Spotlight Interview – Joy Hu

Joy Hu (胡歆宜) is a Chinese-Canadian fashion designer who is currently living and working in New York. In 2012, Joy established her fashion brand known as ‘Joy Hu Collection (歆宜禮服)’ and at Urbanity Chic, when we checked out her Spring / Summer 2013 we were impressed by her fusion of Oriental and Western influences. Despite Joy being extremely busy promoting her current line but also working on her new 2013 / 2014 collection we were delighted when she agreed to be interviewed by Urbanity Chic. Read the entire interview below where Joy discusses, amongst other things, how she initially became interested in fashion design, what fashion icons she is inspired by and what she does to relax when not working.

 

Joy Hu

Joy Hu

 

Joy Hu Collection

Joy Hu Collection

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

Currently I am working on our Fall / Winter 2013/2014 collection, which will debut in NYFW 2013.

 

Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?

2012 has been a turning point for me. I felt I grew up with my brand. I did the rebranding for my new label; my designs have become more sophisticated and more elegant.  Many celebrities were seen wearing my clothes this year such as Miss Universe Natalie Glebova and Miss Jamaica Chantal Zaky. Media include CTV and Flare. Also, I relocated to a bigger showroom in Toronto and began a showroom in New York this year. Another exciting project was I started to work with some well-known stylist who works for American Vogue. I have been working with top photographers for worldwide submission.

 

Q: What does fashion mean to you?

Fashion for me is art and self-expression. It requires creativity but it also reflects personal lifestyle.

The more I grow the more my understanding for fashion changes. My first sketches were for my Barbie. I used to style her hair, paint her nails, and glue elements to her clothes. Back then there weren’t any add-on pieces for Barbies so I made them myself. Also, I designed outfits for my favourite comic character -- The Queen of Egypt, from Japan, in a comic book called Daughter Of Nile. I remember spending days to sketch the same dress over and over again until it was perfect. Designing was always on my mind. Even in my dreams -- I used to dream about designs. So much work goes into designing an item. I believe that’s why brand names are expensive and everyone is after them -- essentially, fashion is art, which is difficult to justify. Whereas, the value of a brand comes much easier. Each brand has its own style, each brand is associated with a word: classy, sexy, high-end, mid-class, street fashion and so on.

 

Joy Hu Collection

Joy Hu Collection

Joy Hu Collection

Joy Hu Collection

Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?

Christian Dior S.A. and Valentino are my favorite designers. One is fun and elegant, while the other is very proper and elegant.  One thing they have in common is their fame for their handcraft. I like to put both fun and proper style into my collection because this reflects the person I am.

 

Q: What was the first thing you ever designed?

I designed my first piece when I was 13 years old -- it was a princess dress.  I sketched the design, used the fabric my dad brought home from London, and got it made by a high-end couture house.

 

Q: Where do you get your inspiration? 

My customers and museums. I started going to art museums at the age of six -- I think that’s where most of my inspirations come from. Whenever I travel, the first spot I will visit is the art museums and art galleries. Essentially, the goal of my line is not just to create art but also to make each woman look fabulous, therefore I am always taking feedback from my clients and meeting their needs.

 

Q: Who inspires you?

Guys are my muse, either the ones I date or the ones who are my close friends. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? Well, its not! Think about this -- a big part of clothing is for social reasons, so technically women dress for men most of the time.

 

Joy Hu Collection

Joy Hu Collection

Joy Hu Collection

Joy Hu Collection

  

Q: How would you define the style your work exemplifies? 

I am a very girly girl. I can wear dresses everyday: at work, home, and when I go out with my friends.

My personal style is a cocktail of romantic elegance with a modern sexy chic twist and a dash of diamond.

Since fashion is art to me, each piece needs to be hand-made using high end and often-unusual European fabrics, which employs signature hand-embellishing techniques in each creation. I also like lace. I find it super-feminine and sexy. There is a saying: “Lace is a woman’s second skin.” Therefore, for my ready-to-wear collection I mainly use lace as fabric.

 

Q: How would you define your personal style?

My designs represent me -- a reflection of who I am. I can’t imagine myself designing something that I would never be seen in.

 

Q: Where are you based?

Right now I am based in NYC and Toronto. I travel to London and Paris quite often.  I see the world like a village -- within ten hours I can be anywhere I want to be. I never limit myself to one place geographically. I want as many people to see and wear my clothes and not because I want to generate more money but more for a feeling of belonging.

 

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

I was born in China, but my Chinese friends always say I don’t think like a typical Chinese even when I was in China. I guess its due to the fact that I started to learn about western culture since the age of three, because my dad is in the import and export business so he gave me the opportunity to learn about how the world operates at a very young age. I think China is very proper and regulated, with lack of freedom to encourage worldview but the people are super-hard working.

Canada is very peaceful and accepts differences. America is a very productive country and more straightforward like me. If I don’t like you I am not going to waste a minute with you. This is why America has been one of the most powerful countries in the world. England seems proper from outside but actually very wild and rebellious inside which is also who I am sometimes. France is very delicate and romantic. Italy is very fun and creative.

So if I could choose, I would like to live in Beijing, Toronto, New York, London, Paris and Milan. But I would call myself Miss International -- a Chinese-Canadian who works in New York, and everywhere else in the world.

 

Joy Hu Collection

Joy Hu Collection

Joy Hu Collection

Joy Hu Collection

 

Q: How would you define your city’s fashion?

If I call myself Chinese Canadian, then I would say Canada is mostly English Fashion as Canada used to be a colony of UK for a long time, and we have lots of European immigrants here. But nowadays, since we have lots of immigrants from all over the world, and they live in their own communities and have their own community shops, I can’t say there is real Canadian fashion.  But I can say that there are different styles of fashion created by Canadian Fashion Designers. Take me as an example, European style is my main style but after all I was born Chinese, therefore you can still see the trace of Asian culture. My style is “When West meets East”.

 

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

Celebrities who have worn my designs, magazines articles, features on TV and my showroom in New York.

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve over the next 12 months?

