I often get asked what inspires me to design entire collections season after season. Underpinning Traffic People is a love all things vintage, and where I look to first to find those sparks of inspiration to begin a collection. A childhood spent watching the great style icons - Lauren Bacall, Ava Gardiner and Marlene Dietrich to name a few, smolder, beguile and smile through every shot looking nothing short of magnificent! This infuses me with inspiration to re-work the classics that adorned these women into something the modern women will love.
Often, when starting to design a new collection, I usually have only the vaguest of ideas of what the collection will be formed of. It is a trip to the fabric market that helps me to fully form the ideas swirling around my head.
On the first day in the Aladdin’s Cave, which is the fabric market I frequent; I walk swiftly through only stopping when something catches my eye. This could be anything... a print, a texture, a jeweled button – anything that make me smile when I see it and the excitement of a new collection seeps in.
Before becoming overwhelmed by the array of choice, I head back to the hotel with my newly found gems and start putting them in to categories –
‘What was I thinking?’
I then retrace my steps back to the fabric market the next day, with a more informed and clearer vision of the direction the collection will take. Fabrics loved yesterday might be discarded today and things that failed to catch my eye yesterday suddenly become the focus from which everything else is based around. If it seems a little unstructured it’s because it is. Finding what I like can be dictated to by my mood, the weather, a song I heard on the journey in – unstructured and fluid – exactly how I like it.
A fabric can instill a sense of happiness with the nostalgia for those Hollywood greats or that sense of joy, the fabric brings can be traced back to an old memory.
Elizabeth Taylor was never one to conform and her style credentials never faltered over the years. Therefore, she was the perfect muse for our sherbet stripes collection for spring summer 2020. Pastel hues have never looked so good as they do on this ultimate beauty. I spun this inspiration of blending contrasting pastels into our latest collection as well as given a subtle muted nod to the neon trend coming through the catwalk, embracing simple lines such as in our Munity Dress.
Left Me in The Rain
Purple and red may seem like an unlikely colour pairing, which is why I was instantly drawn to it. Anyone who watched Rita Morena strutting her stuff in West Side Story knows what a powerful statement this colour combination can be. Colour clashing can be scary but occasion wear is one area of your wardrobe where you can be braver and stand out from the crowd, this is fully embraced in the Bemuse and Muse Dress, where an asymmetric hem adds a point of difference.
The Gold Rush
White dresses are usually associated with purity and serenity – not when they are being worn by the force that was Lauren Bacall. I can’t think of anyone who had such an equal measure of beauty, strength and poise. With white dress, making a return for spring summer 2020, the white maxi dress makes an appearance in the collection with a hint of metallic to add a touch of the old Hollywood glamour.
Probably one of my favourite outfits of all time – Lauren Hutton looking unbelievable in the Grecian style rainbow dress, when heading to the Oscars in 1975 and the inspiration for the Reckless Dress, which makes an appearance in the collection this season. When it comes to necklines, this styling ticks all boxes as this season is about showing off as much décolletage and shoulder as you can, in a subtly sexy but feminine way.