration by hand or ever use computer graphics ? which do you prefer to use ?

I try and do a mix, so I will draw stuff out, some of it looks great as it is and some of it need sorting out in photoshop and then adding to in illustrator.

  

 How long have you been doing animation too ? 

Abi was asked about 5 years ago to create a pop video for cult band ‘Cornershop’ since then she has been involved in quite a few animation projects and last year we were involved in a project for the Manchester International Festival where we worked with school kids who drew the characters and we animated them and Cornerhop worked on a track (with the kids) to go with it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyRsiU9dc_Q

Are you a music fan and if so – what do you like to listen to for inspiration when you’re working ?

We have quite an eclectic music taste, we go to Glastonbury every year a top up on new stuff. I’ve just resurrected my turn table in the studio so I’m playing lots of old vinyl at the moment. When we had out shop 10 years ago we had it in there and would buy £1.00 records from Spitalfields market on a Thursday. Old Elton John records, things like that.

  

Your style is very distinctive and yet clearly appeals to a wide audience – how have you managed this ? :) 

We love colour which I think helps, also if you stay true to your style over time it will become your signature.

 What has been your biggest achievement to date with This is Rude ?

Not giving up on it! About 9 years agowhen Billy cam along it would have been easier to go out and get a job, I’m so glad we persisted, as it’s paid off.

For anyone reading this, wanting to start their own brand/business – what advice would you offer them ? 

Just do it, don’t wait, the younger the better as you can make all your mistakes when your young and then learn from them when your a bit older !

  

You’ve worked with various clients including The Guardian, Vogue, The National Theatre, Sony Playstation, Mini Boden, No Added Sugar, Joseph Joseph, Capital Radio … is collaborating a big part of what you do ? 

Yeah, you know who your going to work with next, interesting collaborations as so important for modern creative businesses.

      

What’s happening for ‘This is Rude’ in the near future? Any new projects in the pipeline ?

We’ve got some very exciting things happening this Autumn, watch this space…I can’t say anymore than that !

  

A big thanks to Rupert for sharing a nice little slice of his time and inspirations. Always good to put a face to a great company.

Have a look at their website – www.thisisrude.com you will find a whole lot more information on Rupert and Abi’s work and their online shop –  brimming with mouth watering screen prints, bags .. and even Melamine sets ! :) You can also become a fan on Facebook.

All images copyright of This is Rude 2012.

 Please share the love by clicking on the links below xx 

INSPIRE ME – With Romero Bryan

It’s hard not to be in awe of Romero Bryan. As a teenanger, he was already well on the way to success as a fashion designer and stylist having had his creations worn by Usher, Beyonce Knowles, Cameron Diaz and Kelly Rowland to name but a few.

After graduating from London College of Fashion in 2005 with continued global notoriety, Romero has released consecutive seasons of stunning, cutting edge pieces – most recently worn by Supermodel Alex Wek and admired by Michelle Obama. Romero is listed on the Bank of Scotland Rich list 2020 with a predicted estimated fortune exceeding £30 million.

It seems very fitting to be interviewing Romero Bryan today for ‘Inspire Me’ as having known him for some time now – he has done just this with his talent, focus and supportive positivity. But, also as a fan of Romero’s work and his intrinsic talent for style.

Romero, how did your career start out ?

My mother was a Fashion Buyer throughout my childhood years, so I was always around new collections before it hit shop floors. My grand parents were both Tailors and seamstresses too, so it was only natural for me to gain an interest in fashion at such a young age.

By the age of 12, just entering secondary school – I had already learnt how to make a shirt and trouser.

Who and what inspired you ?

I have been inspired by many people and many things in my life.

The people that inspired me firstly were my family members already in the fashion trade ie my mother and grandparents.

Watching fashion related programmes on television – featuring designers like John Galliano, Westwood & McQueen, such as FASHION TV growing up was always a treat. So you can just imagine the joy it brought once I had my very own work showcased on fashion TV seen by millions worldwide.

