Today I sat down for a quick chat with Womenswear Fashion Designer Jessica Lucille. I first met Geordie Jess when we started working for the same company in 2014 where we bonded over countless cups of tea and a shared enthusiasm for the Law of Attraction. I think it’s about time I gave her the floor to share what’s shes all about…
Here she talks about all the things that inspire her, her strong ethos surrounding women in the workplace and how she moves from first idea to polished product (and all the juicy bits in between). Her first Spring/Summer 13 Line ‘Timeless Vintage‘ with it’s effortless simplicity of pastel tones and textures has been praised for it’s resounding success…and now there is a second on the way…
So Jess when did your passion for fashion develop?
It began at a very young age I think I may have been around 6 years old. For Christmas one year my parents bought me a white fancy dress evening gown. I was obsessed with it… I used to wear it every day on top of all my clothes… Despite how tattered and worn it became. This dress inspired my creative thinking and I used to sit all day drawing wedding dresses, over and over. Re drawing the same designs on napkins, table tops, paper. Anything I could get my hands on. I carried on drawing and designing all throughout my childhood evolving from wedding dresses to womenswear.
The designs from your first collection ‘Timeless Vintage‘ strike me as very classy and elegant, what was your inspiration for them?
I love history, especially historic clothing and how it has evolved. I always tend to draw inspiration from a certain era or period in time; my favourite being the Edwardian era. At the time I was designing I used to spend copious amounts of hours re-watching Downton Abbey on DVD paying more attention on the clothing than the actual story line. I loved the colour pallets, cut, shape, silhouette and use of certain pieces for different social situations so I took all these ideas and developed them into a modern ready to wear 12 piece collection.
You emphasize the ethos ‘Style & Sophistication’ through your brand, especially in the workplace. Do you think how a woman dresses at work can influence her day?
I don’t particularly think clothing can affect a person day to day but I firmly believe it can influence your attitude. They say “Style is an expression of your individuality, who you are and the mood you are in”. I think certain looks, pieces and even shoes can influence your mind-set. I always feel head strong and more confident when I dress for work. Clothing can make me feel like a whole different person and I try to manipulate those feeling into my designs.
When you are creating a piece what goes through your mind? How do you combine your vision with materials and textures and colors?
I attend a great deal of fabric trade shows and events prior to designing. I can look at a piece of fabric and suddenly develop a whole collection in my mind. The fabric selection for me is always the foundation of my collection. I then create a mood board at home based around the fabric, I cut up magazines images and draw sketches and place it all together. I stand back and look at the bigger picture for hours. I have this hanging over my desk and it’s a constant reminder of what my collection is based on and the journey I wish to take it.
How do you stay current and up to date with the latest fashions?
Trade shows are a must! I try to attend as many as possible, my favourites are Pure (London), Premier Vision (Paris) and Bread and Butter (Berlin). These shows not only give you an insight professionally into fashion forecasting, season in advance fabric trends but they give you an idea of the current market – what local designers are selling and who they are targeting. You can also gain awareness of competitors and the current market so that really keeps you on the ball. Reading and research is imperative, as the majority of my collections are inspired from different historic periods, sometimes I feel fashion is not only about keeping up to date but exploring different avenues so I constantly refer back to my home library looking for inspiration past and present.
I know when I am writing I have my favourite mix-tapes and albums that get me in a creative mood, Do you have any musical outlets that help you design?
Classical dub step! I love it! I love a strong energetic beat to get my creative juices flowing, particularly without lyrics that can really move through you on a deep level. I feel inspired when I hear strings (cello’s, violins) and pianos it’s like a meditation practice. The classical emphasis enables me to completely clear my mind, relax and the dub step brings so much fire, passion and energy around me. I know it’s an oxymoron in a way but if I’m honest it’s difficult to explain. I love YouTube for remixes and have a great deal of playlists for different stages from design, to pattern drafting to manufacturing. Lindsey Stirling was a hero for me during the process of this last collection her two songs ‘Shadows’ and ‘Crystallize’ we’re probably repeated 50 times a day, she is incredibly talented.
Do you have any advice for designers who may just be starting out?
I would say do anything to keep your passion and drive alive. It is so easy in this industry to lose your way especially at the beginning. It’s so teeth and neck cut throat that you can doubt yourself, your capabilities and give up. Don’t! You will find your way! Determination and belief in your self is the biggest driving force for any vocation. I would also recommend taking up as many classes as possible (evening, weekend pattern cutting, drawing, life art) as surrounding yourself with like minded creative individuals is the biggest motivation and driving force.
I noticed you have taken a years break between collections, can you tell me why?
I have a great love for travelling and it is very important to my work. This past year I traveled around the UK, I ventured to South Africa and Europe to get inspiration. Upon my return the company underwent a re-branding: new logo, new name. I think it is very important for new and upcoming designers to personally develop and this year I was fortunate to do so. I have gained insight and understanding of my clientele, what the current market is lacking and how I can add my overall input on the industry. I am very excited about my next collection I can see I have grown as a designer and I cannot wait to get it out and in the stores.
So what does that change mean for your next designs?
My next collection is called ‘B2B Luxe’. It’s an all-white collection to showcase the start of a new beginning. Something pure, fresh, divine and most importantly feminine. I have designed a collection of womenswear shirts for everyday wear that can be mixed and matched as statement pieces of the wardrobe. I won’t give too much away just yet so watch this space.
Finally – whats the dream? Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Featured in Vogue and showcasing in London Fashion Week! Hey, it’s a dream… and I’m working on it! My overall outcome is to have an independent store in London where I am able to give my full time and devotion to my followers and customers. Creating not only a ready-to –wear collection but show stopping bespoke products tailored to each individual person. My objective in life is to leave my footprint on the fashion industry, help kick start the new movement in clothing and be remembered for my input and devotion to the industry.
A big thanks to Jessica for sharing her Fashion Journey with me, I wish her every success for the future! I hope this has given you some insight into what it takes to be a designer and also inspired you along the way. If you want to show Jessica support or follow more of her adventures creating her new collection you can follow her on social media..
© Elena Andrean, 2016