Oh, how I welcome 2011's Spring with open arms! I adore Spring, I always have. I love the idea of rebirth and regrowth, and of course, my birthday! This Spring, unlike any other, welcomes colour back to our fashion forecast! This season's Spring collections did showcase the typical soft, pastel colours but also an introduction of neon and brights occurred. 2011 is the year to have fun with your clothes, and to try something new! Ease yourself into the neon trend, by wearing it in small and simple doses (e.g a neon lipstick, a bright scarf) or if you're adventurous enough, invest in a statement jumper or skirt and wear with block colours. Keep it simple, and wear one neon piece with white/black pieces. Clash patterns and colours all you wish, but be wary, as you don't want to end up looking like a Saved By The Bell reject!
This is quite a typical outfit for me - dare I say, lazy. I ''threw on'' a band tee, a chopped up pair of shorts and some biker boots.. and away I went! I was quite inspired by Alaina Beaton's style today, she has been a personal style icon for years. I was in utter excitement this morning, when I heard the news of her first single being released on March 15th, so Alaina was in the back of my mind whilst choosing the ensemble.
As I mention in the video, I think everyone should own one, or numerous band tees. I always feel a sense of pride wearing a band tee, showing off my taste. They're extremely easy to wear, and add an edge to anyone's outfit.
My 'Model of the Year' 2010, Freja is looking so fabulous in this shoot. I adore her, and I adore the styling! Punk is making a huge comeback!
Instead of doing a day-by-day post on LFW, I thought it'd be better if I did one big one, at the end. While browsing through all of the collections, I forgot that it was for Fall & Winter.. all of the collections were so, Summery! Colour, print and the mixture of textures were seen throughout the week and I'm quite glad - I'm sick of the typical, dull and gloomy garments presented to us for the colder months. We need a bit of cheering up and bright clothes! Neon will be a huge trend this Summer, and the likes of Jonathon Saunders and David Koma, are making sure it stays for yet another season.
My favourite collection of LFW has to be the Central Saint Martin's graduate; David Koma's - his designs are so quirky and fun. The pom-poms may not be everyone's taste, but they really add variety to the collection, along with the reoccurring polka-dot designs!
Hopefully, I'll be attending London Fashion Week myself in the future, I envy anyone who gets to attend! Putting it lightly: 'I need to be there!'
Basso & Brooke:
House Of Holland:
Vivienne Westwood Red Label:
Did you always want to be a designer and did you ever study a course on it?
I had Fashion Wheel when I was small, and I was slightly obsessed with dressing up. I always wanted to do something creative, but I did not know exactly which direction I wanted to move into, until I moved to London when I was 17.
I studied Fashion in the Limerick School of Art and Design in Ireland and then Central St.Martins in London, on the MA course there.
Who/what influences your designs, do you have a specific muse for each collection?
Stories are my main inspirations and the people, moods that surround me. I like to tell a narrative through my collections and create in my head an imaginary girl who lives through the story of the clothes.
But I can be influenced by anything... Prison Cell Block H, country music, films, dance, bingo nights.... I am in love with the two Eddies from the 1970s Documentary 'Grey Gardens', they are always in the back of my mind.
What is your favourite piece of clothing to design and why?
I don't really have a favourite piece to design, it's more getting a rush when what you see in your head begins to become real, so it can be anything. I love my Autumn/Winter 11/12 collection, which I am just finishing and really excited about, It is called 'All The Jewellery I Never Got'.
What designers do you currently like and who do you think will be big for 2011?
I admire lots of designers all for different reasons, but right now I absolutely love Una Burke's gorgeous leather studded hand bags, so I think they will be really huge in 2011.
The illustrations of the t-shirts of your 'Damaged Goods' collection are fantastic, do you draw them yourself?
Yes, they were inspired by a story of Love gone wrong, a little whimsical and delicate but also with humor.
Do you think it's important for women the express their individuality through the clothes they wear, and how important is that you?
I think women do it naturally anyway. I really believe that a dress can change your day or the outcome of it. For me, I absolutely express my moods through clothes and although I have a distinct ''Natalie'' Style, I think I play with a lot of different influences.
I believe most women do this as there are so many depths of layers to our lives, it is a very clever and useful way to tell people what we wish to or not about ourselves. It is interesting to play with roles.
What celebrities's style do you admire and could you see any particular celebrity wearing your pieces?
I like Yolandi Yisser from Die Antwoord and also Chan Marshall, I would love to dress either of them. I think Kate Moss would look great in the over sized Illustrated Silk Vests.
