Hi, my name is Kelsey and I am Scarlett London’s new Fashion writer! I have lots to say about the world of fashion but I will warn you, I tend to ramble! So, let me tell you a little bit about me. I have a degree in Fashion & Textiles, I have a weakness for Mulberry and well i just love fashion and clothes! When I’m not buying clothes, I tend to be judging the clothes of others! (Not you though, you look lovely!) You can follow me at @KelseyButler7.
Anyway ok so, Here goes post #1 …
When my University tutor told me that I would be collaborating with Central St Martins Graduate Charlotte Taylor, my initial reaction certainly didn’t match up with what appeared! Cue Charlotte, a refreshingly normal girl who arrived in converse, a plaid shirt and black skinny jeans! (She did have a Mulberry bag however, but I let her off after seeing the converse!). Unlike other designers that work with university students (one of whom last year refused to talk to any of the students), Charlotte was extremely down to earth and lovely!
Charlotte Taylor was recently hailed as one of Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s ‘ones to watch’ but if you haven’t been watching, I’ll fill you in..
Charlotte grew up on the Isle of Wight, not far from where I studied in Portsmouth. She appeared to be a real beach bunny and home girl, and despite having success in the fashion industry she was incredibly down to earth and open to suggestion. ‘Charlotte Taylor’ is a real ‘family’ brand with her brother Ben acting as business manager and her dad accompanying her on many of her research trips.
Her prints are fun, unexpected and quirky!
One of the many things that I learnt from Charlotte was to be 100% happy with what you do, she told me that just before Fashion Week a few years ago she wasn’t happy with what was being shown so she pulled the whole line and started again! A few weeks before! WEEKS!
Her A/W 2012 collection was inspired by Cornwall and its history as well as pirates, tin mining and cauliflower’s (yes really!). Her prints are fun, unexpected and quirky! However, at the same time her pieces are incredibly wearable and extremely elegant! And let’s face it, anyone who makes a cauliflower print wearable is deserving of a medal!
I was lucky enough to work with Charlotte at the end of 2011, when her previous collections had included prints of lobsters, robots, bonsai trees and penguins (honestly, they are the quirkiest prints ever!). But whilst you may expect the inspiration of an upcoming designer to include different cultures, aspects of nature and other designers, Charlotte actually admitted to me that her inspiration for the designs (below) were from ‘grannies’. Grannies hunched over and wearing headscarves, hello A/W 11!
This year, Charlotte has launched diffusion line ‘Charlotte by Charlotte Taylor’ for Anthropologie, which has already been shown in the US (which is amazing considering she is only in her fifth season over here!) and the UK. I love the green Donkey Silk Shift because although the pattern is subtle and may you have to look closely to see it, it really captures your attention and is a real statement piece.
When Charlotte visited my university to work with me on a collection, it was immediately evident that she was genuinely interested in all my ideas. She set me a brief for the collection; Japanese Art & Culture. Which despite at the beginning I wasn’t entirely thrilled with (I knew nothing about Japan!), I was soon inspired by colour and pattern and was filled with ideas.
I began by showing Charlotte my colour palette, which was full of oranges, greens and pinks. I then displayed my prints inspired by Japanese Fans, Orchids and Origami to her. She gave her opinion on things she liked (phew!) and things I could improve on but it was all helpful and constructive and she spoke to me like a friend (not patronizingly!). It was very re-assuring to know that I was on the right track.
I was worried the shade of orange from my shirt dress was more Halloween pumpkin than high fashion!
So twelve weeks after the brief had been set, I had a collection of 3 dresses and 6 textile prints ready to show her. To say I was nervous is a slight understatement! As my dresses walked the catwalk in front of her my heart was racing! I was worried the shade of orange from my shirt dress was more Halloween pumpkin than high fashion, but Charlotte said how much she liked the colour! LIKED! I was thrilled!
I really felt like I could relate to the typical ‘Charlotte Taylor customer’ as I honestly would buy and wear 99% of ALL of her fantastic collections! I love the attention to detail Charlotte upholds in her clothing designs and her photo shoots. Everything looks so, finished and professional!
Her most recent collection to date is possibly my favourite. I absolutely adore the navy dress which has been emblazoned with colorful parrots, and similarly I love the donkey shift dress (who doesn’t!). I’m sure however, that once Charlotte launches her new collection – my favourites will be subject to change. It is bound to be a success but she really displays what it takes to be a designer – passion, talent and creativity!
I have been lucky enough to work with Charlotte and see first hand how she comes up with ideas, colours and patterns for her designs! She has previously said that she values opportunities where she can work one on one with other designers, so I’m pleased I was one of those!
Please note, the images of the collections by Charlotte Taylor do not belong to me they are for referencing purposes only. The photographs of my own work belong to me, Kelsey Butler.