 What’s the best thing about being a fashion designer ?

I love dressing women in CONFIDENCE. Nothing is more rewarding than giving a woman confidence through dressing her in your work.

Besides being financially rewarding eventually LOL, the feeling of making a lady feel great about herself gives me chills.

Infact, everytime a client sends me pictures of themselves wearing purchases from the brand, along with how nice they felt, I get all excited like a child in a sweet shop. LOL.

How does each season work ? How far ahead do you have to be with each collection ?

Considering its only July 2012, Im already working on producing the collection for SS collection for 2013, like most other designers.

We’re two seasons ahead of whats being sold in stores.

Infact, sometimes I get ahead of myself and design even further into the future, as Im always bursting with ideas, that my team have to stop me at times hehe.

So the SS’12 collection as worn by Alek Wek and adored by 1st Lady Michelle Obama being sold RIGHT NOW, was actually designed even as far back as January 2011 and show-cased in New York September 2011. So that should give the readers some idea as to how far ahead we work ahead of whats being sold in stores.

Do you have particular fabrics that you like to work with and why ?

Anyone who knows ROMERO BRYAN will know that SILK CHIFFON is my absolute favourite fabric to work with.

Its so feminine and floaty, almost dream like. I love seeing a woman wearng silk chiffon with the natural air hitting it, creating shapes moulded by the air.

Im turning myself on here, Lucy maybe I should stop hehehe.

But yep, Silk Chiffons is a must in every ROMERO BRYAN collection ;)

With your designs being world renowned, you must travel alot for all of your shows.. how do you manage everything ?

Actually that’s a real good question hun. LOL.

Well first and foremost id like to thank my beautiful team especially my right hand lady – my PA ‘Sophia Borovick’ and fabric sponsors ‘Borovick Fabrics Ltd’ in London.

Sophia as I refer to her, is the brain behind helping to manage the brand’s affairs.

Don’t tell her this, but as well as a real good friend – she’s like a ‘proud mother’- always reminding me to do things both in my personal life ( ie. vitamin tablets & to rest up well ) as well as brand related issues.

She remembers everything I forget hehe ;)

My head of PR Sarah Goods is of great help too.

My mother helps with the sewing of odd jobs in between her own busy life. My sister helps with the odd jobs here and there, but now has started her own life lol. And my dad as my mum calls him ‘ROMERO BRYANS BANK of DADDY’ hehe

So you see it isnt just ‘me’ in team work.

It’s a group of us that help make everything happen.

Your designs have been seen on many celebrities including Beyonce Knowles, Cameron Diaz and Kelly Rowland – who would you like to see next in a Romero Bryan piece ?

Well I’m quite fond of 1st Lady Michelle Obama, as I think she is gorgeous.

Ooooooo and I LOVE ADELE.

I thought I’d let the hype surrounding Adele die down a bit, as I didn’t want to be influenced by the press when she first released her album, but OMG her talent is off the CHAIN!

Her album is now on constant replay. Lots of tears shed to the album since purchasing it months after every one else, but she is a true talent, and I’d love nothing more than to dress her one day.

Are there any designers or brands that you would love to collaborate with at some point ? 

Incase anyone in the fashion industry reads this, I won’t comment there. but lets just say I have been approached by a few companies in the past that I have turned down due to not feeling ready for such a commitment.

But I have grown since then, and have learnt not to answer questions like this in case I shoot myself in the foot, mentioning an opposing company that has interest in wanting to work with the ROMERO BRYAN brand.

Is there any advice you can offer to someone just starting out in the world of design ?

There’ll be times that all you’ll ever hear is the word ‘NO’ but please learn not to take things so personal.

My first lover told me whenever I am told ‘NO’ in my career to take it as ‘NOT YET’ and keep knocking on those doors.

xx

What kind of attributes would you say are needed to be a successful fashion designer?