My goal this year is to get my clothes into 50-100 different stores across North America and to start distributing in London also. To my dear UK readers, feel free to write to me: joy@joyhucollection.com

 

Q: What do you do to relax? 

Aha! I like this question. Spiritual life is always a big part of my life. I practice Zen and I meditate. When I lose my inner peace, for whatever reason, I either go to a temple to mediate or I do yoga. Also, I like to do outdoor activities such as hiking. I love spending quality time with my family and friends. I believe in energy, so I hang out with people who have positive energy.

 

Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?

It depends on what kind of vacation I need. If it’s a learning vacation, which I do quite often, then it can be anywhere that I haven’t been to. If it’s more of a relaxing vacation then there is no such place as ‘holiday paradise’ for me. I find it’s more about whom I am vacationing with that matters. However, if I have to choose, I would definitely go somewhere where there is water. I am taking scuba diving classes so I will probably go somewhere with beautiful beaches.

 

Q: What songs are you listening to at the moment?

Uoon I -- Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto (Vrioon). It’s a balanced harmony of fast and slow beats. Strangely enough, this song turns me on so much.

 

Joy Hu Collection

Joy Hu Collection

Joy Hu Collection

Joy Hu Collection

 

 

Q: Do you have interesting hobbies?

Cooking, designing, painting. Simply creating makes me happy.

 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers about you?

The person I am, I find, is always the hardest question to answer. As I evolve as a person and a designer, the view today doesn’t always stand for my view tomorrow.

 

Q: Where can we find out more about or purchase your work?

You can find more about me on my website: www.joyhucollection.com

You can purchase my ready to wear collection online at: www.highstreetdress.com

For exclusive custom dresses you will probably see me in person. You can send me an email request on my website. I always travel, so I could be in your area tomorrow!

 

Q: What motivates you to do what you do?

Passion. I love what I do.  I have a sense of belonging when I design. If it feels right just go for it! Never give up, but always learn from mistakes.

My favourite quote: “If something is not happening yet it doesn’t mean it will never happen, it just means you are not ready for it.”  Misfortune has always turned out to be a big fortune for me.

 

Joy Hu Collection

Joy Hu Collection

Joy Hu Collection

Joy Hu Collection

 

 

Editor’s Note: Joy Hu’s latest collection has a cosmopolitan and enchanting style that at Urbanity Chic we’re sure will ensure great commercial and critical success. Joy’s love of the creative arts and attention to detail is a powerful combination. At Urbanity Chic we’re definitely looking forward, with much anticipation, to her next collection!

 

If you’d like to get in touch with Joy Hu just follow the links below:

 

Twitter link:  https://twitter.com/JoyHuCollection

Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/joyhucollection

Facebook profile: http://www.facebook.com/ddfation

Web page link: www.joyhucollection.com

Spotlight Interview – 1302 Designs

1302 Designs is an upcoming fashion retailer with an aim to create clothing fusing both European and African cultures that is both easy to wear yet has an individual twist. After checking out some 1302’s latest design range we were impressed and were delighted when Elizabeth Ajomale, the founder of 1302, agreed to be interviewed by Urbanity Chic.  Read the full in depth interview below where Elizabeth mentions how she’s hoping to expand the brand over the coming months, what the first thing she ever designed was and what she does to relax when not working.

 

1302 Designs
First hand-made piece

1302 Designs
Pocket Sweatshirt

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on pushing the brand and creating more awareness. 1302 is a new Afro-Euro Brand that brings you that rare fashion with an African twist, besides being UK number one in mixing African fabric with anything we also provide the most dope fashion that can’t be found anywhere so I am constantly experimenting and working on expanding the brand.

 

Q: How has the last 12 months been for you?

It has been pretty busy but super exciting, from collaborations, showcasing at London fashion shows to getting featured.

 

Q: What does fashion mean to you?

Fashion means being able to stand out without hesitation.

 

Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?

I am really attracted to people who think outside the box and are not afraid to stand out; I can’t really say I look up to any fashion icon or designer. But I sure do acknowledge and appreciate great outstanding work.

 

Q: What was the first thing you ever designed?

Oh wow, you would find this hilarious; the first thing I ever designed was a little cute outfit for my doll. I was pretty young then and was really good with needles and threads and I would cut up pieces of cloth and make anything, I also treated myself to little accessories in between and customise my shorts and skirts. Lol, it was pretty amazing. But when I started 1302-Designs my first piece was a hand-made white dress ‘Picture one’, and it was well emotional but exciting for me.

 

Q: Where do you get your inspiration?

My inspiration comes from everything around me; from all black everything to colours and people, animals and most importantly my Black African heritage are stated in most of my clothing.

 

Q: Who inspires you?

My family inspire me greatly, they are all I have got really and I am ultimately proud and inspired always by their encouragements and support.

 

Q: How would you define the style your work exemplifies?

The style of my work simply demonstrates three main things; African, Bold and Beautiful.

 

Q: How would you define your personal style?

My style is pretty contemporary, yet dated and daring.

 

1302 Designs
Pocket T-shirt

1302 Designs
Ankara Print Bralette

 

Q: Where are you based?

Kent

 

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

It’s pretty quiet thus helping me to have some quality time to work on my brand.

 

Q: How would you define your city’s fashion?

One word: Meek

 

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

Wow, that’s hard, too many exciting moments. Some include seeing my work featured online, blogs, magazines and more.

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve over the next 12 months?

What more can a brand want than to have more publicity and sales really. Nevertheless I’d like to meet more people, collaborate and get 1302 out there in the most exciting places you would never had imagined.

 

Q: What do you do to relax?

I love writing and this has led to me creating a blog and talking about my favourite things. And of course watching an action or thriller movie can be pretty therapeutic.

 

Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?

I am yet to explore the two other fashion capitals; New York and Milan. I think it would be only natural to visit and experience their kind of fashion.

 

Q: What songs are you listening to at the moment?

I am a big music lover and I tend to have a variety of everything from soul music to hip-hop.

 

Q: Do you have interesting hobbies?

