The Process of Creating a New Collection
Who designs new collections for Fleur of England?
I design all of the collections at Fleur of England, I have loved designing ever since I can remember, it is an obsession/passion of mine.
How do you decide on the colours of the collection?
I start with an emotion that leads to a story. I think of colours as emotions and they are often the starting point for me when designing. A rich colour often lends itself better to a soft, lace design whereas a bolder colour looks incredible when contrasted with our signature sheer tulle, so this would inspire me to create a bespoke embroidery.
How long does the process take from start to finish?
In terms of design I like to give myself 6 months from concept to photoshoot, but If I have to I can turn around a collection in 4 weeks start to finish. Designing during COVID-19 has been a very different experience and our timelines and processes have had to be adapted.
Where do you get your inspiration from for a new collection?
I have ideas always floating around in my head, it’s like a tap, I am very lucky it’s just the way my brain works. I could be having an evening walk in Cornwall with my kids and I see something in the way the light falls on a beautiful wildflower and inspiration strikes me, that’s the emotion and the beginning of the whole season.
How many people see and try on a collection before the photoshoot happens?
My amazing team at the studio and our fantastic sample machinists in Portugal. We also fit on the models in advance of the shoot.
How do you decide on the mood and styling for a photoshoot?
Again, I revisit the emotion and essence of the collections. I would then create a Pinterest board to illustrate this and get all my thoughts in one place. I will then look at location agencies and find somewhere that fits the mood perfectly. The styling is always kept quite natural as I think it allows the natural beauty of our models to shine through.
How do you decide on the fabrics used in a collection?
I have fabrics that I have come to adore over the last 20 years, they capture the essence of Fleur of England so beautifully and really are captivating. I love silk, invisible tulle and French lace, but embroidery is my favourite. I love the way it contrasts with our sheer tulle and sits against the skin, I design all my own bespoke embroideries this gives me such freedom to capture the essence of the collection.
Where are your new collections made?
All our lingerie is made in Portugal, I have worked with this factory owner for over 15 years and we visit the factory often. I think it’s important to know exactly where we are producing our pieces and to have such a strong and personable relationship.
Do you make new patterns for each collection? Who makes these?
Lucy-Ann, our technical manager does all the pattern/technical work (as well as many other things). For any new styles or increased size range, a new pattern is made and we continually work on our current patterns to ensure the fit is always exquisite.
Do you always use the same styles? How do you decide what style you use in a collection?
We introduce newness with fresh exciting styles each season however the most loved styles that our customer comes back for again and again often get redesigned in a new colourway or embroidery design. I love adding subtle new design details and we always work to improve the fit season after season to ensure all pieces are exquisite.
What are your favourite photos from the new AW20 collections?
Adore, I like the black windows and industrial feel of the location against the beautiful black bespoke embroidery. The models look so empowered, confident and strong!