Maurice Whittingham

How do you feel about being a part of the show today?

I feel very honoured to showcase my collection at ‘It’s a Lovelace thing’ fashion show as it is a fantastic opportunity for my designs and to be seen.

Samantha has gathered everyone together today she must be a big help and inspiration can you tell me about that and how you came to work with her?I’ve known Samantha for the past three years from a previous show I did. We always said that we would like to work together and this is our first opportunity.

You describe your label as gender fluid – is gender-fluid fashion the true future of Fashion and Society?
Fashion should be unpredictable so we never know what the future holds. However when we look at men and women’s wear now more than ever before there is a cross over with genders.

In what way do your designs walk the boundary of history and and spirituality?
I see my designs being inspired by Military wear and Regency England but also inspired through history and the spirituality comes within.

How do you create your designs for both Men and Women and how do the design themes cross over the genders?

When I design I am free to express myself. The gender-fluid aspect of my clothing relates to the kilt (skirt) which is part of my trouser collection over the years. I have had both men and women asking me to create the same look. Who are your favourite designers and the greatest influence on you? I do not follow any particular designers but I respect Gucci, Armani, Givenchy for what they have done. There are many designers whether large or small that I can find inspiration from. The biggest inspiration to me has been my mother. As an accomplished seamstress in my youth, she would create one-off pieces for me. This is the way for me becoming a fashion designer.

How did you start your career in design?

I’ve always been interested in fashion but not being able to find what I  like I started designing and creating my own look from teenage years.

Are there any particular fabrics you love to work with? and what is the most difficult fabric to work with?
I love working with leather because it has so much character and its feel. The hardest fabric I find to work with is chiffon. It is very light and it has lots of movement in it. Finally, what are your plans for the future? To maximize my full potential and to have my brand recognized internationally. I would like to continue mentoring students and eventually open my own creative hub.

Judith Jones (A touch of gems)

How do you feel about being a part of the show today?
Excited and can’t wait to see the rest of the show and the work of its a love lace creative family.

Samantha has gathered everyone together today she must be a big help and inspiration can you tell me about that and how you came to work with her?

I found lovely Samantha through a fellow UK designer Rochelle from forever design telling me about ‘It’s a love lace thing’ platform who genuinely supports independent designers. As Samantha has had experience and sees the pitfalls from all the various fashion events. She’s a very big help because she doesn’t inflate shows and being on their platform. I have done many shows that have cost hundreds to thousands of pounds and gotten me nowhere really and you find out the host doesn’t pay fairly or doesn’t pay at all the models & hair team, photographers etc. And feel Samantha wants to build a genuine cost-effective platform so the designers can succeed and take a wage with selling through it’s a love lace thing.

You are the creator of A ‘Touch of Gems’ How did the idea for the company come to you?Funnily enough, I had a beauty salon an used to draw jewellery for a friend to make to sell in my salon. But due to health issues arising and getting worse. I closed it down and found solace in actually making jewellery as a hobby and everyone kept saying you should be selling your creations so it is turned from a hobby into a business.

Which particular gems do you use in your Jewellery design and why?
I use every genuine gemstone under the sun as I love all gemstone and the history and properties behind the gemstones. I also love inclusions sometimes in stones, for example amber is made over hundreds of years and can sometimes have captured bugs and bit of nature in them encasing the he history which I think is AMAZING!

What are the main themes of your jewellery? (I particularly like Reach for the Stars)I’ve had several collections, mythology with my medusa inspired set, to video and film inspired jewellery. I get my designs from all sorts from history, architecture, nature & designs on fabrics & cultures.

Do you use Crystals in your designs and are you interested in crystal healing?
I do use crystals as crystals are genuine gemstones, I do like the background of crystal healing as so do some of my clientele

Who are your favourite Jewellery designers? Who is your product aimed at?
EVERYBODY! everybody who wants to be different as one of my pet peeves, is mass-produced products, as we are all different so in personalities, looks and backgrounds so why should you wear something that everyone could wear.  What plans do you have for the future? I plan to keep creating, learning, showcasing my art through jewellery design. To make jewellery and see it on celebs around the world. And as I’ve been in British Vogue twice this year try an get in more big fashion publications like Harper’s Bazaar, Tattler, vanity fair and so on.

Shanel Brown

How do you feel about being a part of the show today?
I love debuting my clothing and accessories in a fashion show the excitement that rush of adrenaline when you only have five minutes to fit your models and get them out onto the runway it’s thrilling exciting… it’s the months of preparation that has led you to this moment it’s what I live for.