I love cooking, singing, not sure if I did get a yes from Simon on X Factor though and of course I love to write.

 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?

I will be adding a ‘Love Vintage’ and ‘Love fashion’ one off collection from time to time to celebrate more exciting individualities. Also, my custom made items are pretty exciting, I get people telling me to re-create my prodigal and unusual pieces, and these are usually the most exciting projects for me. My website is constantly revamped from time to time so people can experience a range of excitement but most especially I make and customise all my pieces and although it gets demanding doing it all by myself, 1302 is still the best thing that has ever happened to me.

 

Please note: My customers are so dear to me. Don’t be a stranger on 1302 Designs Facebook and Twitter page, I always want to hear what you have to say and your awesome thoughts are highly appreciated. Also, I am constantly giving away gifts and more, this Christmas I have numerous give-aways and things to get everyone involved in so stay close. Furthermore, customers who may require sold out items from my site; hand-made and one-off pieces from fashion shows should feel free to contact me anytime.

For sponsorships, collaborations, features or interviews email me at love1302@ymail.com

 

1302 Designs
@ Urban Fashion Week

1302 Designs
Hand-made tribal print bowties

 

Q: Where can we find out more about or purchase your work?

Visit our website: http://www.1302designs.com

 

Q: What motivates you to do what you do?

I am a naturally driven, self-motivated individual and a great fashion lover. I feel every minute is precious and I always make the best of each day, with a lot of laughter and great company I am constantly moved, moreover when I get compliments and especially criticism I am always urged to do more and better.

 

Remain Positive, Stay Inspired & Stand Out.

Love Elizabeth

 

Editor’s Note: 1302 Designs produces items that effectively combine creative African and European influences with a distinct individual commercial slant. We’re looking forward with a great deal of interest how 1302 Designs will develop over the coming months and years and are sure you will too.

 

If you’d like to learn more about 1302 Designs just follow the links below:

Twitter link: https://twitter.com/1302designs

Facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/Love1302

Web page link: http://www.1302designs.com

Personal blog link: http://www.elizabethajomale.tumblr.com

1302 blog link: http://www.1302designs.tumblr.com

Spotlight Interview – Lyndsey Clark Boutique

Lyndsey Clark is an upcoming fashion designer and corsetiere from Reading, UK. At Urbanity Chic when we first saw some of Lyndsey Clark’s creations we were impressed, particularly by how her creativity has allowed her to use sustainably sourced fabrics and recycled materials to create bespoke and made-to-measure corsets. Despite Lyndsey’s increasingly hectic schedule we were delighted when she found the time to complete an interview with Urbanity Chic. Read on to find out, amongst other things, where Lyndsey obtains her design inspirations, what the first thing she ever designed was and what she’s hoping to achieve over the next 12 months.

 

Lyndsey Clark Boutique
Photographer: Andrea Veronica Virna
MUA: Melissa Kassinen
Model: Daniela Mazzolini

Lyndsey Clark Boutique
Model: Safari Kint
MUA’s: Bobbie Ross & Nao Mabuchi
Photographer: Kamil Kurnikoff

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

Steampunk wedding dresses.

 

Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?

Chaotic and very challenging- I just celebrated my 1st year self-employed!

 

Q: What does fashion mean to you?

A starting point for embellishment, to make into something of your own!

 

Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?

I tend to admire lesser-known and emerging designers….anyone who thinks outside the box a little. I am generally not really a follower of fashion trends, I guess I am more passionate about costume, I am a big fan of Coleen Atwood, the costume designer responsible for the costumes in many of Tim Burton’s films.

 

Q: What was the first thing you ever designed?

I used to make a lot of my own clothes, but the first thing I designed (as opposed to just cutting something up and seeing what happens!) was the umbrella dress…. a dress made almost entirely from umbrellas, consisting of a fully boned bodice, and a skirt of opened umbrellas mounted on a crinoline.

 

Lyndsey Clark Boutique
Model: Tasha Bateman
Make up and Hair: Amanda Spong
Photography: Shawn Bishop

Lyndsey Clark Boutique
Model: Tasha Bateman
Make up and Hair: Amanda Spong
Photography: Shawn Bishop

 

 Q: Where do you get your inspiration?

Everywhere! -- Often from the mundane…. I like to create using unconventional materials, I once made a dress from black bin bags, and recently another entirely from second hand bras (for breast cancer awareness) I get a lot of inspiration from I often find fabrics offer a lot of inspiration, I like to make things from old curtains and table cloths, soft furnishings are never safe when I’m around- I like giving old, tired items a new lease of life.

 

 Q: Who inspires you?

Lots of people- I love to hear about enterprising people giving up the jobs they hate, to build a creative business in something they love- Etsy.com is full of really inspiring stories about people creating successful businesses using their imagination and creativity.

 

Q: How would you define the style your work exemplifies?

I consider my creations to be ‘wearable art’, I rarely follow particular fashion trends, I am really focused on recycling materials for design projects, creating something extraordinary, from something very ordinary.

Changing the world, one corset at a time.

 

Q: How would you define your personal style?

A little bohemian, a little burlesque, a little grunge.

 

Q: Where are you based?

In Reading, about 40miles outside of London.

 

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

Its great- Reading has a fabulous arty population, lots of arts markets, vintage fayres and emerging independent theatres. Reading is close enough to London to see regular exhibitions and shows (great for inspiration!) but far enough to avoid the stress of the city!

 

Q: How would you define your city’s fashion?

Reading is quite trendy- it has all the usual high street shops….but also has its share of quirky independent boutiques, (which are sadly undiscovered by the majority!) and a few quirky characters doing their own thing.

 

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

Oooh, tough question… I guess it would be Reading arts week 2012, a fantastic event held by Reading borough council- I organized 2 small fashion shows as part of the week. The shows were loads of fun, and the whole thing was a really great networking opportunity- met some gorgeous models, and some mind blowing MUAs and photographers.

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve over the next 12 months?