CREATIVE PASSION, DETERMINATION, BUSINESS MIND ( or at least a good business partner lol )

How do you see the next five years panning out for you ?

Within the next 5 years, the brand ROMERO BRYAN should be in boutiques worldwide alongside the top luxury brands. In terms of shows, I am thinking up new cost effective ways of promoting the brand and who knows by then, they’ll be new more advanced innovative ways of having your work showcased.

But overall, within the next 5 years, I would like the brand to be a self sustained profit-making company.

Lastly ( but definitely not least ) … what are your proudest career moments to date ?

Meeting my childhood idol – Grammy Award winning singer & actress BRANDY. Having her purchase garments from my collection was a dream come true. Infact anytime I become drained and unsure about making it in this fashion industry, I close my eyes and remember that feeling I got when she made my dreams come true.

Showcasing my work in the V&A (Kulture 2 Couture) and having Naomi Campbell in the front row – shouting out my name whilst I walked the finale. WOW…. I get chills still thinking about it now lol.

Showcasing my work in my homeland Jamaica was another great feeling.

Dressing Alek Wek in my gown, having been a big fan of her.

Being told by White House Staff that Michelle Obama is very proud of my work ethics and adores my collections as worn by Alek Wek.

A very special thanks to Romero Bryan for sharing his wisdom and inspirations. You can find his website at www.romerobryan.co.uk, become a fan on his Facebook page or follow on Twitter.

Creative team Credits:

Photos 2,3 & 4 Romero Bryan S/S 12 range. Photograper: Nathan Small. Creative Director/Stylist: Sarah – Adiana Butler. Hair: Sarah Tucholska.

Photo 5. Alex Wek wears Romero Bryan S/S 12.

Photo 6  Romero Bryan S/S 12 range. Photogrpaher: Adam Bennett. Styling and Creative Direction: Tess Daly. MUA and Hair: Zaiba Khan.

Photo 7 Romero Bryan S/S 12 range. Couture Latin Fashion Week. New York.

Photo 8 Romero Bryan A/W 12 range.Photgrapher: Luke Woodford. Hair and Make up: Rosie Lee.

Photo 9 Romero Bryan S/S 11. Photographer: Ryan Lue-Clarke. Make up: Loni L Jones. Hair: Kenya Henry.

Photo 10 Romero Bryan. Photographer: Karl Bryan. Stylist: Tess Daly. MUA and Hair: Natasha Horton.

INSPIRE ME – with Irregular Choice

I think I ‘may’ have *cough* mentioned before… once or twice ;) that I am a HUGE Irregular Choice fan. As in, not able to pass a shoe store without popping in and checking out their latest designs… trying on…… and then purchasing them…. :)

For a while now, I have wondered about the innovative creator and designer behind this now world renowned label – Dan Sullivan.. how he puts his lines together each season and what makes him tick. Not only do Irregular Choice design mouth watering footwear ( that I have recently also seen cool brides adourning ), clothing, bags and accessories – they even now make very pleasing on the eye homeware !

So, my friends.. today is a really special day. It’s ‘Inspire Me’ .. all about Dan, his design inspirations for Irregular Choice and his directional, extremely exclusive new collection – Dan Sullivan . A collection for “die hard fans” – and I can assure you, he has not held back – they really are incredible as you are about to see…

    

Dan, how did you get into shoe design ? Had it always been your plan ?

My parents had a line of shoe stores called Transit in the UK during the 70’s punk Camden London era, so from an early age I grew up around footwear, design and how to retail that to the consumer. I then learned about production by traveling to the factories jn the far east. I didn’t go to fashion or design school.

  

What I love about Irregular Choice, is that your shoes, clothing and accessories are totally unique – where do you get your inspiration ?

Thank you, that’s definitely our brand ethos. Everything I’ve done has been self- taught and influenced by travels- experiencing a huge variety in world cultures, people, fashions and food. I have to say Japan is probably my most influential place.

