Fashion Design Blog

I received an email newsletter from Flannels.com yesterday celebrating female fashion designers for International Women’s Day, I love this notion of highlighting some of the industries phenomenal women so I’ve adopted the idea and created a blog version of some of my personal favs. I'm aware that a 2 min read won't do them justice but in my mind they are creative heroines and exceptional role models to the next generation of designers.


My top 4:

GANNI - Ditte Reffstrup

She heads the brand that has a cult following of #GanniGirls, champions sustainable fashion and is redefining Scandi style. Reffstrup's vision for the brand is romantic, ruffled, unafraid of quirkiness and has made Ganni a womenswear world-beater.


My view: I’d happily wear Ganni all day everyday whilst fashioning the undone, done but cool but effortless exterior whilst eating, sleeping and designing Ganni. You get the jist.






ALESSANDRA RICH

'My inspirations come from the women that I meet from day to day in real life and also from fantasy women. I think we all have this sort of fantasy women in our [subconsciousness]. I also keep a notebook with me so I can jot down ideas and sketches wherever I go.' Read Here


My View: Alessandra's collections, the styling and the imagery are undeniably breathtaking, there's newness injected into garments with a vintage reference. So chic and so effing cool.







CECILE BAHNSEN

'I learned a lot about craftsmanship, detailing and that you shouldn’t be afraid to be feminine and romantic in your approach, which for me is so important to carry on in my brand today… but also to mix it with the minimalistic Scandinavian aesthetic that I grew up with.'


My View: A brand that always captures my attention on Instagram, the images have a sombre vibe whilst the garment texture makes me want to reach in and touch it. Exquisitely crafted, my mind can't help but wonder how many hours goes into each piece.





MAKI OH - Maki Osakwe

Osakwe often uses her collections to reexamine the notion of sensuality and the nuances of the female form—vulnerable and strong (vogue.com).


My View: Relatively new on my radar but one that's caught my eye, her collections combine tailoring, satin, print and embellishments, another collection I just want to feel the textures and appreciate the craftsmanship.







If it was a little earlier in the evening I would continue to write about Stella McCartney, Simone Rocha and Molly Goddard but I have a toddler who really enjoys waking up in the early hours and testing my eyelids functionality. If Mabel does move on from testing my sleep boundaries I think I'll point her in the direction of a series of books called 'Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World', no doubt they would be smeared with cheerios and used as a plate to feed the dog her leftovers. All in good toddler time!





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  • Harriet Goodings

Does anybody else get a dopamine hit right before their children’s bedtime as the excitement of being able to eat the snacks you’ve been hiding edges closer? No, me neither.

If you saw on my Instagram stories last week, Mabel hadn’t been herself and I’d sat down to write this post when my eyes just suddenly shut and I was asleep. So a few days later than planned, Mabel’s fine and I’m able to get typing.


Sustainable, eco, conscious, green, considered and environmentally friendly, just a few buzzwords that are becoming more familiar within retail (and Google) right now.

The supply chain is something that has always fascinated me within the fashion industry, the amount of people it takes to bring a garment to the shop floor or more so a screen from just a sketch is a lot.


You've got to sketch it, cad it, make a first sample, fit it, amend the pattern, repeat this process until the fit is right, source and dye the fabric and components, manufacture then quality control, pack and send to it's destination where it's checked, has a photoshoot, lives in a warehouse until it's neatly packed and ready to arrive to a shop floor or door step, where it is either loving received or returned and eventually worn and recycled (hopefully).


'The challenges can seem insurmountable. Global textile production emits 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases annually, more than international flights and maritime shipping combined.' - Vogue (link below)

This blog is not about preaching anything, I recently purchased a knockout pink cardigan from Zara, not the most natural of colours and I’m now thinking the dying process is likely to have a few more chemicals involved that just beetroot and a walnut.



Harriet Goodings wearing a pink cardigan
Here is said cardigan, yes Mabel's room does have the best lighting.

If you are looking to be more considered in your retail shopping, here's a couple of tips to think about:

1. #30wears - can you wear something 30 times?

2. Shop Vintage

3. Donate your unwanted clothes

4. Quality over quantity


This is a pretty massive topic and not one that a 2 min blog can cover completely, but I hope that this has brought the issue to your attention and see below some brands that are transparent in their approach producing clothing.


A few brands that are riding the sustainability wagon:

www.thereformation.com

www.everlane.com

www.peopletree.co.uk


If you want more info:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ellevate/2019/10/07/why-sustainable-fashion-matters/

https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/news-analysis/sustainability-oscars-louis-vuitton


Got an idea for a sustainable brand idea? Speak to me about recycled fabrics and how I can help you. Say Hello.

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  • Harriet Goodings

Updated: Feb 20, 2020

According to Moz.com, ‘how to become a fashion designer’ is searched on Google between 100-150 times per month. As well as being able to promote my design services, I want to ensure that what I’m discussing is honest, interesting and valuable.



My freelance designer journey is still very much in its infancy, so any help from search engines is a must. I will take you through a route that is based on my experiences as well as how things have changed.


Firstly, to state the obvious, you’ve got to like clothing. From the age of fourteen-sixteen, we were living on the outskirts of Norfolk (think fields) and without being legally old enough to drive, my mum finally caved and bought a Sky TV subscription. I had Saturdays to myself and watched Fashion TV religiously, where back-to-back catwalk shows and interviews with designers gave the impression of the ultimate industry to be part of. It looked so appealing being surrounded by the best in their field and amongst those who are passionate about their craft.


It’s a good idea to get some retail experience as well as interning in the early stages, I worked as a Topshop Sales Advisor for four years part-time between my studies, it’s a great way to meet like-minded peers and stay up to date with trends. Also, the discount. I studied on a four-year course, which included a foundation year at UCA @ Epsom, a specialist arts uni with a wealth of resources just outside of London.


There are many branches of design to consider such as; bridalwear, activewear, childrenswear, costume and many more but go with what you’re most drawn to or what you love researching. There may be jobs available in menswear but if your thing is womenswear then keep on that route – there will still be jobs available.


Fashion TV may no longer be around, but every social platform is a window to trends and influencers. Something I haven’t yet mentioned and is a pretty important part is funding. Degrees aren’t cheap, especially now where tuition fee’s are around £9,000 p/y. However, student loans exist for a reason. I went with the maximum of everything route (tuition fee’s and living costs) and I was left in the region of £35,000 of student debt. Yes, it’s not fun but I would never have had the opportunities I’ve had without it.


Something that’s apparent now more than ever is sustainable fashion, so if you’re interested in natural dying processes or recyclable fabrics, this is such a crucial part of the future of clothing design. Lastly, please don’t be discouraged by people telling you how hard it is, surely most careers come with challenges?



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