Joyelle by Kate Mason is a bespoke garment making company based in a beautiful sea side town on the Irish Sea coast of County Down. The collection as a whole is a collection of beautiful colour palettes, sumptuous fabrics and one of a kind pieces that are tailor made for the individual.
What is the driving force behind your career in fashion design?
At the beginning I just loved making things, I loved taking the inspirations and processing them, turning them into ideas on paper and then making them into pieces. That progressed on to the design course at University of Ulster, from there I was given such an opportunity to experiment and expand my knowledge of design using a vast range of yarns, colours, patterns, materials and processes. From there I still wanted to be in control of my designs, which is why I became a design consultant. Over the years that lead me down a path of designing for both menswear, womenswear, interior collections and accessories twice a year and also form independent clients for their collections. I decided to take the leap and create my own label, with a collection of garments I designed, made using the fabrics I created. I’m challenging myself beyond limits to say the least whilst having a 18 month old is far from ideal – but it’s the best inspiration and driving force I could have asked for.
What is your approach to clients?
When working with my clients I love hearing their ideas and discussing what they want from the pieces. Just like the pieces, they are looking to me to help them make individual garments and I love being a part of that. Sometimes they trust in my ideas and have me mix the colours and patterns up and others want to put in their own suggestions, it’s just great. It also means at times very unique pieces are made and from a creative point of view, I couldn’t ask for more. We work through colours, yarn options and patterns. Garments have been made for statement pieces, the races and mother of the bride outfit’s, it’s so much fun. It’s a wonderful way of gathering inspiration and getting feedback for what my clients want and where they want to wear them.
Who do you admire in the industry?
The industry has such a vast array of amazing people to admire, that I take inspiration from a whole range of them. But my most treasured person I have admired for as long as I can remember is the designer Jean Muir. She is legendary for her visions, designs and pushing back boundaries. Muir has been a huge influence to me over of the years and has had a huge impact on my design ethos. She loved creating clothes for women that were an extension and enhancement of their personalities. Muir made clothes that focused on the wearer not the label. One of her most powerful quotes that has always resonated deep within me, “ ideas have to make sense in their own time – on the other hand I have always felt that even in clothes, through shape and workmanship and a total comprehension of the material – one can produce a lasting quality that overrides the transient, superficial areas of fashion.”
What was the best advice you received when it came to starting your own label?
I have had advice from family, friends and outside advisors, all of them said to go for it once I told them the niche to the business. Fast fashion craze is dying off, people are really wanting to have better quality clothes, investment pieces…they want better and prepared to pay for it. They like knowing who made their clothes, the story behind it, deal face to face with the designer, I can offer a very special piece of the design process and give it back to them in a hand made, bespoke garment made just for them. I handle everything myself and they appreciate that. So within this crowded market, I was told to go for it based on the handcrafted and personal nature of my business. Very few people are in the position I’m in, that can offer what I can offer. Speciality designed fabrics, patterns and colours, pattern drafting and tailor made garments made just for them. I believe in what I do, I have confidence in it and that’s what makes my label different.
What are your top five fashion tips for this season?
Believe in your own shape and style regardless of what trend is circulating at the time. Perhaps rock your own look but with a new addition of bold accessories to start, or if you are feeling brave go head to toe in the latest trend. Whatever you do, do it as yourself.
It only takes a buying a few key but good pieces each season to update your wardrobe and feel you have given your look a twist.
Ankle boots are the best for this season, take advantage of them and wear them with jeans, trousers, dresses and any length of skirt.
Enjoy the pops of colour, have fun and play around with them, experiment with putting them different pieces from your wardrobe to uplift any look.
A Joyelle coat would carry you right through the season perfectly.
What advice would you have for anyone wanting a career in fashion design?
I have to admit that I didn’t always know what direction my creativity would take me. I just always wanted to make things, having fun as I go along. I have been incredibly lucky to continue to do that whilst forging a career and name for myself. It’s very cliche but my advice would be that at the end of the day only you know what you can achieve and what you want. Sometimes there just isn’t a simple way to get where you want, but following your instinct certainly can help get you there.
For more information and how to order from Joyelle Design visit the website www.joyelledesign.com
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