          

Do you have a strong vision of each piece before you start the designing process, or does it evolve as you work?.. and do you name the shoe style before or after ? :)

I have a clear vision of the direction I want to take, design wise, in order to push the boundaries from the collection before. I then use a huge library of colors, textures, trims and fabrics to make that happen. I make sure that each collection has meaning and is well- rounded, so although the shoes are very different and strong , there really is a shoe for everybody. The naming of the shoe comes afterward, once we see how the shoe has turned out in person as opposed to drawing.

        

You have a huge fan base, worldwide – is this something that happened very quickly ?

I’m very thankful to the Irregular Choice fans, the fan base has evolved greatly over the past 12 years which is great. I think that the opening of the London England store in 2009 really saw the brand catapult here in the UK as it was a place for fans to come and really understand what we are about as a whole lifestyle.

           

As well as stocking internationally, you have your own Irregular Choice stores in Brighton, London, Hong Kong, Virginia in the USA and currently a ‘pop up’ shop in Paris, Does this mean you spend alot of time travelling and how do you combine it with the designing side of things ?

Yes, our retail has expanded which is really where I want to see the growth of the brand in the future. It means I can present Irregular Choice in an environment so unique and memorable that people keep coming back. Although I do travel a lot, particularly to the Far East and to the factories to check on production and sampling, I set aside specific time to design the season’s collection. I plan it into my schedule and close the door from outside distractions. Thats the only way I can really get the point of the brand across in design and keep each collection consistently unique.

          

Do you get time to switch off? What is an ideal day of chilling for you ?  

Sometimes ! Spending time at home with my family is the best day.

   

Recently, you launched an exclusive collection under your own name – Dan Sullivan. Will you be doing this every season and what can we expect ?

I went back to the roots of what makes IC unique and desirable and timesed it by 1000. The Dan Sullivan Collection is really a thank you to the fans, and I havn’t held back in creating one- of a kind shoes. These I think are some of my favorite designs as it’s truly different. I also wanted to keep them unique by making only a dozen or so of each style, so each customer really feels special. At the moment they are available on www.dansullivan.eu and each month I will be launching new styles between now and Feb 2013.

           

For anyone reading this interview who wants a career in design, what advice would you offer them ?

I never went to design school, so I can’t say that works for everybody. But I would say to emerse yourself in whatever inspires you and whatever motivates you to design and makes you happy.

        

A large cap doffing thanks to Irregular Choice and of course, Dan himself.
You can keep up date with Irregular Choice on Twitter, Facebook and also on their website and blog www.irregularchoice.com

 

Please share the love by clicking on the links below  xx

All images copyright of Irregular Choice 2012.

INSPIRE ME – with Paris – Coldplay’s Artist in residence.

A few weeks ago, I talked about my evening at the Coldplay concert at Emirates stadium on the leg of their Mylo Xyloto UK tour.

As my husband is currently working with them, myself and a few friends went to their show and our first impressions of the huge stage area were all literally “WOW”.

We were completely blown away by the graffiti artwork, the enormity of it all and how totally captivating it was. A massive beautiful work of art !

This week for ‘Inspire Me’, I feel very lucky indeed to be interviewing the artist who has created all of this – Paris, and to find out more about his artwork, inspirations and plans for the future as well as what it is like to be collaborating with Coldplay, one of the biggest bands on our globe…

Firstly, Paris, what an amazing gig to get ! Please tell me how your collaboration with Coldplay came about ? 

I’ve been so lucky to land what I reckon is one of the best jobs in the world !….

The band already had an interest in graffiti , but they wanted to meet a real graffiti artist… I was recommended through a friend of a friend.

I met the band, we had fun spraying in their studio, and before you knew it we were painting the Album cover for Mylo Xyloto and getting jetted around the world to paint all kinds of things for their shows !…

 How does it feel having 50,000 people a night at the Coldplay shows looking at your graffiti work ?

