On Monday I visited the James Lakeland studio, in a quiet corner of London, for a creative afternoon designing. I was joined by Amanda Start from The Online Stylist, Ella Masters, Kylie Martin from memoirmode and Tala Samman from myfashdiary.
We were all invited to design a piece of clothing for a ss13 capsule collection. I was exceptionally excited to return to my roots, as I graduated from the London College of Fashion in Fashion Design Technology.
James Lakeland began by explaining the company ethos. James's enthusiasm for designing for women of all shapes and sizes was in abundance when he spoke about his background working for his father's leather manufacturing company and also his impressive experience in the industry.
James launched his label in 2000 with a capsule knitwear collection, designing staple garments in luxurious wool and cashmere. Today the James Lakeland brand continues to provide women great wardrobe pieces that can stand the test of time.
Our role for the afternoon was to design a new James Lakeland garment from a plain white sample, all contained within a James Lakeland shopping bag. We picked one bag each and opened them to see what garment we had chosen. Hoping I had picked a dress, I opened mine to find a knee length pencil skirt, with a front zip and button fastening and two pockets either side.
On the table in the centre of the showroom were fabric samples in Navy, Mustard, Dusky Pink and Taupe along with a selection of trimmings and embellishments. By force of habit I started to sketch on the photo of the skirt, included in the bag. When working on white there are always challenges as the possibilities seem endless, thankfully I stuck to my first instinct, creating something classic with a contemporary edge. I chose to hide the front fastening and add some volume with an asymmetric pleated peplum. I added detail to the skirt, embellishing each side seam with navy striped buttons. After attaching fabric samples to the sketch James looked over my design and we added the final touches of a lace trim at the top of the skirt. Lastly I thought about my chosen colour, due to the skirts classic shape I decided to keep it simple in white taffeta.
Our designs are now in the process of being made and I am looking forward to seeing the finished garment. In the meantime you will find me musing over the James Lakeland ss12 sale which is now live! Many thanks to James Lakeland, his team, the girls I met and all at Dee Vesali PR.