Charlotte Taylor

She answered my telephone call on a Wednesday evening sounding surprisingly jolly and enthusiastic after a long day in the studio.  She had her dog Frankie there and was constantly trying to get him under contro,l whilst maintaining our conversation.  Isle of White based Charlotte Taylor was ‘one to watch’ at London Fashion Week.  She received massive coverage and positive feedback with celebrities such as Diana Vickers and Fearne Cotton who have been snapped wearing Autumn/Winter 10 collection.  She graduated from Central St Martins in 2008 after assisting marcus Constable and Frost French along the way and was selected for their graduation press show.  ‘This was flattering and an amazing experience as I am a more contemporary designer and they usually go for crazy wacky designers’.  Luella soon snapped her up where she worked as the creative marketing assistant.  ‘It gave me the confidence to start my own label because I learnt a lot and got to know the business side’.   In 2009 she founded her own label ‘Charlotte Taylor ltd’ and launched it at London Fashion Week associated with Vauxhall Fashion Scout.  Here she served penguin cup cakes with the trade mark colours blue and yellow.  The catwalk show was a big and exciting experience, being only her second catwalk since graduation.  The models were chosen for all four of the ‘one to watch’ candidates, meaning that they didn’t have enough time to do fittings for them and just had to use pins and blag it.  'Some clothes were too small and some were too big, my skirt was also ripped!'  But it was an incredible experience being selected for ‘one to watch’.  She was chosen by a panel of industry experts and showed alongside the other ‘one to watch’ candidates A.Hallucination, Lilee and Brit Georgina Hardinge who already has a collection available to buy from online store asos.
I went to visit Charlotte and her collection when she was showing at London Fashion Week, this was when I first met her.  I spotted a car outside of the Freemason’s Hall, a yellow astra covered in the robot print of charlottes collection and her name across the side of it ‘designed by Charlotte Taylor’.  ‘It was Vauxhalls idea, they asked me to design a print for their astra.  It’s not mine at all, it just sat outside all week for advertising purposes.  It’ll probably have another designers print on it now’, she said slightly embarrassed that I had thought it was her car and she drove around in it. ‘It would look big headed if i drove around with a car that had my name written on the side of it’.  Her first collection was inspired by trashy grannies, penguins, old soap operas, movies and the eccentric.  With blouses and tops covered with the unique penguin print for a strong and memorable statement.  It included the key colours copper yellow and blue, inspired by unusual things. ‘there is a huge copper sculpture in a naff hair salon on my road and bizarrely I kinda love it’. This collection was dedicated to her grandfather Harold, her biggest supporter an buddy, who passed away in October 2009 having never seen the final outcome.  ‘Grandpa said I can do it so it must be true was always my motto’.  With her new collection focusing on prints and being inspired by Africa, she includes lobsters, ants, elephants, penguins and robots to her prints, extending to a wallpaper and scarf collection.  
She is inspired by anything, literally absolutely anything from a sculpture to a tradition, country, person or a colour, except for other designers.  ‘I don’t look at other designers for inspirations or take anything from them for my collections’.  She doesn’t design her clothes for celebrities, even though a few have been spotted wearing them.  ‘I can imagine a fun, not too serious person who likes feeling good wearing them.  Someone who wants to look a little bit different, individual, have some life in their wardrobe and something a bit special’.  The label isn’t available to buy in store at the moment but the Autumn/Winter collection will be available to buy at the end of May in Coggles, Young British Designers and in store at di-guardo in Notting hill, London.  The scarves will also be available to buy in America in a store called Anthroplogie, stretching her label over to the states! ‘There will also be a release at some point in August’, Charlotte tells me excitedly.  We will finally be able to get our hands on these amazing designs and prints.
  With her new Autumn/Winter collection which focuses on prints and is inspired by Africa, she takes a new and different approach, continuing along the lines of taking the label back to basics, stripping it bear and focusing on a stronger identity and message. She decided not to show at London Fashion Week this year and the collection didn't even grace a showroom.  She literally went to boutiques, took them look books and showed them the collection.  ‘Sometimes it worked and sometimes I saw the end of a risen, flared nostrill whilst being ushered out the door and tentatively wished "good luck"...Well I didn't like your store anyway...huff.  But it was interesting to see what everyone would say.  They gave me feedback on how it could be developed and how their customers would relate to the designs.  I wanted direct feedback straight from the horses mouth.’  It would give an opportunity to improve her designs and collections for previous seasons for her target audience, as they are the most important people, they will be buying.
Keeping in touch with what Charlotte is doing, what ideas she has and what is happening in the future is easy as she has an incredible animated blog, telling you her step to step before London Fashion Week, giving advise and sharing her journey as a fashion designer.  She realises fashion has a cyber obsession at the moment and uses this to her advantage.  She is very busy at the moment so doesn’t update it as much as she would like.  ‘I will be having someone to help me with my label soon, so i will have more time to do the little things like updating my blog’.  With her busy life as a Fashion designer, she often doesn’t have time to visit London to see her friends very often, so when she does she enjoys going out, drinking wine and having a gossip, although it depend on her mood and who is there to whether she will enter into a nightclub or a bar.  ‘I can make a flower with my tongue’ she tells me as I ask her if she has any party tricks.  I bet that comes out when she has had a few drinks to impress a few people.  Despite having a busy lifestyle, Charlotte is a very chilled out jeans and t-shirt lady and likes to enjoy herself when she isn’t working.  Flicking through her playlist you will find Paolo Nutini, the XX, Oasis, Take That, Katelyn rose, Adele and Coldplay.  With exciting things to come with her label, keep a look out for Charlotte Taylor as we are all expecting great things!


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