It’s an amazing feeling, I got to see quite a few of the Stadium gigs last month in Europe, and the other week in Manchester was one of the best yet… the whole show, the whole production is incredible ,so just to be a part of that is great…when I think how many people see it in just two days its staggering…and our artwork is hard to miss, it’s all over the stage, instruments, screens & stadium !

My husband, Andy, is blown away by your speed ! You turn Chris Martin’s piano and Will Champion’s drum kit into pieces of art so quickly. Do you pre plan what you are going to create and do you always work at a fast pace ?

I think working fast keeps you on your toes, and it gives your artwork an added vitality.

This is what first attracted me to graffiti as a kid, when it’s done well it has a lot of visual power.., and a lot of this comes from painting at night, the thrill and the energy comes through in the work.

For the Coldplay artwork I’m creating a look that is playful and loose, and this can be a lot harder to create in a studio than it looks…one way of getting the right effect is to do it fast, get loads of paint & pens and just go at it !

At what age did you start graffiti-ing and what inspired you ?

I was about 7 or 8 when I first saw graffiti, in about 1981, at that time it was just Punk graffiti, stuff like the Anarchy symbol & “The Jam” & “Sis loves Saz” written on walls near my house, even then I remember it fascinated me, to think who did this ? and when did they do it ?..

By about 1984 there was a lot more breakdance style graffiti around Hull, and this was more colourful, that stuff I loved.

In the middle of a housing estate you’d see “Egyptian Lover” in 6ft high letters in reds, oranges yellows blues & greens…I’d see this from the school bus every day….I just thought “I want to try that” it looked like so much fun.

Did you study art at college?

Yeah, I had a really good tutor at Hull College called Connie Littlefield, she taught a whole bunch of us Hull kids about the Great Masters & the great art movements..The Cubists, The Impressionists,  Art Deco.. all that.. and took us to London & Paris ( this is where I chose the name….in 1992 )..she really opened my mind to what was out there, really really inspired me…, after that I studied in Bolton for 2 years, then in Bristol for 2 more specialising in Printed Textiles for Fashion.

This was definitely the best course for me, so much looser than Graphics, and Fine Art was a bit too snooty…

I came out with a First Class honours so that was okay, but I had to build my business myself, and that took years !

 

Where did you used to do your graffiti art and do you know if any of it has survived the test of time ?… 

I used to live near a big park as a kid and like everywhere in Hull back then there where a lot of abandoned buildings.

There was an old boat house that we called the “Acid Hut” and this is where I did some of my early pieces with my mate Xenz and later we teamed up with an older lad called Eko. We painted an old swimming pool in the park too, the Lido, and the basket ball courts, it was good fun in there, not bothering anyone, and if you painted when Home & Away and Neighbours where on it was so quiet you had the place to your self and all the time in the world to spray. Sometimes the Park-keepers would chase us off but it was all good fun.

Most of those places have been re-developed or knocked down now, the handball court is still there but that gets re-painted every month or so…..it’s a legal graffiti wall now…haha.

I guess its the nature of graffiti to be temporal, even if it survives the test of time the weather will one day wash it away, there might be few bits & pieces around, maybe in someone’s back garden!

Your girlfriend, Milk, is also an artist, do you ever collaborate ?

Yes, Milk has helped me out a lot with some of the bigger Coldplay jobs, and we often get the chance to paint together at Festivals and on walls around the city. We met through painting, and our styles compliment each other well, I think it’s a match made in heaven ! X.

I’ve discovered French street artist Koralie and Swoon, from the States.. Are there alot of female graffiti artists in the UK ? 

I think there are a lot more female graffiti artists in general these days, though even in the beginning in 1970s New York there was Barbara 62 & Eva 62 and in the 80’s there was Lady Pink who still paints now.