My first 12 months have seen my work sent to 13 different countries, I’d like to conquer a little more of the world!- I love making custom wedding dresses, and it really pleases me to know that women all over the world are enjoying their big day wearing something I created.

 

Lyndsey Clark Boutique
Photographer: Mia W Rasselkaf MECIFI.com
MUA and hair: Joyce Conner (BridesandBeauty.com)
Headpiece: Adrienne Henry Millinery
Bra dress model: Victoria Peachey
Little girl model: Ellie Sainsbury

Lyndsey Clark Boutique
Model: PG alternative model UK/pt
Photographer: Kamil Kurnikoff
MUA: Nao Mabuchi

 

Q: What do you do to relax?

I find hand sewing really therapeutic…. and crime dramas! I can often be found with a mug of ridiculously sweet coffee, watching far-fetched mysteries (the more far-fetched the better!) and a needle and thread in hand…

 

Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?

I am a festival fanatic- I think festivals are my idea of a perfect holiday- I’m off the Glastonbury for the 6th time in 2013. I love it!

 

Q: What songs are you listening to at the moment?

I’m a bit obsessed with ‘The Heavy’ at the moment

 

Q: Do you have interesting hobbies?

I am a bit of a bookworm, I read…A LOT of sci fi. And I spend a lot of time photographing, painting and illustrating, my bizarre doodles and photos are often the starting point for my most successful creations!

 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?

Absolutely- my custom made recycled corsets and wedding dresses- I can make you something completely unique, using fabric of your choice…perhaps you have a pair of your grandmothers curtains, no use for them, but just can’t bring yourself to part with them…how about a corset made from them?!

 

Q: Where can we find out more about or purchase your work?

http://www.etsy.com/people/LyndseyBoutique

Find me: ‘Lyndsey Clark Boutique’ on Facebook

Or email Lyndsey_clark@hotmail.co.uk

 

Lyndsey Clark Boutique
Model: Pandora Pitstop
Photographer: Gavin Mechaniques

Lyndsey Clark Boutique

 

Q: What motivates you to do what you do?

This is what I am passionate about; I enjoy what I do so much.

 

Editor’s Note: Lyndsey Clark takes a sustainable and enthralling slant fashion corsetry to create some amazing fashion pieces with a distinct commercial edge.

 

If you’d like to learn more about or get in touch with Lyndsey Clark just follow the links below:

Twitter link: https://twitter.com/LyndseySClark

Facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Lyndsey-Clark-Boutique/202645552088

Web page link: www.lyndsey-clark-boutique.co.uk

Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/people/LyndseyBoutique

Lyndsey Clark Boutique
Photographer: Andrea Veronica Virna
MUA: Tori Harris
Model: Raeven Irata

Lyndsey Clark Boutique
Photographer: Mia Rasselkaf MECIFI.com

Spotlight Interview – Fleur Elise Designs

Fleur Elise Designs is an upcoming fashion jewellery company from Darwin Australia. Fleur Gascoyne is the founder and we were delighted when she took a few minutes out of her hectic schedule to complete an interview with Urbanity Chic. Read on to discover, amongst other things, which current fashion icons Fleur is inspired by, which places she draws on for her creative inspiration and what she does to relax when not working.

 

Fleur Elise Designs

Fleur Elise Designs

Fleur Elise Designs -- Fleur

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

We have just moved to Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia for my husband’s work and I have just set up my new studio which is very exciting: I am itching to start designing again and am looking forward to working on some more designs which will be focused on neon, modern tribal and contemporary looks.  As we are now living in the ‘tropics’ I am inspired to include bright and bold colours in my designs and there is also a lot of amazing aboriginal art in the region, which also inspires me especially the colorful aboriginal designs.

 

Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?

The last 12 months have been a busy but exciting time for my business.  I have rebranded, opened a new Etsy Shop solely dedicated to my bridal range, my Etsy sales have increased overall and I have also had my jewellery worn by models in fashion photo shoots and magazine editorials the latest one being Colosoul, a Perth Magazine which comes out in October 2012.  In addition I have continued to develop and progress my skills as a Designer by working with new materials including leather, fibers and recycled materials.

 

Q: What does fashion mean to you?

A way to express your individuality, personal style and mood!  Fashion should be fun but above all make you look and feel great about yourself.  I love some of the designer brands but I also love buying unique one off pieces from Etsy sellers like myself, shopping online, finding a bargain / unique item at Op Shops and I love shopping at places like Dubai, Paris, London and Hong Kong for the variety of international brands that we don’t have access to in Australia.

 

Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?

My favorite international designers are Giorgio Armani and Dries van Noten for their bold and contemporary designs and I am loving Australian brand Thurley at the moment.

 

Q: What was the first thing you ever designed?

My first necklace was a black, white and silver themed piece with charms and some silver ribbon running through it with an ethnic flavor.   I created this necklace when I attended a jewellery-making course for the first time at the Bahrain La Fontaine Centre of Contemporary Art whereby I had a fabulous inspirational teacher, Ipek Altay and from Day 1 of the course I was hooked!

  

Q: Where do you get your inspiration?

I gain inspiration from my extensive worldwide travels; time spent living in the Middle East where the fashion encompassed so many different cultures, my Australian love of all things earthy, nature and the outdoors and I use a combination of vibrant colours, quirkiness and the latest fashion trends to come up with unique jewellery designs with a ‘twist’.

 

Fleur Elise Designs

Fleur Elise Designs

Fleur Elise Designs

 

Q: Who inspires you?

 My husband Thijs who always keeps me motivated to keep designing and his favourite saying is ‘be as creative as you want!’

  

Q: How would you define the style your work exemplifies?

My work is definitely eclectic and is suited to women wanting to make a statement and stand out from the crowd.  Most of my collection are one off pieces and are bold, bright and contain different materials in the one piece.  I follow the latest trends and then try to incorporate some of these elements in my designs.

 

Q: How would you define your personal style?