If you had to give advice to a beginner in the fashion industry, what would it be?
I would just say to keep taking in influences from everywhere and spend a lot of time in College in the Library, as with good research you never know where your ideas can lead to and also it's fashion - you've got to be having fun with it.
What 5 trends should we be keeping any eye on for Summer 2011?
I don't really follow trends but my Orange and Pink Silk layered Skirt that is out for Spring/Summer '11 is really in right now, and also the Illustrated Triple Silk Georgette T shirts and Racer back Vests are great pieces that can be worn right through into next season. I think there is a leaning towards buying pieces that have something a little more special and original. I also really believe in more ethically produced clothing, I think you really need to have a conscience with Fashion whether as a designer or a buyer.
For more information on Natalie Coleman, visit her website here:
I've been receiving fantastic feedback about my OOTD's, so I shall definitely continue with them! This outfit is quite 50s - I'm wearing a classic trench coat from New Look, a blue polka-dot tea-dress from Penneys, teamed with a skinny red belt from A|Wear. To add an edge to the outfit, I wore my Doc Marten shoes and suspender-effect tights. This outfit is a typical 'day' outfit for me, and it's ideal for Spring!
This stunning dress is available in either blue or red, in all Penneys (Primark) stores. It's as cheap as chips, at €17! I've noticed some of the stitching has ripped already unfortunately, and I've heard complaints from other buyers also about the quality. Keep the dress for special occasions so, and have a look-over it, before you buy!
New Look is by far one of my favourite shops. It's totally trendy but still so affordable! I thought you guys might like these new items that are in New Look from this week. Gorgeous Spring dresses, with romantic prints and really cute accessories. These items are as cheap as chips and will see you through from Spring-Summer.
Hot-Air Balloon Necklace: €7.99
Seahorse Necklace: €8.99
Hot-Air Balloon Necklace: €7.99
Seahorse Necklace: €8.99
Floral Dress: €37.99
Scenic Dress: €39.99
When did you start designing and did you ever study a course in college for it?
I first did short courses while I was still in secondary school - I did dress making and design for 2 weeks each, at the Grafton Academy, and a beading course there too. I then studied Fashion Design, at Griffith College Dublin, which is a 3 year course. I just graduated last year, and my year was the first to graduate from the course. I did an internship in the Summer of 2008, with designer Todd Lynn in London. That's where I became more interested in menswear, which I did in my final year collection - 2 mens outfits and 4 women's. Working there also gave me more of an interest in tailoring. as I got to see that it doesn't necessarily have to be classic - it can be edgy and innovative too. They were nice enough to also give me some fabrics for my graduate collection too, and I have gone back every season for Fashion Week since, even this week actually!What gives you the inspiration for each piece you design, do you have any celebrities in mind?
My inspiration for my designs is very influenced by my mood at a given time, as I'm drawn to certain things depending on my mood. Music is a big influence - right now I'm listening to Warpaint a lot, and their haunting music and nostalgic sound is pretty inspiring. Then I usually look at art, or photography for visual references and colour stories. I like to take my own photographs and develop them in drawings. The concept behind the imagery inspires silhouettes. For example; in my graduate collection my ideas of repression, suffocation, and being overwhelmed; inspired constrictive fabrics, high collars, twisted drape, etc. I don't look at celebrities too much for inspiration although I do like to look at them for new trends and just out of general interest - I collect magazines and I am addicted to blogs! In menswear, I think hip hop artists are inspiring as they really understand how image can set you apart - Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, and Andre Benjamin are quite original. Street style is great because you can spot small underground emerging trends - I like spotting these to try be ahead of what the high street will do.For women's wear, the Olsen twins fit my aesthetic I think. Erin Wasson, Clemence Poesy, Zoe Kravitz, Chloe Sevigny are just a few of the other celebrities I like to look at.If you had to describe your label's 'look', what would it be?
As for my label's 'look', I modelled it on a high end exclusive brand. Being both men's and women's clothing, its quite androgynous but still sexy, I hope so anyway! There's a focus on high quality fabrics, and handcrafts like knit and leather work. I want each piece to be quite special but not outlandish, like a lot of student work would be. I find it hard to design unwearable clothes, maybe its because it seems quite pointless. I want people to enjoy what I design- whether it be a t-shirt or something more extravagant.. I called the brand 'Anthem' as I'm so influenced by music and I'd like to think that the clothes would appeal to the music and fashion set. I designed a diffusion line of men's streetwear in my final year called 'Accapella' and I designed with thinking that the clothes would be suitable for artists performing - comfortable yet stylish, and conceptual enough to make a statement. Brand image I think is very important, and it's something I enjoy - from marketing to logo design. Encapsulating an image for your brand is satisfying in a way, and I get a thrill from people remembering my brand name.