I think it can be daunting for girls who want to paint, as graffiti can be a bit of a boys club, but the female influence is vital, I think it really freshens it all up. That’s how I met Milk, I saw her work and it was a hundred times more original than most blokes graffiti out there, with really beautiful colour combinations too.

Milk’s done a few pieces with my sister K184, and they also did a show called “Great Birds of the British Isles” with Amour and Dora who are also female artists.

How do you get inspiration nowadays ? 

Even if it’s just on the walk to my studio I’ve started noticing all these amazing marks on old walls and doors, and the effects corrosion can have on buildings. I find I’m looking at all of this around me with new eyes, I guess it’s just looking properly…, its always been there.

The Hockney show in April had a pretty profound effect on me..that was very inspiring, just the scale alone, it helped me see “the bigger picture”… a true master, and Jeremy Dellers recent show was also a real eye opener.

I find travel is one of the greatest sources of inspiration, wherever me & Milk go we’re always searching for the ‘down at heel’ bits of a city with Dusty shop fronts and old cafes.

We went all over Europe in 2010 and when we got back we just had hundreds of photos of old logos, shop fronts and bits of fabric !

 Are there any other artists/bands that you would really love to work with ?

I’d have loved to work with the Beastie Boys, as I admire everything they’ve ever done….

Jay Z would be cool to do something for, or I’d like to create something for a Detroit Label, I love that futuristic sound.

It would be pretty cool to create artwork for a sci-fi film …maybe just decor or graphics.

Your website www.paris1974.com showcases your paintings for sale – is this something you’re focusing on more now .. and what is happening for you in the near future ?

Yeah, now I’ve got a lot more time in the studio it’s really helped my painting to flourish.

This is something I really want to push, hopefully I can exhibit in London & further afield.

I find painting on canvas pretty scary, but you’ve just got to persist at it.  Doing a wall anywhere, in front of hundreds of people is nothing to me, but I really feel the pressure with a canvas. One way to get over this is not be too precise about it. I’ve got a big wall behind my studio and I nail a load of canvass to this and then just go off!, have fun then work back into each painting individually over time. The work’s selling really well and the prices are rising so hopefully this is something I can keep doing for years to come.

The Coldplay work has made all of this possible, and a lot of my new paintings have been inspired by this collaboration.

Do you have any advice for aspiring artists ?

Keep doing what you LOVE doing, theres a lot of distractions out there, but if you feel that art & creativity is your chosen path you’ve got to grab hold of it with both hands, Hockney’s work showed me that , he’s 70+ and all he’s been doing all his life is painting & drawing and being creative..and his work shows it, and its all totally possible, you’ve just got to believe in it, no-one will make it happen – but you.

Thanks so much to Paris, for giving me this interview and us all an insight into his life and inspirations. Really interesting, eh ?

If you would like to find out more about Paris’s artwork for sale, head on over to his website www.paris1974.com – that’s where I’m off to …. :)

All images are copyright of Paris 2012. Thanks Peeps

Please share the love by clicking on the links below xx

 

Vintage Vogue does denim !

A quick post to show you a completed dress from my sewdirect.com patterns that I mentioned last week. I went for the Vogue one first, it’s an original, reprinted 1954 design. It’s calf length and wrap around, fastening with hook and eyes and I chose to make the tie at the back version.

After much deliberation ( as ever ! ) I decided to use a light weight washed denim, and used a Liberty print bias binding ( it was worth buying the bias just for the big wooden bobbin ! ) from Clothkits.co.uk The combination kind of reminded me of floral fabric patches sewn on ripped jeans.. lovely childhood memories :)

But, the big question… what to accessorize with ? Well, I am yet to wear my bubble gum scented Vivienne Westwood/Melissa cherry heels… Yum :)

And… a pair of these sunglasses from Retrosun look rather appealing…. Dare I ?

Really looking forward to making the other two patterns soon.