Sophisticated and dramatic style making a powerful statement.   I have an eclectic taste and I tend to snap up striking garments I fall in love with collected from different sources as opposed to having one or two favorite shops or labels.  I like strong, bright colours; silks and interesting textures and I also wear a lot of black and like urban, edgy looks that are often reflected in my jewellery designs.

  

Q: Where are you based?

We recently moved to the top end of Australia. Darwin, in the Northern Territory.  We live in a beautiful modern penthouse apartment on the 18th floor with great views and I have a lovely, inspirational jewellery studio to create my designs in!

 

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

Darwin has a tropical Asian climate, its one of the most laid back Australian cities, people are very friendly and it never gets below about 17 degrees and above 35 degrees.  Darwin has a wet season and a dry season and we are just getting into the wet season at present (November to April).

 

Q: How would you define your city’s fashion?

Relaxed, casual beach wear by day and dressy by night.  As there are a lot of expatriates and a transient community there are a lot of Ball’s here so many boutiques stock ball gowns.  I am hoping that some of my statement jewellery lines will sell well here for these types of events.

 

Fleur Elise Designs

Fleur Elise Designs

Fleur Elise Designs

 

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

Its difficult to pinpoint one in particular as there have been many great moments however I am loving seeing my work published in magazines over the last 12 months.

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve over the next 12 months?

I am currently working with a Melbourne Fashion Designer and will be designing a range of jewellery to compliment her new collection with a modern Japanese Geisha theme that is very exciting.   I am also starting to market my brand here in the Northern Territory and am hoping to get involved with the fashion industry here in the NT (albeit a small one!) by working with local Photographers, Models and Designers.  In addition I am looking forward to working on new collections, new techniques and materials.

 

Q: What do you do to relax?

Yoga, reading and cooking.

 

Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?

I would love to go to New York.  I have not yet travelled to the US and am hoping to spend my 40th birthday there and go on a shopping spree and enjoy all that New York has to offer!

 

Q: What songs are you listening to at the moment?

I have an eclectic taste in music.  I don’t listen to a lot of the mainstream stuff.  I love the Buddha Bar collection and often listen to these when designing.  In addition I love Arabic and Iranian Dance Music, Global Chill Out music and I also like Kylie and Madonna.

 

Q: Do you have interesting hobbies?

Nordic Walking.  I became interested in Nordic Walking when on vacation in Austria and after finding out there were groups in Perth I joined one that walked on a weekly basis in the beautiful Kings Park.  Nordic Walking involves using 2 poles and walking in a way with the poles that results in an all body workout that is great for the physical fitness and health.

 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?

I also stock a children’s range of jewellery some of which are one off designs.   My little Surfer Boy Necklaces have been a huge success and have sold to customers all over the world.  These necklaces are suited to newborns through to teens and encompass the Aussie ‘beach culture’.  They are bright and unique and can also be custom made to preferred lengths which is also why they have been popular.  I have just acquired some new shark teeth and am looking forward to incorporating these into some new Surfer Boy necklace designs.

 

Fleur Elise Designs

Fleur Elise Designs

Fleur Elise Designs

 

Q: Where can we find out more about or purchase your work?

My work is featured in 3 fabulous online Boutiques including: --

Etsy:

www.fleurelisedesigns.etsy.com

www.fleurelisebridal.etsy.com

 

Distrik Shop

www.distrikshop.com

 

Style Outside the Box

www.styleoutsidethebox.com

 

Darwin/NT customers are able to view my designs by appointment.

 

Q: What motivates you to do what you do?

I know that if I am not doing something creative I am just not happy!  I enjoy the whole process of coming up with a new design/idea, having a vision and then making it work with the items I have available or acquiring new materials.   I also love the fact that if I don’t have accessories to match a new outfit I just make something! This means that sometimes I do the reverse of most women; I buy clothing to match my jewellery!

I have loyal customers that come to me requesting custom designs.  I love working on these as I know how happy they are to receive their items which are completely custom made to their requirements, ie colours, materials, length, style etc and they love that no one else will ever have the same design!

 

Fleur Elise Designs

Fleur Elise Designs

Fleur Elise Designs -- Fleur

 

Editor’s Note: Fleur Design’s attention to detail matched with a certain creative flair and a wide variety of influences helps to create some amazing fashion jewellery. If ever you’re in Darwin make sure you drop in and check out some of her latest designs.

 

If you’d like to learn more about or get in touch with Fleur Gascoyne about Fleur Elise Designs just follow the links below:

Twitter link: http://www.twitter.com/fleuredesigns

Facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/fleurelisedesigns

Web page link: http://www.fleurelisedesigns.com

Fashion Retailer Spotlight – I-Koniq

At Urbanity Chic we love creatively individual designers and people that are endeavoring to cut a swathe through the fashion industry. I-Koniq is a London based online fashion boutique for women with attitude and style.  We were delighted at Urbanity Chic when Sasha Shantel, the founder and creative director of I-Koniq, took a few minutes to introduce some of her launch collection.

 

I-Koniq Fashion

 

The launch collection consists of an array of leather bags to incredibly trendy dresses that are inspired by the catwalk but is affordable and resilient enough to be worn each day.

 

The I-Koniq Coffee Grecian Dress is great evening wear for someone looking for an individual figure-hugging design that makes an impression.

I-Koniq -- Coffee Grecian Dress

 

 

The I-Koniq Aztec Pants will convey a vibe that will definitely make an impression. Look for more muted parts of your ensemble for a head turning and creative look.

I-Koniq -- Aztec Pants

 

 

The I-Koniq Hooped Dress can be used to subtly accentuate sensual curves. Wear with matching accessories for another dynamic look!

I-Koniq -- Hooped Dress

 

 

As you can see above, I-Koniq’s tagline, “Own Your Style” is reinforced with each garment in the collection that has the ability to turn heads. At Urbanity Chic we’ll definitely watch I-Koniq’s progress with interest. Definitely one of our “Retailers to Watch”.