What designers do you look up to most and who do you think will be big for 2011?
I love the fabrics that Nicholas Ghesquire at Balenciaga uses. Alexander Wang I love for how he brought an off-duty look to the catwalk, rather than just formal wear. His focus on textures and styling is something that resonates with me too. Todd Lynn of course has been an influence in how he makes tailoring exciting, and I like his look more since he incorporated more drape. I like BBC and BAPE for their original streetwear for men - I think that sector is really exciting, with prints and colour for men. Peter Pilotto and Jonathan Saunders are really original with their prints.At the moment I really like Michael Van Der Ham for his draped dresses of contrasting colours and textures - I think they're original, yet elegant; a perfect balance really.Who do you get to photograph your garments and do you have certain models, make-up artists etc that you always go to?
Lucy Nuzum photographed my graduate collection. I saw her work on Model Mayhem, and more on her site and I loved her style. DJ O'Brein did the make-up and Jane Akkermann did the hair. Lisa Nolan, from BScene modelled for me as we went to primary school together, and Peter Kinane who was in my college course modelled the menswear. We shot it at Henrietta Street in Dublin; and the results were amazing. I'd definitely use that team again if I was to need another photoshoot done. Jill O'Meara, a student at Griffith College shot some of my earlier work in the studio and it's great to have images of all your work.What is the price range for your clothes?
I haven't sold any of my garments yet, so prices are hard to gauge. They went on sale in Urban Outfitters in Temple Bar along with the rest of my classes designs. They ranged from €75 from a t-shirt, to €400 for a black women's coat. The high prices are due to the fact that they're each one-of-a-kind at the moment, and I used high quality fabrics - the t-shirt was a very fine 100% wool, with hand-done distressed effects; the coat was a wool, mink, cashmere mix and was very much a statement piece. They're still cheaper than their equivalents by more major designers, and sometimes I see discrepancies in the quality of certain designer's pieces.What advice would you give to people, wanting to become a fashion designer and to join the fashion world?
When looking for a fashion course, I think courses that dedicate a semester to an internship or industry placement, is a great idea. The alternative of getting experience over the Summer or after you graduate is very important. Most English colleges offer this, and I know Limerick in Ireland does too. Internships are vital for making contacts, applying what you've learnt to a real workplace, and it's great to have on your CV. Many designers fail as they have no knowledge of the business and marketing side of fashion so I think its important to find a course with them as modules. Photoshop, illustrator, and computer skills are also essential.
How can the public purchase your garments, have you got a website/blog?
As for where they're sold, I've gotten promotion from college shoots, the shoots I've done myself, and the graduate fashion show. I don't have a website or blog yet, but I'm very much considering creating one, especially as I've done some freelance styling collaborating with photographers, models and make-up artists for their portfolios. But if anyone is interested in my clothes, I would consider lowering my prices and they can contact me by email: email@example.com. As for advice; I'm still learning myself.
I was initially going to leave out blogging about New York Fashion Week, due to my mocks being on etc. But when I saw this collection, I just had blog it! As you're all aware, I adore Jeremy Scott. I never have anything but praise and awe for his collections, and Fall/Winter's collection is just.. wow. When I first looked through the full collection, the same image/idea kept popping into my head.. it all reminds me of a Sims game I used to play called 'The Urbz'. There was this city in it, that was all Tokyo-Harajuku/90s inspired (the name has completely slipped my mind) and this collection is EXACTLY like it. The neon brights, the mixtures of textures (plastic and angora) and the comic vibe throughout. In the collection you'll spot the black-sheer dress with a neon-pink fur skirt, that Hayley Williams wore to the Grammy Awards. Not a big fan on the dress myself, what do you all think?
The models were made-up perfectly to play the part, neon make-up and hair extensions were seen on each female model, which was so fresh and fun! One thing's for sure, neon is making a BIG comeback this year! I don't know whether to be scared or excited..
However, Jeremy Scott is an utter genius, he is definitely my favourite designer at the moment. As he says himself; 'Have fun with fashion!' Oh what I'd do to attend one of his shows..