Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Meet the designer: Personal, business, inspiration and much more...

This week is an exciting week for me! You wanna know why? It's my birthday! Another year older and another year wiser, or so I like to think. So what better time to take the limelight and write this months blog post all about me and a few Q&A's I thought you guys would want to know the answers to.

A little bit of personal info about me...

For those of you who don't me, my name is Lindsey! I am the owner and designer of Loula's Boutique, a unique handmade clothing label for ladies and girls or all ages and sizes. I live with my boyfriend Mark and our rescue dog Gracie, both of whom I am absolutely head over heels in love with. I am a huge animal lover,to the point where I must meet and greet EVERY single animal I come into contact with. Cows are my favourite! I am vegan, mostly for the animals partly because VEGAN FOOD IS ACTUALLY SOOO GOOD! I love gin, in fact most alcohol! This must have started from a young age when I was rushed to hospital only to discover that I was blind drunk from drinking a bottle of brut aftershave in my cot, and it was all downhill from there.

(Me and my boyfriend Mark)

On turning another year older...

I'm currently just turning 29 which is worrying for most people my age, but not for me. I have had 29 brilliant years. There's been up's and downs but generally I feel like I've achieved a lot of the things I wanted to accomplish by now. I started my business Loula's Boutique when I was just 23 years old and I remember the battles of being such a young business woman. I found that people would try and take advantage of my naivety and limited knowledge for their own personal gain. I feel like I've now come to a stage in my life where I can be assertive with what I want and not let people walk all over me but I've also learned to do this in a way that doesn't upset people and I think that age and experience has played a big factor in this.

Getting inspiration...

I often get asked, where do I get my inspiration from. Well the answer to this is everywhere! Before setting up my business, I was heavily inspired by the likes of All saints, Vivienne Westwood, lady Gaga and Robert Carey Williams. I adored the unique textures and shapes that each one use that really stood out from anything I'd ever seen before.Taking something really quite unusual and making it really work as a style. I also loved the business concept of American apparel, where every single piece of clothing was so wearable and versatile for different occasions as well as being available in every colour way. So from both of these influences, I knew I wanted to create something in between the two. Once I had set my mind on the basic overall look of the label, each collection was usually inspired by things I saw day to day. I lived in Leeds for quite a few years and I was really inspired by the whole Leeds scene dress style where people aren't afraid to really stand out. It's like a really unique expression of self through clothing that was made up of both contemporary and vintage influences. Social media also plays a big part in my designing, I'll usually see a nice neckline or sleeve shape on Instagram and think 'ooh I want to have a go at recreating that Loula's style' and then my mind will suddenly start designing a whole dress from just that one element. I'd say finally and one of the most important influences on my designs, are my customers. I've found it really important to listen to what they want as most of the time, what they want is usually what a lot of other people also want. It's also really all trial and error with putting collections out and seeing what sells and then working on those design elements that have been popular.

(Original sketch for the Lola dress available here )

Staying motivated...

Being responsible for your own workload and staying motivated is never easy and you would think that motivation would flow when doing your dream job, but the reality is it doesn't. It really comes and goes in blocks and the trick is to take advantage and put in extra hours when it comes and set yourself a minimum workload of easy to achieve tasks when it goes. I always have to do lists on the go which really helps keep me organised and on days when I feel really creative, I'll get all my sewing and designing done and the days where i don't feel like moving, I'll get all my social media and marking sorted. I guess I've really learned to adapt my workload to my current state. When I first started out, I would just try and work through my to do lists in order and try and make myself be creative when I wasn't feeling it and find myself getting fed up and giving up, so this way really does work much better for me. I also try and listen to a lot of motivational speeches, attend business advice talks, read self help books or just surround myself with motivated people in the blocks where my motivation goes and this always boosts me back up. An idea that has really stuck with me throughout my business that improves my motivation  is that I used to work really hard for previous employers helping to make someone else's dreams a reality so if I could do that for them then surely I should be able to work even harder at my own.

Do you make your own clothes?

This is a question I get asked quite often and if I'm being completely honest, not very often. It's not that I don't love sewing my own designs, I really do. It's just that when you spend nearly every single day making clothes for other people, the last thing you want to be doing in your free time is more sewing. I think most people in most professions would say the same thing. So where do I get my clothes from? Well firstly I really like support independent businesses, not only does it put money back into our economy and opens up more job roles, but it also ensures that you're getting something unique. I also buy a lot of second hand, I'm a strong believer in reusing and recycling to look after our planet and again it ensures you are getting something unique.

I hope you have enjoyed reading a little bit about me and what inspires and motivates me! If there is anything you would really like to know or you have an idea for my next blog post, feel free get in touch, my inbox is always open :) loulasboutique@hotmail.co.uk

Get 20% off the website until the 8th april 2018 with discount code 'birthday20' at the checkout of loulas-boutique.co.uk

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

What's trending for spring/summer 2018

With spring/summer 2018 fast approaching, it will soon be time to pack away those winter knits and tartans and say hello to a whole new selection of colours and fabrics. Here at Loula's boutique we are in the know about the HOTTEST trends this seasons, we also know you fashionistas have busy lives and so we have taken the liberty of gathering all that information and sharing with you our top 6 favourite fashion trends of this season.

#1 Pastels 

From mint greens to pale lilacs, baby blues and soft pinks, pastels are set to be a big hit this SS18! The key to this catwalk trend is to choose only one pastel and dress head to toe in it.

Check out our selection of pastels at Loulas-boutique.co.uk

#2 Trench coats 

It's all about the edgy trench coat this season! From soft and natural beige's and taupe's to pastels and even plastics for a more edgy look. Top tip! Opting for a natural colour will keep your trench coat timeless so it can be bought and worn again and again. 

Check out our selection of trench coats at Loulas-boutique.co.uk

#3 Crayola colour pop

Again as with the pastel trend, this look is about choosing a key colour and dressing head to toe in it. The colour of the season is yellow, the brighter the better! Think daffodil yellow. 

Check out our selection of colour pop fabrics at Loulas-boutique.co.uk

#4 Plastic

From coats to shoes to hats to bags, plastic will be big trend this spring summer. Opt for clear plastics with small detailing to show off your silhouette. 

Check out our selection of plastics at Loulas-boutique.co.uk

#5 Vintage florals 

For the girly girl within us, vintage florals are a big hit this season. The busier the better, opting for soft and floaty fabrics but no clashing of prints! 

Check out our selection of vintage florals at Loulas-boutique.co.uk

#6 Stripes 

Vertical and horizontal clashes of stripes have been seen all over the catwalk for this season. Lots of pink and red shades and bold colour clashes. 

Check out our selection of stripes at Loulas-boutique.co.uk


Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Loula's Boutique; The 5 year journey.

On February 1rst 2018, we celebrate the 5th birthday of Loula's boutique. So it seemed only right that this months blog would be to tell you the story of how we came to be and the struggles and successes i've had along the way! For those of you who don't know me, my name is Lindsey Rayner and I am the founder of Loula's Boutique. The majority of everything that you see on the website and on our social media pages has all been created by me. From designing, pattern cutting and sewing, to running the website, product photography and marketing, I am mostly a one man band, with the exception of some incredible photography, modelling and hair and makeup from some highly talented people I have been lucky enough to work with along the way. The journey so far has been extremely hard work but it is also my absolute passion and I wouldn't change it for the world! 

My journey to Loula's boutique started about 10 years ago. I never really knew where my passion was and found myself floating about between things I found interesting. I was studying psychology at Huddersfield uni when I went along to a fashion open day with a friend who was planning on doing the course there. I remember having this epiphany moment where I was so so engrossed in the idea of working in fashion, that I knew from then on that this was my passion in life. I contacted a careers adviser to ask about changing my degree and starting a fashion degree, I was told that because I was so far into my first degree that I wouldn't be able to get funding to do fashion and that without a degree in fashion I would never work in the industry. Anyone who knows me knows I'm not the type of person who lets people tell me what I can and can't do! So I started out by buying charity shop clothes and altering them and wearing them out on nights out. I got a lot of good feedback from my creations! After that I got some work experience working with other designers and then went on to land a place in the training school of Burberrys where I quickly learnt so much and mastered the art of sewing. I took a night class in pattern cutting at Leeds college and self taught myself all the skills I needed to get going. I then established Loula's boutique about 4 and a half years ago. I was heavy influenced by designers such as Robert Carey Williams, Vivienne Westwood and all saints, I loved the out there designs and interesting cuts that were totally different to anything on the high street. I always wanted my label to sit somewhere between all saints and American apparel, intricate cuts and quirky designs but with an easy wearing day-night wear ability and lots of colour options for each design. Since then I've been lucky enough to show my collection at both Manchester and Liverpool fashion week along with some smaller fashion shows, one of which I organised to raise money for a children's cancer charity. I was part of a collective of designers who ran a pop up shop in Bradford broadway shopping centre in which I was the top selling designer throughout the 5 months of the shop being open. I've been published in several magazines and newspapers and have stocked in a total of 15 different boutiques across England and set up my own website.

I guess the moral of the story is, if you want something enough and you're prepared to work hard every single day towards it and never give up, even when it gets so hard but you just keep believing and just keep going, YOU CAN ACHIEVE YOUR DREAMS!


Wednesday, 3 January 2018

A dress for every occasion; Our top 5 annual events and how to style them.

As we step into a new year and the January sales begin, what better time to get yourself and your wardrobe organised for the upcoming year. Most of us enter the new year with a positive mindset and motivation for becoming a better version of ourselves which makes now the best time to get organised, save yourself money and prevent the stress of last minute panic shopping. Below you'll find our list of the top 5 annual events to shop for and our tips on how to dress and style them.  

1. Holiday in the sun - 

Holiday dress code should be fun and practical. Some key pieces you may want to include in your suitcase are stylish swimwear, lightweight floaty dresses and skirts, swimwear coverups, comfortable shorts and t-shirts and a couple of dressy outfits for the night time. Adding a long floaty skirt and accessories to a stylish swim costume can take your look from poolside to bar with minimum effort.

Pictured: Mint green Paris skirt (made to order).
Contact loulasboutique@hotmail.co.uk for more details.

2. Festival -

Popular festival looks include short denim shorts and log print tops and  floaty floral dresses, both teamed with wellies, hair flowers and face gems. Whatever look you go for, our top tip for festivals would be to not forget your waterproofs! The typical English weather will more than likely pour it down leaving you wet and muddy.

                                       Pictured: Waterproof Monica coat in olive green. 
                                                               Shop the look here!

3. Black tie event - 

The key to dressing for a black tie event is elegance. Whether you opt for the classic Full length gown or go for a more modern look such as the little black or cocktail dress. You want to be choosing black, metallic or jewel tones so that you don't look too casual. Sequins, jewels and sparkly jewellery will add to the overall look and it's also advisable to invest in shawl or faux fur wrap rather than a jacket for a stylish cover up. 

Pictured: Eliza dress in deep red.

4. Races- 

A trip to the races is always a big event in the fashion calendar. This is an event where you really want to dress to impress. Clashing bold colours is a great look and will make you stand out from the crowd. Fascinators are generally a popular accessory and work well when the colour is paired with the shoes and bag. Some races such as the royal ascot require a more conservative dress code, dresses must be below the knee or longer and should have strap of one inch or greater for this particular event. Make sure you check the dress code before planning your outfit. 

Pictured: Hot pink Lana dress.

5. Wedding guest -

What to wear for a wedding will depend upon a few factors. The style of the wedding, the season and the time of day. For formal weddings, which are usually in the evening, you want to be opting for full length gowns or cocktail dresses. If the dress code is casual (usually in the daytime) opt for daytime dresses that can be accessorized. Maxi dresses and sandals will make you look elegant without over dressing. The fabric and print of your dress will depend on the season, some great spring/summer options are lightweight florals, pastels and bold colours that will keep you cool. For autumn/winter weddings, some good colours include emerald green, wine and royal blue or even tartans as these colours suit most skin tones and  heavier fabrics will keep you warmer in the winter months.  Some general rules of what not to wear to a wedding are, don't wear the same colour as the bride unless requested, this is her special day and her colour. Also don't go for the same colour as the bridesmaids, you don't want to look like a bridesmaid wannabe. Jeans, flip flops, distressed clothing are also a big no no!

                                                 Pictured: Betty dress in blue and pink floral.
                                                                Shop the look here!

Monday, 13 February 2017

On the catwalk at Silver fox studios

So on Friday night we hit the catwalk at Silver Fox Studios for their opening/networking event! The studio is situated in Dewsbury town centre, on the top floor of an architecturally beautiful building with wooden beams running across the ceiling and stunning arch windows. Upon arrival we had to take the spiral of stairs passing a quaint little gift shop and a carpet shop on the second floor up. Waseem, the owner and photographer at Silver Fox, greeted us upon arrival. Himself and his friend Nicola had organised the event together. Walking into the studio you could see the effort that had gone into the nights event, the catwalk was set with a photography backdrop behind to for display. There was a huge table of homemade foods including samosas and delicious looking cakes and best of all, enough alcohol to keep us going to the early hours! It was lovely to see that loads of Waseem's friends and family had already arrived to support him and his event. Backstage the models were already in the process of hair and makeup, tonight's make up look was bold winged eyeliner, shimmery eyes and heavy contour beautifully created by Dorota Ozarowska a MUA who's work I had already been following and admiring on social media and Nicola Whitfield who I had not yet had the privilege of knowing but am excited to follow her cruelty free makeup work as this is a subject which is quite close to my heart.

 Hair was done by Nicola, the event organiser, the hair look was slicked back plaits in a high pony tail. Everyone arrived and was seated, Waseem thanked everyone for coming and told us about his plans to host more catwalk events at his studio and that the catwalk was underway! First up to take the stage was Claire Paver couture a bridal and evening dress designer and also a personal friend of mine. The dresses were feminine and floaty, in soft pastels. My particular favourite was a candy pink ballerina like dress.

Next to take the stage was Yasmin Gora Gardee, the collection was loosely fitted easy wearing garments that could easily be taken from day to night wear. I loved the tasselled trim detail that finished some of her garments.

 After a short break and a few more glasses of prosseco it was my turn to take Loula's Boutique to the catwalk. For this collection I decided to go with a valentines theme incorporating bold reds and blacks with the classic bouncy hems and cinched in waistbands of my previous work.  
The final designer to take to the catwalk was Rusty Dusty  with a selection of bold plaid, and checkered print capes. I loved the fabrics chosen for the capes how effortlessly easy to wear they were.

All in all a fantastic night at Silver Fox Studios and really hope there will be lots more of these to come!