Samantha has gathered everyone together today she must be a big help and inspiration can you tell me about that and how you came to work with her?
I came to work with Samantha because she saw potential in what I do and what I can achieve and she has allowed me to be a part of her platform. She is an amazing woman and I commend her for all her hard work and effort.

Can you tell me about how you got involved in fashion and became a designer?
At a young age I became obsessed with clothing and who was wearing what to the Met Gala. I wanted to be able to express myself artistically through clothing and I wanted to share it with the world. To let them know that I have arrived.

How would you describe the style of your accessories?
My style of accessories is artistic quality and very classy suitable for all occasions it’s the perfect accessory. What makes a great textile designer? The ability to show the range and to conversed themselves and their unique artistic perspective into clothing or any textiles medium.

Who are your design heroes? My design heroes would have to be Peter Pilotto, Mary Katrantzou And Versace. All print-based designers with their own unique identity.

A lot of your jewellery has an insect theme. Why do you like this theme so much? and are there any real insects involved? I’ve always had a very strange relationship with insects. I don’t like them being too close to me but I can appreciate them from afar. Their colours and their form … they are beautiful creatures. There is only one style of earrings that contains genuine beetle wings. This product is 100% cruelty-free according to my supplier.
You also use zips in your designs is this a recycling idea?
At the moment I am not using recycled materials but I plan to in the not so distant future.

And finally what are your future plans?
My future plan is for world domination and to have my clothes and accessories sold worldwide the skies the limit!

Janice Charles (House Of Charles)

How do you feel about being a part of the show today?
I’m thrilled to be a part of today’s show. And showcase alongside some amazing designers.

Samantha has gathered everyone together today she must be a big help and inspiration can you tell me about that and how you came to work with her?
Sam is an amazing lady with great vision and determination. very inspirational. I met Sam when she was recruiting for designers for her platform and I know everyone is thrilled to be a part of Its A Lovelace Thing!

In one piece called Meringue, you mix an ascot style hat with a punk outfit – where do you find your inspirations?
The reason Meringue was styled in such an eclectic was is to show that my designs can be worn by anyone and make them feel special and glamorous. A beauty queen who recently wore one of my hats to her events messaged me afterwards and told me that wearing my design gave her newfound confidence. And she had never been complimented so much Which I was pleasantly surprised. as I would have thought her beauty alone would give her confidence, but this is hopefully testament to my statement House of Charles creates unique hats and headwear for the woman who wants to stand out from the crowd!

Can Millinery be considered artwork?
I’m a completely self-taught Milliner/ Hat designer. A former Architect who stumbled into this industry by complete accident, I have also worked in interiors and I’m also a trained fashion designer. All these disciplines contribute to my design style and people have stated that my designs are wearable art which is influenced by my architectural background.

The hat ‘Rosemary’ is a very striking image how did you create it?
Rosemary is constructed using a pattern I created of large petals and cut from silk, and stiffened to form the oversized rose. Which is then mounted onto a hand-blocked base, with veiling attached for an extra touch of glamour.

If you could have any famous person wearing your hats who would you choose?
I would choose two people I would be honoured for them to wear my designs. The first person Lady Gaga, she would be a dream client as she is totally crazy beautiful and unique the ideal customer for me as I could go wild and create her an Avante Garde piece that would express personality and wild side….. The second would be Megan Duchess of Sussex a very beautiful elegant lady who I really admire as she is not afraid to explore fashion and push the boundaries of what is protocol. I would create her and elegant piece with a twist and the unique House of Charles stamp on it.

Can you tell me about your beautiful design ‘Blossom’ and what inspired it?

Blossom was inspired by my love of Hollywood glamour the big glamorous hats that were worn in those days and also a piece of fabric I bought that I used to create the crown of the hat. Which has a pattern of delicate leaves and roses.

How would you describe your typical customer?
My typical customers are usually ladies who are trendsetters and not afraid to express themselves. Ladies who want to walk into their event or a room and feel confident that they will be the only person wearing that hat or headpiece.

Could a hat have an attitude all of its own? could you wear it naked and still create a character?
Bizarrely this question was answered a few weeks ago I was contacted by a photographer who told me wanted to do a photoshoot using my designs where the models would appear to look naked. based on a saying of his grandmother that you are never dressed without a hat.

Who is your favourite hat designer?

My favourite designer without question is Philip Treacy. And incredible designer and visionary pushing the boundary and I also like his diversity.
All photography by Ashim Ghale