What fabric would you like to see this dress made in ? I would love to know your thoughts…. :)

Feel free to use my dress images – just ping a link back to LucyLovesYa !

Please share the love by clicking on the links below xx

INSPIRE ME – With Anna Lou of London

You may well have spotted Anna Lou of London’s jewellery and accessories on various celebrities such as Emma Watson, Lily Allen, Kate Moss, and Fearne Cotton or in one of many magazine features including Vogue, Tatler, Elle, Bazaar, Grazia.. the list goes on and on. Indeed, you may also already own an Anna Lou of London piece – lucky you !

Creator and designer, Anna Lou Trent has not only won a highly prestigious award so far in her career for her fabulous designs, she also stocks Anna Lou of London, internationally.

Her signature piece being the initial necklaces, you can also find bespoke name bracelets and necklaces, perfectly unique wedding jewellery, something a bit tongue in cheek.. and everything lovely in between at the Anna Lou of London website.

Today’s ‘Inspire Me’ reveals a little bit more about Anna, how she became a designer, having trained as an actress and I get to share some of her jewellery images with you :)

How did you make the transition from being a professional actress to becoming a jewellery and accessories designer?

 I  set up a market stall on Portobello Road  in  2004 where I sold my bracelets I had made. I never trained in Jewellery making so taught myself from scratch. I used to make for friends initially and often received commissions so I thought it would be worth selling them on a market stall would be a good way to subsidise my acting career. Mainly because most of the work I had in acting was unpaid!

Surprisingly the bracelets I’d made were hugely successful.  My stand was always busy and I loved meeting all the great people who were fellow traders as well as great customers.

A few months after having the stall I was approached by Harvey Nichols to meet them. They took in all the bracelets in all colours and they sold out so fast they asked me to come back with my ‘next collection’. Having no idea what that was going to be I off course agreed to meet them with the ‘next collection’. Then i frantically made a range of necklaces and earrings and luckily the jewellery again was bought by the store and soon after it was instore theysold out again. They continued to buy my collections for a few years and the business grew from strength to strength. I am now stocked in hundreds of stores internationally and have my own website www.annalouoflondon.com

    

Where do you find the inspiration for all of your beautiful designs?

Tokyo, Japanese art,  New York City mainly..

    

You stock in countries around the world – how do you fit all of this into your schedule? :)

I dont know! It’s a juggle having a 2 year old ( Wilbur) and 7month year old (Buzz). I have to make sure I work 6-8 hour day. Normally it’s from 5am – 7am. Then do the children’s breakfast and playgroup and then when they sleep at lunchtime I work from 12-2pm doing the web orders. And again I work from 7pm -9pm.  But it’ll all change again next month, no doubt.

I made the decision though that I really want to bring up my children myself and be with them as much as I can before they go to school. So it won’t be long and I’ll be back to the business 100% full time. My husband is very supportive as well so when I have shows etc he takes the kids. We make it work as a team!

    

Do you have a proudest career moment to date?

I was awarded the first prize in the Observer Magazine – Future 500. I won the Retail and Fashion category.

Any advice for budding designers?

Test your product on a market stall so you can actually watch peoples reaction. Don’t keep putting things off. Remain positive. Put yourself out there. Don’t worry about breaking the rules!

    

What is happening for your brand for the rest of the year?

I am currently developing a new bag and candle range. All will be launched for Christmas.

Thanks, Anna – very inspiring ! You can visit the Anna Lou of London online store to see more of her creations, and also find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Please share the love by clicking on the links below xx

 

Vintage Frock Making and a few tips !

This week I will mostly be making retro style dresses !

I have received three utterly stunning patterns from the sewdirect.com vintage ranges and cannot wait to use them up !

The first one is a Vintage Vogue – it’s a 1954 pattern and it’s simplicity in style means I can probably get away with a bold fabric print…

The second is Butterick 1946 and has a long or short sleeve variation. The shape looks incredibly flattering.. Oh, to have lived in that era !

