British menswear designer Lou Dalton drops in for a chat about her forthcoming collections, style icons and what she has planned over the next few seasons for her label.
Menswear designer Lou Dalton has just closed the curtain on her Spring/ Summer 2015 fashion show for the latest instalment of London Collections: Men. As one of the first LC:M designers Liberty chose to stock, we decided to throw a party in collaboration with Men’s Health in her honour. Check out the photos from the VIP event held in our menswear department in-store.
We caught up with Lou to find out what inspired next summer’s collection, where she sees her popular line of men’s fashion going and who her current style icons are right now.
What’s the story behind your Spring/ Summer 2015 collection?
There was a great deal of change within Lou Dalton this season and this led to me taking a long hard look at where I was at, where I was going and where I wanted to go with the collection. It was about taking control, moving on.
Do you have a favourite piece or look from the collection?
This collection was so very personal that I felt an alliance to a great deal of what we put out. In time there may be one or two head runners, but currently I’m super happy with it all.
Where do you usually look for inspiration?
Anywhere and everywhere – from a gallery, a book I’ve read, music, friends, a night out…
What are the highlights for the upcoming Autumn/ Winter 2014 collection?
Being continuously supported by Liberty for AW14, the bleached denim went down a storm..
Your designs are highly praised within the industry and amongst style conscious gentlemen. How much do you think about the core Lou Dalton customer during your design process?
Its constantly on my mind, I came into this to make beautiful clothes that men would hopefully enjoy wearing. Good sale through is incredibly important and integral to the growth of our business.
What can we expect from Lou Dalton over the next three seasons?
Upwards and onwards is the order of the day! I just try to stay focused with working towards growing the business.
How would you like the label to develop?
Increase in sales with a growing customer base coming on board, and more investment.
Which designers are you looking forward to seeing this season?
Craig Green, Christopher Shannon, James Long, and Sibling.
Who is currently your style icon?
I have a few: Alan Bennett, David Hockney, David Bowie, Vincent Cassell, the usual suspects…
What do you love about Liberty?
It’s the ultimate department store, incredibly decadent and, of course its amazing taste as they stock “Lou Dalton”…
Liberty and Men’s Health celebrate LCM and menswear designer Lou Dalton with a party in her honour.
Last night Liberty’s menswear department was cleared of all it’s stylish wares and transformed into a cool basement bar, complete with DJ, in honour of the London Collections: MEN shows and menswear designer Lou Dalton. Teaming up with Men’s Health, the party was thrown in celebration of Miss Dalton and her long standing relationship with the store – being the first LCM designer Liberty chose to sell and has done for the past four years.
Lou Dalton worked with Liberty to dress the party space using elements from her Spring/ Summer 2015 collection, including illustrations by Alex Walker and Lou’s unofficial ‘Charm charm charm’ mantra which decorated balloons.
Guests included Olympic boxer Luke Campbell, Jesse Metcalfe, Princess Julia, LCM designer James Long, editor of Man About Town Ben Reardon, creative director of Wallpaper Ben Jarvis, and LCM panel member and esteemed journalist Charlie Porter. Music for the evening was provided by Horse Meat Disco DJ Jim Stanton – fresh from mixing Lou’s catwalk soundtrack. Mr Stanton’s selection had everyone dancing with abandon throughout the night as they sipped on specially blended negronis by Campari and Reyka Vodka tonics with grapefruit.
Read our interview with Lou Dalton on her upcoming collections, inspirations and style icons.
Founders of Gandys, Paul and Rob, talk to us about the inspirational cause behind their brands, wearing flip flops to Downing Street and their new collaboration with Liberty.
British flip flop brand with a cause, Gandys, has teamed up with Liberty to create a unique range of Liberty print flip flops for the summer. Featuring some of our most iconic and best-loved prints: Lord Paisley, Felix and Isabelle, and Hera, the collaboration is a perfect range of designer flip flops that are as youthful and fun as they are elegant and chic.
Inspired by their bohemian upbringing of travelling and volunteering all over the world, brothers Paul and Rob wanted to create something unique and driven by their personal passion, after the tragic loss of their parents in the Boxing Day Tsunami whilst the family was travelling. Gandys was founded with the vision of creating a sustainable social enterprise that would help but also inspire others to create change.
Committed to using a portion of all profits to help disadvantaged children through their registered charity, The Gandys Foundation.
We caught up with the brothers to find out some of the fun flip flop facts, where they’ll be sporting their Gandys this summer and how you can help their foundation achieve its goals.
Tell us how purchasing a pair of Gandys can help not just your feet, but also your charity Orphans for Orphans?
Gandys is a social enterprise with 10% of all of our profits going directly into our registered charity – The Gandys Foundation – which drives our “Orphans for Orphans” mission of supporting children in need of basic essentials such as nutrition, medication, education and a safe place to live. All of the operational costs of the foundation are covered by us and Gandys, meaning that that 10% goes further and allows us to really make an impact with it. The vision is to open our first children’s home at the end of this year in honour of the 10th anniversary of the tsunami, and in the future to open children’s homes all around the world. Each purchase really does make a difference and we are more than halfway to our goal of building our first children’s home!