 

If you’d like to check out more of I-Koniq’s latest collection just follow the links below:

Website: http://www.I-koniq.com

Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/Ikoniqfashion

Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/Ikoniqfashion

 

Spotlight Interview – enamore

enamore is a UK based fashion company responsible for producing sustainable, eco-friendly designer underwear. At Urbanity Chic when we first checked out the innovative product range we were really impressed and were really keen to share it with you. enamore are currently working towards the release of their latest line and despite everyone being extremely busy we were delighted when Rachel Braund, the chief designer behind the enamore brand completed a full, in-depth, feature interview with Urbanity Chic. Read on to find out about, amongst other things, what Rachel’s been working on for the last 12 months, what the first thing she ever designer was and what she does to relax when not working.

 

enamore

enamore

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

With enamore I am always inspired to develop new designs, colourways and to explore sustainable materials and innovation. I am constantly looking to expand our current popular loungewear and underwear collections. We want to show that there are alternatives when it comes to bringing together fashion and an eco conscious lifestyle, that you can have beautiful items that are stylish, comfortable and last…all without harming the environment.

 

Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?

Behind the scenes there has been a lot of hard work towards realising the enamore vision in every aspect, from perfecting the fits throughout the size ranges, maintaining the consistency of high quality in each and every item, adjusting shapes to tweaking stitching -- every detail is carefully considered towards the high standards we want for our customers. Outside of the design process, we have been busy getting everything ready for our exciting re-launch which takes place in May 2012 with beautiful campaign images and a brand new website.

 

Q: What does fashion mean to you?

To me, fashion is an extension of you that’s brought to the surface, a beautiful individual style of who you are. To be able to combine this with ethical and sustainable products whilst caring for the planet is an additional pleasurable experience. And one that I am very passionate about.

 

Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?

I have always been an admirer of Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood. In particular I love Vivienne’s manifesto in which she uses her status and credibility as a fashion designer in a constructive and positive way to save the planet and how we can all contribute towards this.

 

Q: What was the first thing you ever designed?

One of the first collections I ever created was a bridal collection which included a wedding dress, bridal lingerie and nightwear; all of which I produced while I was studying fashion design. I was totally inspired by the Egyptian era… the clothing, the culture, and the architecture. I integrated my ideas from this through using silk satin and sheer georgette materials to create a striking contrast between the sheer and opaque, which I loved. It worked really well in the collection even if I say so myself! This particular collection has a unique place in my heart not only because it was one of my first ever collections, but because it let me tell a story through each of the pieces individually and collectively.

 

enamore

 

enamore

 

Q: Where do you get your inspiration?

My environment constantly inspires me and it varies from travel, cultures, the arts, shapes of objects, colours and nature. I love that we can all be inspired by every day things and how we all interpret that differently.

 

Q: Who inspires you?

I love Jean Paul Gaultier. To me he was the eighties! Thus making it such an iconic period of fashion history.

 

Q: How would you define the style your work exemplifies?

The current enamore collection embodies modern lifestyle; it reflects today’s society for women and how women are juggling the various elements of their life more than ever.

 

Q: How would you define your personal style?

Smart to feminine casual chic. I love fashion and clothes that are different, that have that edge to them. But it’s quality and that attention to detail that really catches my eye every time.

 

Q: Where are you based?

London.

 

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

I am originally from Somerset, so part of my heart will always belong to the countryside. But I do love those bright lights of London, it has such an incredible energy and I love the diversity that London brings.

 

Q: How would you define your city’s fashion?

Unique, inspiring, energetic, fun.

 

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

Without doubt -- having the opportunity to collectively build amazing brands whilst working with the most talented creative people, I love what I do and it’s brilliant having a team that works well together to make all ideas reality.

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve over the next 12 months?

I would like to see enamore at the forefront of people’s minds when they think of eco friendly underwear and loungewear.

 

Q: What do you do to relax?

I read and if I’m lucky when London gets some sunshine, I like to relax in my garden and if I’m really lucky I try to escape to the sea.

 

Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?

It’s so hard to pick one place! But I do have a soft spot for Lyon. It’s a beautiful place, with a relaxed atmosphere, people are friendly and the food is delicious!

 

enamore

enamore

 

Q: What songs are on your iPod at the moment?

I’ve got some R & B, Hip Hop, 70’s disco, pop and some Johnny Cash on the iPod, that way I’ve got something for every mood!

 

Q: Do you have interesting hobbies?

I love to keep fit, I do enjoy dancing and I’ve just taken up street dancing.

 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?

Mojitos are my weakness.

 

Q: Where can we find out more about or purchase your work?

Please take a look at www.enamore.co.uk it’s got everything you need to know about enamore!

 

Q: What motivates you to do what you do?

Quite simply, I love fashion. I am motivated to create gorgeous items and that bring pleasure to those that wear them.

 

Editor’s Note: enamore’s line embodies something that is comfortable, creative, stylish and sexy whilst maintaining a product that is sustainably sourced and eco-friendly. Rachel Braund and the rest of the creative team should be commended for their work and we hope you’ll see their new line of products in a shop near you soon!

 

If you’d like to get in touch with enamore just follow the links below:

Twitter link: www.twitter.com/enamore           

Facebook link: www.facebook.com/enamoreunderwear

Web page link: www.enamore.co.uk

Spotlight Interview – Washington Roberts

Washington Roberts is an upcoming fashion designer from Brooklyn, New York. Although Washington is currently working diligently on a few high-profile fashion projects we were really happy when he took the time to complete an interview with Urbanity Chic so that we could share some of his experiences and portfolio with you. Read on to find out about what style Washington would consider his work exemplifies, what he does to relax when not working and what its like living in Brooklyn.

 

Washington Roberts -- Trix Dress

Washington Roberts -- Convinus Coat

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

My Autumn/Winter 2012 Collection and Fashion For Famine, which is not-for-profit organization.

 

Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?

Last 12 months were great, a lot of great things happened and there were a lot of disappointment as well, but took them as positive because I learned from my mistakes.

 

Q: What does fashion mean to you?

Fashion is a way of life to me.

 

Washington Roberts -- Portrait

Washington Roberts -- Moat Dress

 

Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?