Such pretty bows on the third pattern – Butterick from 1953. All of the options are gorgeous, but tempted to make the A3 version. Wouldn’t this make a lovely wedding dress ?

It’s always so important to do your calculations before buying your fabric. I’ve made costly mistakes in the past, buying fabric because I like it ( well, why wouldn’t you :) ) and then starting the cutting, only to realise that it’s not wide enough or I haven’t bought enough. Aaagh ! :)

The other thing to consider is the size of the actual fabric patterns. What can look perfect online, may end up being huge in reality and be better for upholstery. Also, if you have panels/gathers/pleats – is the pattern design suitable ? Will it get lost or look dis-jointed.

Fabric stores are usually happy to send out a few samples, so I would definitely recommend checking first before making !

Now, what fabric do I use ? Polka dots ? Gingham ? Maybe denim with a trim ? Endless possibilites.. what would you use ?

Watch this space etc etc… these completed vintage dresses will be coming to a computer screen near you soon….

Have a good day.. and look out for my Inspire Me post this Thursday – I am rather excited… I’ve had a nice chat with Anna Lou of London and will be showing off her gorgeous jewellery and accessories :)

Please share the love by clicking on the link below xx

INSPIRE ME – with Melody Miller

If you love unique, vintage inspired, colourful fabric then this week’s ‘Inspire Me’ is right up your street :)

I have been a big fan of Melody Miller for a while now, a textile designer who has also created four lines so far, for Japanese fabric company Kokka. Her print collection’s are full of images of retro telephones, portraits, typewriters and vinyl records.

Ruby Star Wrapping –  Melody’s first book is out later this year…

How did your career start?

Well, I was trained as a fine artist and for several years after I had my daughter, I painted.  When that just didn’t pay the bills, I worked as a graphic designer at a real estate company, then after having my son, I decided to go out on my own with a line of curtains.  Those didn’t sell very well (okay, I sold one!) so one thing turned into another and I finally ended up shopping a portfolio around Quilt Market, which is how I began designing for Kokka.

Who and what inspires your work?

I have a background in industrial design, and am fascinated with the design of useful objects. For colour and pattern, I often reference vintage fashion and decor.  I’ve always loved to draw and paint faces, so those appear in my work as well.  I’m constantly inspired by artists, illustrators, crafters, designers, and sewists, and try to absorb as much as possible from the people around me.

  

What’s the best thing about your job?

I love that my job entails so many different creative endeavours. I go from the intensive designing process on my computer, to actually sewing samples with the fabrics. Then sometimes I have bursts of intense activity, like last summer when I was writing my book (it comes out this fall!), or next spring, when I was designing my booth for Quilt Market. In the meantime, I’m able to be here for my children and participate in my family. I feel very lucky to be able to do all of this :)

 For anyone wanting to break into the world of design – do you have any advice?

 Trust your own voice.  When you lean too far in the direction of someone you admire, you can lose yourself.  If your work scares you a little, that’s probably a good sign.

When will your next line of fabrics be available to buy and what can we expect?

My upcoming line was just released at Quilt Market in May, and will hit stores sometime in July.  There are 3 designs in 3 separate colorways on super-wide lightweight cotton/linen fabric (it’s over 60″ wide, and so breezy!  The fabric itself is a dream).  One print features 9 separate blocks that are each just shy of being fat eighths.  Another print features full-scale 7″ vinyl records (and a few of the labels were created by fellow fabric designers Thomas Knauer and Lucie Summers).  The last print was designed with skirts, aprons, and dresses in mind, and has decorative rows of silhouettes that had been featured in my previous fabric line, Ruby Star Shining.

Such amazing designs – truly inspiring ! A big thanks To Melody, I can’t wait for the vinyl records fabric :)

To find out more about Melody Miller and her work, visit her website or blog.

Please share the love by clicking on the links below xx