10 Magazine

Q&A

First job in fashion?
Working for Queene and Belle knitwear in the Scottish borders.

What’s new?
I’m off to Qatar for the first time, got a new studio space and hoping for a pair of new shoes.

How did you get started?
I did an MA at the RCA, then went straight to work for Lanvin, came back and applied for Fashion East – I was lucky enough to do this twice, then to have shown with NEWGEN three times.

What does it take to get to the top of the tree?
Sensible shoes and a good grip.

Fashion is…
A cruel mistress.

Do you ever wear your own designs?
Constantly – if I wouldn’t why would I expect anyone else to?

What inspires you?
Pop art, my pals, aboriginal art, art deco, anything generally oversized and fabulous.

Fashion is…
Relentless.

How important are hemlines?
Very, if you want to avoid courting controversy on a windy day.

Can you multistask?
Damn right.

What would you like as your epitaph?
Holly Fulton – she wasn’t as stupid as she looked.

Are you only as good as your last collection?
I’d like to think we all have a bit more substance than just being defined by one collection. Doubtlessly, in some eyes, yes, but everyone has their moments and to get to the point of having a show you must have a certain je ne sais quois, I feel.

Are you/were you a juvenile delinquent?
Borderline – I was the girl everyone’s parents trusted but who would be supplying their kids with Malibu and menthols. I had my moments.

Are you a smoky somethin’?
Not literally, but I harbour metaphorical aspirations.

Do you get jealous of other designers?
Of course. It’s human nature.

Do you get recognised in the street? Do you have/ have you ever had a stalker?
Occasionally, not because of my dazzling good looks but more because of my big Perspex jewels, they are a bit of a giveaway. No stalker, but some avid first-year student fans.

Have you ever thrown a diva strop?
Rarely, but I once threw a whole emmental against a wall in a fit of stress-induced pique.

What do you think about the way most people dress?
It’s none of my business. I never want to be someone who dictates what they think is good to other people. Freedom of expression in dress is far more interesting than an identikit populace.

Was there a particular point when you started to get ambitious?
I’m not really very cut-throat – I want my business to succeed but not to anyone else’s detriment. It’s lovely to do well but it’s important to remember there is a life outside of work. I also need to practise what I preach a bit more, I fear.

Have you always been all about fashion?
No, I was going to be a vet, then I realised I could never be the one to give Tiddles that fatal jab. And I wasn’t clever enough either.

Are you a legend? Legendary?
No, I am a lucky bugger who was just in the right place at the right time.

Dallas or Dynasty? Sue Ellen or Alexis?
Dynasty, Alexis. A feisty brunette with a large shoulder is kind of close to home for me.

Have you ever lied in an interview?
Yes, but only about my mathematical prowess and whether I believe in minimalism.

Do you have a mentor? A muse? Who/what are they?
I always have the maximum respect for Lulu Kennedy for starting me out. She is an inspiration in every sense of the word and a bit of a beauty too. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t fancy her.

Are you a believer in healthy competition?
I’m just not competitive, so it doesn’t turn me on. I guess it has its moments but I prefer to live my life in a way more akin to the love-in scene from Hair. 

What did you have for dinner last night?
Roast chicken on a flight to NYC.

How many licks does it take to get to the centre of it?
Three long, lingering ones normally do the trick.

Can you wrap your legs around your neck like Janice Dickinson?
No, but I can wrap them around someone else’s surprisingly well for a big girl.

If you could be a superhero, which one would you be and why?
Scotty Amour – a crystallised heroine sent in to instil peace and love amongst a nation and help them with their accessorising.

What is good design?
What you believe in. Anything that you can wholeheartedly endorse with passion.

Do you remember your first dress? Show?
My degree graduation show – quite memorable as someone jumped on my back just after and I dislocated my knee and had to be carried home on a chair. The clothes were all right but probably highly cringeworthy now.

What’s vulgar?
Tricky… I enjoy seeing anything and everything, but bad manners and discourteous suitors get me every time.

Have you ever banned anyone from your show because of a bad review? Would you?
No, it doesn’t really matter what they say if you are pleased and confident in what you produced. Rise above it and just call them a twat behind their backs.

How pretentious are you on a scale of 1-10?
Debatable – I’d say about a six or seven, but that varies on the weather, company, time of year and time of month.