Azzedine Alaia, Ricardo Tisci, Chado Ralph Rucci, Tom Ford.

 

Q: What was the first thing you ever designed?

 A Blazer for myself

 

Q: Where do you get your inspiration?

Anything can inspire me, from nature to movies.

 

Q: Who inspires you?

My Grandmother and my Grandfather.

 

Washington Roberts -- Baltic Dress

Washington Roberts -- Moat Dress

 

 

Q: How would you define the style your work exemplifies?

My collection is refined, modern for a progressive woman who appreciates the ability to transition from day to night with ease prepared for any and every situation.

  

Q: What are your favorite colours and materials to work with and why?

 I love working with silks because of its hand feel and how it drapes on a woman’s body.  I love luxury fabrics.

Favorite colours are WR Blue signature turquoise blue, Red, and Cerulean Blue. I’m also developing a love affair with black, which is really weird.

 

Q: How would you define your personal style?

My personal style is very clean, refined and modern with a lot of colours. It funny how these are the same words used to describe my womenswear collection.

 

Q: Where are you based?

I’m based in Brooklyn New York.

 

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

Being born and raised Nigeria made the person that I am today wouldn’t trade it for the world. It a cultural diverse society, People isn’t afraid to express them. There are lots of colourful and beautiful residential architectural houses…etc. With the rate of growth of the Nigerian fashion industry in few years it will become one of the fashion capital of the world.

 

Washington Roberts -- Omaticaya Dress

Washington Roberts -- Omaticaya Dress

 

Q: How would you define your city’s fashion?

It very diverse, I couldn’t define it if I wanted to. There are some many people from different cultural background with different point of view that is why I love Brooklyn.

 

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

For me being to make my dream a reality and every thing else is a plus.

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve over the next 12 months?

Increase the visibility of the brand, placement in more boutiques nationwide.

 

Q: What do you do to relax?

Relax, is something I don’t know how to do. I’m constantly working.

 

Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?

I can’t even tell you the last time I was on a vacation, but I will like to visit Mauritius. It looks so peace full and I want to learn more about their culture. A lot don’t know Mauritius is an African country.

 

Q: What songs are on your iPod at the moment?

I’m a music lover especially old school music in genre, to name a few artist that I listen to Aretha Franklin, Kem, Fela, Anita Baker, Billie Holiday, and Lenny Kravits…etc I’m also love listening to Fashion Indie Mix Tapes.

 

Washington Roberts -- Rhyolite Blazer & Gabro Pants

Washington Roberts -- Lycan Pant

 

 

Q: Do you have interesting hobbies?

Interesting hobbies…well I love playing Football/Soccer and basketball when I have the time. I also love cooking, that’s probably cause I love to eat….lol!

 

Q: Where can we find out more about or purchase your work?

You can find out more about me on my site. You can also shop on my site and MYASHO.COM. Currently waiting on confirmation of orders from two boutiques in the Metropolitan area for spring, don’t want to mention the boutiques until the garments are in stores.

 

Q: What motivates you to do what you do?

My passion for fashion and my love for the craft of making clothes. Wanting to represent possibilities.

 

Washington Roberts -- Tyranny Gown

Washington Roberts -- Navi Blazer, Neytitri Top & Pandora Pant

 

 

Editor’s Note: Washington Roberts just has that enviable knack of choosing ensembles that just work; creating a sense of style whatever the occasion. We’re sure his work will continue to gain critical plaudits over the coming months and years.

 

If you’d like to see more of Washington Roberts portfolio or get in touch, just follow the links below:

 

twitter link: http://twitter.com/Washingtonrbrts

facebook link: http://Facebook.com/WashingtonRobertsCollection

web page link: http://www.WashingtonRoberts.com

tumblr: http://www.washingtonroberts.tumblr.com

The Style of Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren has influenced the fashion world with his mastery of classic yet comfortable ensembles. His clothes make a statement for any and every budget – tastefully elegant, straightforward yet refined. When you dress the “Lauren” way you’re stating you have impeccable taste.

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

Buy: Ralph Lauren

 

 

The Ralph Lauren fashion line is not flashy but definitely obvious of refined class and elegance.  Ralph Lauren devotees opt for his elegant, easy-to-wear timeless pieces that exude good taste with that polished class. Every one of his basics can be mixed and matched to accommodate any occasion and every plan.

Ralph Lauren doesn’t follow the latest trends or radically change his line from season to season; it always remains typical Lauren – elegant and classy with a statement. And while it’s definitely not your typical ready-to-wear, his pieces are always accessible for any engagement.

Just think; your monotonous black slacks are so predictable; however, paired with a RL iconic ensemble piece and you look and feel like you’ve just walked off the runway! A perfect example of how a Lauren timeless piece turns obsolete into great style.

Choosing just one piece from his signature “Lauren” fashion line can uplift and refresh your wardrobe.

 

 

The understated style of Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren - Wild

Buy: Ralph Lauren -- Wild

Why is he an Icon?

Ralph Lauren Ladies Golf Shirt

Ralph Lauren’s look is a reflection of a refined conservative culture. He’s equipped with an unyielding understanding of peoples’ fashion needs. He knows how to make people feel comfortable, all-the-while feeling relaxed and confident. Lauren takes staple pieces and pairs them with a luxurious classic that’s uncomplicated.

Suits, tailored blazers, classic ribbed sweaters, smart polo shirts, and tailored dress shirts are all examples of his uncompromising taste. And his branded Pony is known world-wide and visible everywhere.

Ralph Lauren’s clothing is all about your lifestyle; loving his design and the feeling of luxury.

You never have to worry about the vibe of the office because all his collections work in any environment. You’ll spot his Polo Pony in urban areas as well as affluent avenues, transcending all cultures.

 

Ralph Lauren Shawl Sweater

Ralph Lauren Eyewear

Buy: Ralph Lauren Eyewear

While many items are pricey the brand strives to include all price points and, therefore, it’s accessible to everyone. But Lauren’s message has been heard loud and clear: Buy the best you can afford and keep it classy and classic.  While dressing in his uncomplicated style, you’ll profess your love of quiet sophistication and class.

