Sunday, 2 November 2008

Where it's at this Winter

The tide of fashion can turn very quickly and if you want to stay afloat the only people worth talking to are the designers who spend all their time trying to push boundaries and stay at the cutting edge of forward-thinking style. I caught up with one such individual to find out what was going to be hot on the High Street for Autumn/Winter 2008.

Victoria Smith, a freelance embroidery designer from Manchester, has recently started selling her own individual designs after several years of hard graft in the fashion industry. As you can see from the images left and below her new enterprise 'Fancy Stitches' fuses a range of styles and inspirations to create truly unique looks and she's got a lot of ideas on what to wear this season.

So Victoria, what looks do you think are going to be big for the back end of 2008/beginning of 2009?

Looks that are big this Autumn/Winter seem to be tartan- jackets, mini skirts and tops, aswell as leopard print, bows, frills and delicate beadwork/embroidery. Purple and mustard are also key colours this year.

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

My inspiration comes from everywhere but my main sources are magazines, shops (fashion and interior design), fabrics that boast nice patterns - I have even been inspired by somebody's curtains!

Nature is also endlessly inspiring flowers are massive part of my designing so its important that I observe the world around around me to keep coming up with new ideas. Different cultrues such as Indian and African are so colourful and rich, and so different to ours that they also strongly influence the fashion world.

What looks do you see being the future of fashion?

I think fashion is always revolving and things keep come back in, even if its a few seasons later. So we are likely to see styles from the past coming back round again, for example, floaty empire lines were really in over the summer, now the emphasis is on more fitted smarter looks. This cycle is likely to repeat itself next year too.

Do you think that the UK is particularly daring when it comes to style?

I think London is one of the top leaders in fashion world, producing designers such as Scott Henshall and Matthew Williamson. Central Saint Martin's (fashion college) has produced many leading lights in fashion world who are often pushing boundaries of fashion. You only have to look to London Graduate Fashion Week for rising stars like this. London Fashion Week also highlights how London is seen up there with the other leading fashion capitals such as Milan, Paris and New York as people travel from round the world to come to it.