Tuscan Sun

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Finally sharing these beautiful images of Ron from Dresses on a Clothesline blog. Ron's blog is one of my favourites as it focuses on ethical and fairtrade fashion, which I feel is lacking from so many consumer based fashion blogs, it's refreshing to see someone young, without a ton of money, choosing to buy this way.

The Blue Bells Of dress is one of my favs from my latest collection as it brings in the old 'classic' more fitted shape that I've made so many times with the unpredictable aspect and unique feeling of the hand dyed fabric.

I love the feel of these photos and the sense of that hot breeziness that you can get on walks around Italian towns. This dress is soft and perfect for such days, and I still have a enough fabric left to make up a few, you can buy here.

Oh to be eating an ice-cream in the hot sun right now... hmmmm.

Lovely Lady Lumps

Thursday, 26 May 2016

It's been a long long time since I've put any effort into this blog. At first I was having to stop myself from writing all sorts of rubbish and photographing things every day to put up here but then everything seemed to just fizzle out.

I partly blamed it on the fact that I had become disinterested in blogs and reading things online in general. I deleted my personal Facebook account and rarely read other peoples blog posts compared to when I was 'into' it. Most of the time I find there is never a very good reason, or to be honest a reason at all why these things happen and as with life it is more just when things shift and slightly change and the aforementioned fizzle happens.

Last years collection and collaboration with Jo Waterhouse was something I'd been thinking about and working on for a long time, and when I finally pieced it all together I felt really proud of what we had created. It felt very 'me' and every garment in the collection was something I would wear myself, I enjoyed styling it and the shoot came together really nicely.

Without beating around the bush, it was sort of a flop. I can't say why exactly, I suppose that is just having a business, ups and downs, swings and roundabouts I guess, but as a business that is just me, I see no reason to not be fully transparant about the way things go. I love seeing how other people work and being given insight into their businesses. I also see it as sort of thereputic/helpful to write these things and get them out there as a learning curve for myself and something for me to look back on (which in a way is how I see this blog anyway, a 'dear diary' for my work and creations?), so below I have a few (more) thoughts on what's going on.

T I M I N G :
Although I love the idea of just releasing collections when they are ready and them not being so taylored towards AW/SS etc that the main stream fashion industry pushes us towards, I still think timing is very important. Most people do shop seasonally to a certain extent. I know at the moment personally I feel the urge to buy stuff for my summer waredrobe and rethink what I have from the last few years, so why expect everyone else to feel differently.

I feel there is a middle ground when it comes to this, creating a collection which is easy to transition and can be worn throughout the year for years to come, but releasing the collection at a better time. With my last collection I do feel that I left it too late, it was July by the time I was sharing it and that happened slowly in drips and drabs, by then a lot of people have already invested in their summer pieces and aren't ready to think about the coming change in season.

T H E M E  A N D  N A M E S :
The idea behing the 'Lumps of Plum Pudding' collection originated in folklore. I loved collecting inspiration for this collection but then felt a bit stuck at creating pieces that were really true to it. However, what I need to remember is that creating a collection is an evolution of ideas, although the finished garments may not have been crazily folk themed or covered in floral embroidery, the starting point is still important when it comes to where you end up and it doesn't matter if to other people it is a slightly blurred link.

All the garments were named after traditional English folk songs and Morris dancers songs. I really loved this idea and at first it was fun and interesting finding names that I felt would match up with pieces. However, it's too limiting, there is no way I can get the exact amount of songs to garments and end up liking them all. Also, a friend pointed out to me recently how she liked the collection and loved the shapes and fabrics, but she always round it jarring the fact it was called 'Lumps of Plum Pudding' and didn't think that having a word like lumps conjured up the right feeling when buying clothing. This, if I'm honest, took me by suprise, not because I disagreed with her, quite the opposite, I was actually suprised with myself as to why it had not occured to me. All I could think when I named the collection was that it was a funny light hearted name which didn't really mean much apart from being silly and wholesome. However, she was right, and it's hard to fight our subconsious when something puts you off without thinking.

G R A S S  I S  G R E E N E R :
I'm pretty bad at being all like, 'eugh I'm shit and everyone else is doing so well' which is horrible attidude and thoughts I try not to let myself entertain. When I have though it's just tricky to kick oneself out of self wollow and to realise that if I put more focus onto what I was doing myself instead of judging it against what I believe other people are doing then it would be time much better spent.

E N E R G Y  A N D  T I M E :
This is such a big deal when it comes to having a business that I didn't quite realise the impact giving up on one or the other would have. This last year I have been working more at my part time job (an office job) as it pays the bills, and also, I enjoy getting out of the house and working with other people. This mixed in with the fact that we moved house at Christmas and I left my studio behind at my parents house, with the intention of doing a few full days of sewing within proper hours (not my usual middle of the night) and the time I've been putting towards Isabel Knowles (the label) has slowely diminished into bare minimum. Picking up more hours in the office and feeling too tired/not in the mood for sewing or blogging or desinging after work has meant that even thinking about putting energy into being creative has become a chore, which only exasperates it, as I end up forgetting how much I love it when I just get stuck in.

There has been a right mix of peronal shit going on as well this year and it's just been pretty tiring to be honest. What I have missed the most is that actually I enjoy creating stuff, not just for the business but also for myself or friends and family, but this hasn't been happening either, so I would say I was well and truly in a funk.

I know now the importance of giving it time and headspace but without forcing yourself to, it's such a difficult balance and I'm not sure I get it just yet, but I'm certainly going to make more of an effort not to feel overwelmed and therefore just give up - I'm too good at that.

Oh dear, I've never written such a long and involved, and most probably boring and whining blog post. I don't know if this scratches the surface but I did feel that my lack of, well anything, needed some sort of explaination, just a bunch of excuses I'm sure! I fully expect nobody to have read to this point and I sort of feel bad for you if you've put up with my complaining this far. Massive brain vomit that happened above. Thanks for putting up with me darlings!

This time of year is so lovely, espeically being in the country side, the air is different and the skies are clear and bright. I have already started to sort through my studio and have printed out a million images and have so many ideas I just need to make sense of them all.

I haven't quite decided what this year has to hold when it comes to IK and collections and all that. I hate the idea of things fizzzzzling out, I just couldn't stand it, but I also need to be realistic about what I can manage on my own and where I want to go.

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