How do you split your time between India, Sri Lanka and the UK?
Well we’ve certainly collected a lot of passport stamps over the years to say the least, and we are finding ourselves on the road quite a bit now, with Gandys being sold internationally – but we love it. Splitting our time between places takes a lot of time management and organisation but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Your parents wanted you to travel the world when you were younger, where’s the most inspiration place you’ve visited?
There have been many inspirational places we have visited on our travels, and all of them have been an inspiration behind the brand, but Sri Lanka certainly tops the list. We are funding a children’s home there and so recently returned, it is a very special place.
We’re delighted to see Liberty print adorning flip flops – how did you decide on which prints to use?
It wasn’t an easy decision – there were so many beautiful options! But in the end we thought the ones we chose were a great blend of Liberty tradition and Gandys’ youthful spirit! The colours we really loved and worked very well on the flip flop.
What’s the best flip-flop related fact you can share with us?
Flip flops are the oldest form of footwear… enough said!
Where will we spot you wearing your Gandys this summer?
From the muddy festival fields of the Isle of Wight, to the bustle of NYC with Bill Clinton and Petra Nemcova for the 10th anniversary of the tsunami.
You’ve got lots of famous faces supporting your cause, have you been surprised by the support you’ve received?
Yes. We have been overwhelmed not just by the famous faces who have shown their support, but by absolutely everyone who has shown their support for us on our journey. Coming together to make a difference in some way is what Gandys is all about and we are very humbled when people become as passionate about the mission as we are.
How can people help you achieve your goals for Orphans for Orphans?
There are many ways that people can get involved and help the Orphans for Orphans mission. Some people have gotten creative and hosted fundraising events and donated the proceeds to the foundation, some people donate directly to the foundation from our website, as 100% of every donation goes directly to the mission. Other people purchase flip flops and spread the message to friends and family and across their social media channels. Also this June 20th you’ll be able to get involved in a novel way as it is the second annual International Flip Flop Day. Our global initiative to raise funds and awareness for The Gandys Foundation. There are several easy ways you can help on this day: Wear your flip flops, snap a photo of yourself wearing them with #orphansfororphans, make a £2 donation to the foundation by texting FLOP14£2 to 70070.
I own… TOO MANY TO COUNT pairs of flip flops.
The strangest place I’ve worn my Gandys is… to a reception at Downing Street. They informed us that the last person to have worn flip flops there was Gandhi himself!
I’m buying the Lord Paisley flip flops.
Mollie Makes contributor, Allison Sadler, shows us how to make her table decoration wedding ideas for Liberty print bunting and jam jars.
When you’re planning a wedding, time is of the essence. Allison Sadler from lifestyle fashion and art shop, The People, in Birmingham, has offered to share her quick, easy and free craft project will pretty up your tables in no time and ‘wow’ your guests with very little effort.
- You will need a pretty selection of Liberty fabric (don’t be afraid to mix it up a little bit here, using different prints and florals will give your bunting a more hand crafted look, perfect for a vintage style DIY wedding theme)
- Two empty jam jars
- A pair of knitting needles
- Some string
- A little lace to trim
1) Decide what size you want each flag to measure and cut yourself a cardboard template. For cute mini bunting like the one I’ve made here, I used a template that measures 4.5cm x 14cm, but you could go to town and make bigger flags if you fancy!
2) Using a selection of all the fabrics, draw around the template and cut a total of 8 flags.
3) These mini bunting garlands would probably work better for smaller table settings but you can cut as many flags as you like until you are happy you have enough.
4) Fold your flags in half ready for the sewing machine (or you could stitch them by hand if you prefer).
5) Stitch each flag across the top to create a little space for threading your string through, continue until all your flags are complete.
6) Flags complete, now its time to thread them onto your stripy string (if you use a little safety pin, it will make this job a whole lot easier).
7) Tie your string of flags onto your wooden knitting needles, if you haven’t got knitting needles you could use some wooden doweling, but I think the needles look really cute!
Ta da! All done in no time at all, now to pretty up those jam jars…
8) Take your jam jar and measure a piece of fabric and lace trim that fits all the way around adding on 1cm extra for stitching up the back seam.
9) Stitch your lace trim onto your strip of fabric, you could use some lovely ribbons, too, for extra prettiness.
10) With right sides of the fabric together, stitch up the back seam.
11) Do the same for the other jar, slip the cover over the top and bingo.. your jars are looking gorgeous!
*Top Tip* – I promise after this little project you will never want to throw your empty jars in the recycling bin again, they make great tea light holders too! You can spray paint them, add buttons and bows and there’s a whole heap of gorgeous Liberty fabrics and trimmings for you to explore – the possibilities are endless. Just have fun with them and let your creativity shine.
12) Now for the best bit, putting your handiwork together, firstly fill up your jars with some water, add a few flowers to match your colour theme and pop your mini flag bunting into the jars… So there we have it, simple, stylish, fuss-free wedding table decorations with minimum effort and amazing results, and still plenty of time left over for planning the rest of your big day.