Here are the sketches from the Spring Summer collection that will be released for orders online in the next week or so.
The collection is all about being fresh and new. Starting with whites like a blank page in a sketch book and gradually adding the nautical blue stripes (a nod to the beginnings of Chanel) and a strong vermillion orange adding the only line of colour in the tea dress.
I really liked the idea of starting from the beginning again for this collection. I wanted clean and simple and a Southern France like the start of Chanel's career depicted in the film 'Coco Before Channel'. As always I pick up things throughout the designing time, sketching odd notes in my notebook by my bed and on the backs of envelopes.
I love stripes and the strength of geometric lines on the screen in old movies. On Saturday morning they were showing 'The Yellow Canary' 1943 on TV, it's not Nautical or set in the South of France but the main character had this fabulous striped sweater with one of the stripes being sequins. This is where the sequins in the collection came from, just that glisten in the light.
I also adore all the Harpers Bazaar fashion photographs, the use of black and white and those strong beach looks by Avedon and Engstead. Here's my Coast pinterest board here.
How did you choose the fabrics?
Broiderie Anglaise is a fabric I've been dying to use for ages but it was finding the right pattern weight and feel. Something crisp and matte with no shininess to the embroidery. Eventually the right one appeared with its stretched square geometric pattern on 100% cotton sourced from one of our UK suppliers.
I wanted to keep to cottons and a really great jersey that wouldn't loose it's stretch or be too thin. When you want something tight, you don't want it to also reveal everything underneath. This heavy jersey is excellent.
Then it was about creating some stripes in sequins and velvets so that I could control the direction and the way the stripes wrapped around the garment. I love the textures up close.
Who is the Muse?
My muse for this collection is a woman who is off to start a fresh new life in a sunkissed world. Bathing on the beach by morning, conducting business at lunch and taking a windswept stroll late in the afternoon. She'll appear on the Canne red carpet looking devastatingly fresh and dance like a flapper to the early hours.
How is she going to wear them?
With bare feet, Gatsby Ray ban's, a long silk scarf in her hair and red lipstick. Curls Clara Bow style and in the evening long strands of beads.
If shoes must be worn a perfect looking pair of courts (no ankle straps) like Jimmy Choo Abels or Peep toes.
Your favourite piece?
The broiderie Anglaise shirtwaister dress. It just works.
The most challenging piece?
The flapper dresses. I love the 20s and have been itching to work in this style but I'm a nipped in waist kinda girl. For me it doesn't work over a size 12 and you've got be be in great shape. No bras allowed and to be a petite chested as you can get, literally bandaging those breasts flat. The loose shapes are made sexy with low backs, sheer fabrics and movement in the dresses. They to just hang off you whilst you make the ruffles dance.
I designed the dresses in the sheerest fine tulle to be worn with a more fitted shape underneath to create the hourglass illusion and be more forgiving. Gorgeous with the stripes showing through.
From £80 for the skirt to £350 for the maxi dress