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What A Time To Be Alive

Last week I took a trip to High Wycombe for the launch of illustrator CM Carter’s exhibition, ‘What A Time To Be Alive.’

Under the name, Breakfast Champion, Claire’s irreverent comic-inspired illustrations actually signalled the launch of Look Like Love, when she featured in our very first blog post back in 2011, and I’ve been following her progress as an emerging graphic artist and illustrator ever since.

The Snug Gallery, a space within the The Belle Vue pub in High Wycombe, was the setting for her first solo exhibition, showcasing a variety of prints from her growing collection of stand-out illustrations.

Alongside were a selection of her limited edition comics, t-shirts and a large statement print. The muted tones off-set the dark comic humour she creates in a world of quirky characters which exude rebellion.

‘What A Time To Be Alive.’  is on until mid-March at;

The Belle Vue Snug Gallery
45 Gordon Rd,
High Wycombe,
Buckinghamshire
HP13 6EQ

Can’t make it? We have a selection of prints, comics and t-shirts available from CM Carter, with new pieces coming soon!

Tailored Ambitions

With London Fashion Week just around the corner, I wanted to catch-up with one of our emerging fashion designers who also applied to our New Talent Search last year.

Womenswear designer Reece Curtis-Walwyn graduated from Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication, with a BA Fashion Womenswear degree, and since graduating, it seems like her feet haven't touched the ground.

Having met Reece this time last year, I was able to see her graduate collection first hand, and it was clear she had an amazing eye for detail and tailoring techniques that made her work really stand out.

I caught up with Reece this week to find out what made her take pursue what is deemed to be the hardest design industry to break into, where she finds inspiration, and what's next on the agenda for her...

What drew you to fashion design, and when was the moment you knew that was what you wanted to do?

Fashion design for me started as just a hobby from secondary school in my Textile lessons. I would always finish before everyone else which made my tutor give me more projects to do. At the time I really didn’t mind, as it was something which I really enjoyed, especially coming to school early, and staying behind to finish my work, as I never had a sewing machine at the time.

Throughout the journey in school, I had a small insight into what I believed at the time the fashion industry was like behind all these worldwide brands featured in Vogue magazine, which I collected every month. At the end of my final year of secondary school after collecting my GCSE’s, I knew fashion was the direction I had to go in, which I am glad I did!

Your graduate collection has a strong female attitude shown through tailoring and structure, where do your main influences and inspirations come from, and have they changed at all since graduating?

Thank you for the kind words. Inspiration can come in any form, for example, I work a lot from quotes and words and interpret them into a theme or started point. Or it could be something as simple as a colour, fabric sample or an image that I’ve seen.

I'm also heavily influenced by menswear fashion and tailoring. I am amazed by the cut, style and details in tailored garments, which are very clean. This fascination could also come from my granddad who was a tailor himself.

I strongly believe being a creative individual, you have to be very opened-minded and allow your designs to flow and create something which you never dreamed off.

What was your initial plan after you graduated, to work on building your own brand, or to gain experience from industry?

Since graduating my plans were to work in industry to gain experience, and to work on building my brand.

What has been the biggest hurdle you’ve had to overcome since graduating?

The biggest hurdle has been deciding whether or not I stick to working on my own brand or working for a fashion brand. After sticking to what I believed in, with a lot of focus and determination, I stuck to building my brand, which I can very proud of as I have achieved many goals and press coverage.

What has been your biggest achievement since graduating?

I would say the biggest achievements were dressing Jenni Steels for the BAFTA awards, film premier and wardrobe for Untamed film 2015. As well as winning the Own Label Graduate Award, showcasing in The Houses of Parliament, LFW 2015 and Top Drawer London 2015 alongside luxury jewellery.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to study fashion design, and to those about to graduate?

I would say believe in yourself and your work, there are going to be people that are going to put you down and question what you do and don’t understand your work. If you are able to give answers to every question fired at you, then you know your work.

Remember there is a reason behind why you wanted to study this course. Make sure you are ready to take criticism and have an open mind. The work you produce is your own work, do not let anyone change your mind and influence you to create something you are not proud of.

Lastly, be ready for the sleepless nights and working on your work 24/7!

Finally, what’s next on your to-do list?

RCW to-do list includes getting clothing into stores, showcasing my S/S15 Tones Collection and launching my brand.