It’s such a cliché isn’t it, to say ‘I find inspiration from nature,’ but it really is true. Or rather, for me it’s more about finding inspiration in nature. I don’t know what it is, or why it is, but when I’ve spent time outside – particularly when I’ve been away for the weekend in the camper van and have been exploring woodland and countryside, I can’t wait to get home again and sit at my sewing machine! Being in nature fills me up with a creative instinct that is raring to go.
I am very lucky to live in the Somerset countryside with an amazing view from my workroom window. If I’m feeling short of inspiration, sometimes all I need to do is spend a few minutes looking out at the hills, the clouds, and if I’m lucky, a murmuration of starlings, and I’m re-set and ready to go again!
For the actual designs of my clothes; really, the clue is in the name of my clothing business, Threads of a Fairytale! I imagine what Cinderella wore in the cellar with the mice; I imagine what she and all the other guests at the ball wore. I think of Rapunzel in the tower, Sleeping Beauty lying in a decaying castle, and the fairies in Enid Blighton’s Faraway tree. Usually these stories are set in the past and I love so many aspects of historical fashion: flouncy sleeves; frilled petticoats; corset lacing and extravagant bustles. Most importantly, I am drawn to the fact that in years gone by, the clothing was made by someone. A person with a name, who sat by the fire under candlelight and stitched all the details themself, who would alter the garment as fashions change, and pass it through the family.
I also look to fantasy fiction and more modern fairytales for inspiration. Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Labyrinth and Pirates of the Caribbean spring to mind. People-watching at interesting places is always a good source of inspiration – my favourites are Glastonbury Festival and Medieval Fairs.
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