Thursday, 29 October 2009

I feel it in my fingers....i feel it in my clothes

The way I role

To get the best out of myself when designing I need a couple of things to be there/ going on:

1. All my research has to be on a big board within close proximity
2. I place little groups of objects in still life scenarios depicting sections of the inspiration story
3. Music. When I dance in public, many a name has be rudely thrown in my direction, 'illegal' and 'unique' being two of the forerunners. So in the solitude of my studio, where no others can be hurt I dance ( with my dancing donkey burt) and sing (into my fabric shears) just because I can and it makes me happy and happiness must surely fuel good design right...right.

4. I have a selection of my more interesting charity shop gems scattered around. Mostly to look at details. It always means I push the designs further as I keep trying new styles and detailing.
5. When I design I draw my designs first, hundreds of them; then circle my favorites and start working with them on the stand/ mannequin (Margaret to those who know her) as seen in the photo below. A good 'Margaret' is vital for me to get the best out of my designing skills.
6. I'm a bit of a collector and any images I find interesting I stick to my wall or pin board. These at times provide me with unexpected ideas which can add to and compliment the bulk of the 'inspiration story'.

Yes, this photo IS on self-timer and it IS posed but you get the idea..."This is Charlotte working on the stand"

Monday, 26 October 2009

Charlotte identity


If Luella taught me more than anything it's the importance of brand identity.
Whatever typography, logo, colours, size and spacing I use, they have to be applied within set rules and guidelines to ensure a professional appearance at all times.
Along with this I have to bear in mind a few other factors (I will go into these in more detail on later blogs):

a) Who is the 'Charlotte Taylor' woman?
She is: Endearing, quietly self assured, effortless, elegant and subtly exuberant.

b) What are the demographics of the target market?
Female, 20-45 yrs, average and above disposable income.

c) The branding needs to encompass the identity and style of the brand. What is this?
The label will focus around strong silhouettes, shapes, movement, bold colours, elegance and femininity with a slight sporty twist.

d) How is 'Charlotte Taylor' different and what is its USP?
That would be telling! Watch this space...

It is important for me to bear all this in mind when designing everything and I mean EVERYTHING.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Fly me to France daarling to find some faabulous Fabrics

Premiere Vision

It's September and I jet over to the Premiere Vision fabric fair in gay Paris.
Popping into different stalls, ordering samples of fabrics, I realize my error in not having any business cards on hand to give to the suppliers. This in turn does not merit my disguise in being an ever so important designer from London from the 'next big label' who everyone must surely be wanting to work with...hmmmm. Note to self. A business card is worth its money in in gold.

However on the whole a hugely successful trip and I am still receiving the plentiful fabric, trimming, button and zip samples from which to order for my collection.

My only advice to novice's like myself is to:
a) Take business cards
b) Be relaxed as they can be scary. Everyone has to start somewhere and if they are mean then you probably don't want to deal with them (and they'll probably be out of your price range anyway)
c) Take flat shoes...I reckon I completed a marathon in 2 days
d) Don't be afraid to go out in the romantic areas of Paris alone...meal for one, bottle for one- it's not a crime; and remember the people watching you sat alone at your table will be far more uncomfortable than you...honestly

* Anyone can get tickets for Premier Vision at:
The next show is 9 - 12 Feb 2010. They run bi-annually in February and September.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Lets get inspired.....

A little insight into where I am getting my ideas from this season


Because when I die I want to be reincarnated as a Penguin
Because they fall over all the time and it's funny
Because their colours and contours are super

Old movies, soaps and eccentrics

Because I spent my childhood watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins and they're just a bit looney
Because Granville (Open all Hours) and Compo (Last of the Summer Wine) are my heros
Because Bird ladies are such a creepy, random and wonderful addition to society

Trashy Grannies

Because they're so wrong it's right

Monday, 19 October 2009

The Boss

I am proud to say that I keep Isle of Wight charity shops and plentiful car boot sales afloat.
As my brother would say...

"Has someone died in it"

Island life has also given me a new found love of deck shoes...why not.

I do not take myself seriously.
I ADORE designing clothes and this I do take seriously.

Mr Mentorvator

Brian Marcel, an established businessman who helps young people start up companies alongside running his own barcoding business has become my mentor.
We meet monthly, planning and organizing strategies, budgets, goals and cash-flow charts.

He has been an invaluable help in building the foundations of the business so far.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

I get to sit next to the window

My small, yet perfectly formed studio.


The new playground

Oxford Circus Underground

The Kings Road

The M25


Hoxton Square

Bye bye bright lights

After 7 years in the smoke, I finally leave and head towards cleaner, simpler pastures. For clarity and to cut costs my studio, for the meantime, resides on the Isle Of Wight.

A Lancashire lass who LOVES her cups of tea (I actually have favourite tea memories), my life has been transformed from 'grey office bound mole' to 'rosy cheeked energized surfer wannabe'.

The crazy world of Luella

Fresh out of college I joined the Luella team in the creative marketing department. The place was "bonkers" and the girls amazing. Randomness was key, the weirder the better and always with a definitive sick undertone...but in a nice way.

Luella gave me some vital experience within the business side of the fashion industry.

Being an arty farty creative type I would be lying if I said this was a job well suited to me but I desperately needed the knowledge and don't think I could have been given a better opportunity to absorb.

The Pr, Sales, Buying and Production teams were within the same 4 walls as I, as well as the managerial roles and I watched, listened and learned and left a more rounded individual with a few great contacts and friends to boot.

Building blocks

The dawn of 2008 brought with it blood, sweat and tears as the accumulation of 4 years work at Central Saint Martins art college erupted.
Our final collections.

As my family and 93 year old grandfather looked on my vintage sportswear inspired collection hit the runway to Royksopp's 'What else is there'.

The grey hairs and wrinkles were beyond worth it.

The full collection is available to view on

Monday, 5 October 2009

My Vision

As soon as I saw this image I was warm inside. It reminds me of me and my buddie Katie and what I know will be a lifelong friendship and one with laughs like this that come from deep down in your belly.

This picture provided me with my vision for my new collection. My new label. My new life.