One thing you can be assured of; invest in one colored pony polo to pair with any slacks and your ensemble will rise above ordinary.

Ralph Lauren Polo - Black

 Buy: Ralph Lauren Polo -- Black

Spotlight Interview – Julissa Martich

Julissa Martich is a fashion stylist, video producer and writer. Originally from the Dominican Republic, Julissa currently divides her time between Paris, Amsterdam, New York and Florida. When we first checked out Julissa’s incredible fashion blog ‘She by JMartich’ (http://www.shebyjmartich.com/) we were really impressed and wanted to share her incredible talents with you. Delving deeper we learnt that alongside her fashion blog Julissa is also an incredibly talented creative director having just released a short fashion film, ‘Femme Fatale’. Despite Julissa’s incredibly hectic schedule, we were delighted when she agreed to complete an in-depth feature interview so we could share everything with you. Read on to discover what inspired Julissa to start a fashion magazine, how she would define her own personal style and what she’s hoping to achieve over the next 12 months.

 

Julissa Martich

Julissa Martich

 

Q: How did you get into fashion?

Ever since I was little I knew I wanted to be part of this. I’ve worked in almost every single aspect of the industry, my early works in fashion took humble beginnings in the retail industry and soon expanded to the aspect of Fashion Styling and Art Direction, but one thing many people don’t know is that I actually graduated with a degree in International Business and Diplomacy, I’ve worked for United Nations in Paris (UNESCO) and also for the Embassy of The Dominican Republic in France.

 

Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?

The last 12 months of my life have been full of surprises, changes (good and bad) most of them very good and blessings, I’m busier than ever doing what I love  which is create, I feel more in control of  who I am and what I want to show in my work.

 

Q. What inspired you to start your fashion magazine?

I used to work for a newspaper doing the fashion section of it, but I didn’t have the freedom to show or cover the stories I was really interested in, so I decided to come out with  my own  fashion site (www.shebyjmartich.com) about 2 years ago to use it as an outlet to showcase what I love about fashion. I really find interesting what happens behind the cameras and see the creative team in action.

 

She by JMartich

Julissa Martich and Josie Maran

 

Q: Where do you get your inspiration?

 Music is a great source of inspiration for me, most of the times when I’m creating a concept for a project is by listening to music, and then a designer or a model comes to my head so on.  I am also inspired by films,and photographs.

 

Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?

My muse or fashion icon is a woman with aspirations and is secure of who she is. As for fashion designers I really like what Iris van Herpen is doing, I think is very unique and Avant Garde, I also love the simplicity of Rachel Roy’s line and the way she mixes prints, patters and colors, another two talented designers I really love are Ngoc-Phung Dang from France, her brand “Rainbow People Paris” is sophisticated and easy to wear and Evon Tan from Malaysia, her label “ Amoire” is  so chic and sexy.

  

Q: Who is your favourite photographer?

This is a very difficult question for me because I have many, but I can mention at least 3 of them: Mario Testino, because everything he photographs turns out to be magical, I die for Sølve Sundsbø’s work, he has a special technique of playing with lighting that I haven’t seen in any other and Deborah Anderson because she knows how to capture sensuality in a very tasteful way.

 

Q: Is there anybody you would like to work with?

I would love to work with Photographers Sølve Sundsbø and Nick Knight, also with Art Director Nicola Formichetti, there’s so much to learn from all of them.

 

Julissa Martich

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjiZC9OXIIA

 

Q: What does fashion mean to you?

To be honest for me fashion is just a word, in my opinion style is more important because is an extention of who we are, therefore we should only wear what makes us feel good.

  

Q: How would you define your personal style?

My personal style is very simple when comes to clothes, I tent to be more creative when I’m on set styling someone else. My closet is full of blazers, white blouses, cocktail dresses and jeans, where I go over the top is with accessories, I think they are the key item to make any outfit stand out.

  

Q: Which magazines do you read? What makes a good magazine?

Some of my favorite fashion magazines are: Numéro, and Vogue Japan. For me what makes a good magazine is a combination of a different things: Relevant information that makes a difference for the readers, originality, I’m a visual person so consistent layout/font-style/graphic style that is pleasing to the eyes is very important and of course a good cover.

 

Q: Where are you based?

At the moment I’m between the US (NYC and Florida) and Europe (Amsterdam and France) but I’m originally from The Dominican Republic.

 

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

Just being able to work in what I really love is an amazing feeling, so there’s nothing in specific that I can highlight.

 

Julissa Martich

She by JMartich

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve over the next 12 months?

I’m working on a beautiful project called “She Is a Princess Foundation”. This is a foundation that will provide free education to little girls of low income in my country The Dominican Republic, hopefully becomes a reality this year. I’m also working on expanding internationally my styling company “Fleur de Lys Fashion Group”

 

Q: What do you do to relax?

Whenever I get time to relax I just put some music, open a bottle of wine and jump in my bed.

 

Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?

I’m from the Caribbean so anywhere with Ocean, Sand and Sun makes me happy.

 

Q: What songs are on your iPod at the moment?

Too many!!!  I have almost every song of Sade, Lauryn Hill, Adele, Telepopmusik, John Legend, Moloko, Massive Attack and the list goes on and on, I can’t live without music.

 

Julissa Martich

 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?

I would like to tell everybody that with passion, dedication, and being true to one’s self anything is attainable in life.

 

Editor’s Note: Julissa Martich is someone who is passionate about everything she does in life. When combined with her intrinsic talent to create visually and emotionally appealing pieces of work, we’re sure that Julissa will continue to create incredible pieces of work and enjoy creative success in the coming months and years.

 

If you’d like to contact or learn more about Julissa Martich just follow the links below:

 

twitter link: http://twitter.com/#!/shebyjmartich

facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/She-By-JMartich/146616545355875

fashion magazine link: http://www.shebyjmartich.com

personal website link: http://www.julissamartich.com

vimeo channel: http://vimeo.com/shebyjmartich

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: