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!