Name: Natalie Kemble
Course: International Fashion Retail
University: Heriot Watt University
Company : Eclectic Collection
1) What do you love about fashion?
Fashion is a wearable form of art which differentiates you from the rest of the world. You can tell a lot by the clothes people wear, but you can also use clothing as a way to portray a certain image.
2)What made you want to be in fashion and study ?
I think it was my mum. She has been sewing since I was too young to remember. I was always fascinated by her work – it may never have been technically accurate, but the end product was always fantastic. She used to make night clothes out of my dad’s old shirts – and I think that’s when I really got the idea about creating something new from something old.
3)Who/What your fashion inspiration ?
I love looking at ways to integrate far eastern styles into modern garments. For example kimonos are beautiful, and simple – but not that practical in the western world.
As for who, I love Rihanna’s style (but not fussed on her new collection) so I’m always inspired by her stylist Mel Ottenburg. I also have a deep love for Vivienne Westwood and the old Alexander McQueen – the mix of colours, prints and cultures always draws my attention.
Oh, and Pinterest. Who knew you could get so much inspiration from one website?
A lot of people are looking for unique and bespoke fashion at an affordable price. And that is what Eclectic Collections offers. We customise, reuse or re-make garments to create something new, unique and beautiful. With an emphasis on upcycling, we do also make completely new pieces, but from waste fabric which would be binned if someone didn’t use it.
5)What do you customise and design?
Everything! It started with a dress I made from a pair of jeans and progressed through trousers made from shirts to embellishing my old shoes which people seemed to really like. I customise hi-tops, t-shits – you name it, its probably been done.
6) How do you get inspired to customise?
I have a lot of images saved to various technological devices. If I start to make mistakes when I’m sewing, I draw up the next designs. It keeps me in the creative mindset. My partner really helps as well, he gives me constant feedback on things I’m creating and suggestions I may not have thought of.
I also have a huge cupboard stuffed to the top with beautiful fabrics and garments to customise. If I feel less creative, I go into the cupboard, take out something and say “what can I do with this?” Sit down, and force some ideas out. I may draw 20 different designs for one piece before I get inspired, but it really does help.
7) How long does it take to customise the shoes you design?
It depends on a few things: Type of shoe, detail of customisation and how busy I am doing other things. The mirrored wedges, for example, I finished in about an hour. The dip dyed hi-tops only take 10 minutes – then I can leave them to dye and go do something else.
8)What made you want to customise clutches?
I once saw a tutorial on how to make a cassette tape into a purse. It sprung from there. I went in to a charity shop to find a usable cassette and ended up buying a VHS. It seemed very sensible, bigger – you can fit more in it. More practical. A few people saw it and loved it.
9) What advice do you for those people that want to design or start a small company?
1) Don’t think you can’t do it. That’s the main one. If you think you really, really can’t do something, go on youtube and find a tutorial.
2) Surround yourself with inspirational objects and people. If you see your friend is doing something successful, you’re bound to be inspired to be successful too.
3) Don’t rush it. As with everything you do, if something is rushed it will not be at its best. If you’re building a website, for example – don’t throw something together in order to have something to show people. Take some time researching, and planning. Once the planning is done, it’ll be done in no time.