Interview with Lydia Grace // Made My Wardrobe

Today's post is something new, I'm starting a series of interviews with women in the design industry to be featured on my blog, for my first one we have the talented Lydia Grace, Lydia has experience in the fashion industry and a keen eye for design (the evidence is in her creations), she set herself the  challenge of designing and making every garment in her wardrobe in one year. To check out the amazing pieces Lydia has created so far her website link is here 'Made my Wardrobe' 

When and how did you get into fashion design?
I started out in costume. I completed a two year apprenticeship with a bespoke costumier in London, where I learnt more than I ever could in a classroom. Since then I have dipped over into fashion, through taking on work and projects with artists and businesses that inspire me, but my heart will always be in costume.

What inspired you to make all your clothes in a year?
I no longer wanted my clothing choices to be constructed for me or dictated by what is available to buy. As I get dressed in the morning I want to feel connected to the clothes I am wrapping my body up in. Wearing clothes I have made is the most honest way I have of being in the world; it is my little way of celebrating and expressing creativity each day.

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What does a typical day look like in the studio?
Cycle in, make a cuppa, put some tunes on, and then the fun begins. I will usually have designed what I’ll be making that day laying in bed the night before so I can start straight away by rolling out my dot and cross paper and drafting a pattern. Once the pattern is drafted and checked I will cut my chosen fabric and get sewing. My studio is in the Bristol Textile Quarter where I share the space with 8 other fashion and textile artists. When lunchtime comes around we all tend to sit and eat together. This time gives us a chance to ask each others advice and bounce ideas off each other. Then it is back to my sewing machine for the afternoon, when I will usually listen to a podcast or two before wrapping up for the evening.

What have been your favourite pieces to make and why?
The woolen coat I made in the first week is still one of my favourite pieces. I had never made I tailored winter coat before and I poured my heart into it. Hours and hours of embroidery climb all the way up the back, using beautiful metallic threads, and beads.

What are the biggest perks from creating your own clothes rather than buying them pre-made?

The opportunity to have total creative control over the way you look.

 What have been the biggest challenges from creating your own wardrobe?
Lingerie! Bras are my nemesis but I am learning so much by making them.

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What is your main inspiration when designing a new piece?
European films, architecture, sunsets, classical ballet..

What keeps you motivated in the studio?
I have learnt to not beat myself up about mistakes and embrace them as an important part of the creative process, but most of all good music keeps me going.

Who inspires you most in the fashion industry, and why?
Vivienne Westwood’s autobiography is one of my favourite reads. The Alexander McQueen show at the V&A blew my mind. Dolce & Gabanna’s catwalk shows never disappoint and the documentary about Dior that came out a couple of years ago was an incredible insight.

What are your plans after the year of making your wardrobe?
Hopefully make a few other people's dream wardrobes come to life, by starting my own small line all made in Bristol.

To find out even more about Lydia Grace and her mission here is her blog, and why not check out her instagram? I hope you enjoyed today's post, also want to be interviewed? Drop me an email.

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