At the end of 2015 I have much to be thankful for and can look back on the last year at all I have achieved and the new opportunities that are unfolding for me.
One of the main things I have been working on is a small collection of dresses which I hope to have on my website and available to order very soon! I am hoping to have a professional photo shoot to show all angles of the dresses. However I would like to take the chance to say a huge thank you to Charlotte and Jenny for creating the images I have so far! Below is one of my favourites from the new collection.
Among the projects I have been working on was a lovely black crepe dress (shown below) I made for a customer attending a special party last November, another happy customer! Which leads me to the news of the finding a fabulous new fabric supplier through networking with other business women in Kent!
I have been able to buy quality fabrics which I may not have been able to source otherwise. Sourcing fabrics and other items I need for the day to day running of a clothing business can prove very tricky when relying on local shops or the internet for what you need, so having a local fabric supplier is so helpful!
Networking around Kent has helped me make invaluable contacts and also led me to my latest venture which is on the business side of things. I was made aware of the Women's Enterprise Kent course which I am currently taking part in and is aimed at women who earn their living from home and using the internet, so I am very pleased to have been chosen to take part in the course! We are having seminars from some very highly achieved business women which has been a great source of inspiration to me.
I have also had a lot help from my local council which has proven invaluable to my business. I have business mentors who help with practical problems in the day to day running of my business drawing on their years of business experience. Not only that, I also get to attend various business seminars hosted by long established companies who are giving advice on various topics including accounting. I can also say that my new website address is now www.carolinebruce.co.uk which they have helped me with and I am very happy about! (the co.uk! )
Amid the busy times and trying to squeeze so much into my days, I have had a chance to visit a couple of exhibitions, fashion related of course! Firstly a small Vivienne Westwood exhibition set in the beautiful Danson House in Bexley and I also enjoyed the Liberty print exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London!
One of my projects later last year was another set of marching band uniform which usually starts in the smallest toddler size right up to the biggest man size, which can be a challenge!
I have taken on a variety of projects in the last few months including mother of the bride outfits, men's designer shirts and this costume I made for a young lad who wanted to dress up as Carlos from the latest Disney film The Descendants. Although this is not the kind of project I would normally take on I really enjoyed creating this costume and had to share it with everyone!
At the start of a fresh new year I am getting really excited as I have been invited to show some of my work at a special charity fashion show organised by The London School Of Economics in mId-February! So now the opportunity to show my best work has arisen and I have been working on some extra special garments to show for this event! I look forward to sharing pictures of this event and all my news in my next blog. Have a happy, creative and prosperous new year!
I have decided to move my Union Jack dress to my blog page and make way for my new Limited Edition Collection which I am currently working on. Even though I designed and made the dress to highlight my made in the UK brand I now have my brilliant new logo courtesy of createwithimpact.com to revive the look of my website, so a big thank you to Impact for all the hard work that went into that!
Below are the various stages it took to make my unique Union Jack dress
Below is the finished look which may still be used to promote my made in the UK brand!
Today marks my first year in business and what a busy year I have had!
Not too long after I had even started out I was speaking at a House of Commons reception in front of landlords, MPs and business people from around the country! What an experience that was!
I worked for Tempest Fashions Ltd and Cecille London Ltd on their collections which I found
very enjoyable, the range of garments and the designs made it challenging but rewarding.
Aside from trade work I have been lucky enough to work on many bespoke garments for some lovely customers. I have made some bridal items including wedding dresses, some day dresses and many other one off pieces, not forgetting the marching band I made uniform for in Scotland!
One of the most interesting and enjoyable projects of the past year has been working for the students at Rochester UCA and helping them to create their final collections.
Last year was a good year for Caroline Bruce Designer Dresses and I have many plans for the next year and following years! I will soon be revealing my logo which will be the new look of my business, which I am very excited about! I have also been working on a new collection of dresses that I hope to show soon. I am looking forward to growing my business in the year ahead and would like to thank all my family, friends and customers, and a variety of local organisations who have supported me and help me to get this far!
I really enjoy my job when I can share with everyone the creativity and inspiration that goes into creating unique and beautiful garments, and in the spring I had the pleasure of working for a few of the third year Textile Design students from Rochester University for the Creative Arts! I helped by making their garment designs into patterns and making up the patterns with some of the beautiful fabric they designed for their final collections, which they have recently showed at the UCA degree fashion show!
SOPHIE CHENEY~ FRAGMENTATION AND FRAGILITY
Sophie's textile designs were inspired by the combination of photographic architecture with the
delicate ghostly fragile detailing of nature. Contrasting themes have been pieced together to represent tough exterior juxtaposed with a delicate interior of emotions.
Below are Sophie's elegant silk culottes and silk blouse which I made up in this gorgeous silk fabric from her collection.
Sophie designed this sophisticated silk dress and used devoré to create texture on top of the silk print design. I then created the pattern to her design and
then made the two finished dresses
This striking printed velvet cape is another example from Sophie's collection that I made for her.
This is one of my favourite pieces from her collection! The colour, the fabric, texture and shape all go into making this a fabulous piece!
Below one last piece from Sophie, this is one of the silk blouses that I made for her collection.
If you are interested in seeing any more of Sophie Cheney's work her website is below
Ella is a textile print designer creating women's wear combining a love of exotic colour, hand painting and a passion for travel. Her prints are inspired by Bali and florals, with abstract drawing and hand painting.
Ella designed a collection of beach wear including these amazing kaftans which I created the patterns for and made for her using these delightful silk fabrics that she designed and printed.
Below my personal favourite print from Ella's collection with use of that stunning turquoise!
The picture below shows the fine detail of the work gone into finishing the kaftans
Below are more of Ella's print designs which I made into a scarf and sarong for her beach wear collection
This sarong is my final piece from Ella.
If you are interested in seeing any more of Ella Henry's work her website is below
EMILY RAMSELL~ SHROOMS
Shrooms is the name of Emily's collection and it is of mixed media textiles inspired by fungus and mushrooms. Her collection combines bright digital prints with screen printing in a range of fabrics.
Below is a transparent blouse I made for her collection which she designed and I created the pattern and made the finished garment.
Below is my favourite piece from Emily's collection and it is her pleated culottes! I made the pattern and finished garment that she designed and using this fabulous print that she designed!
This picture shows a close up of Emily's print design and the pleat detail on the culottes.
This last picture from Emily shows another of the blouses I made for her collection that she designed and printed herself.
The last image of Emily's work shows off the blouse I made for her If you are interested in seeing any more of Emily's work her website is below
I really enjoyed working with these three students on their collections and think you will agree they all have masses of talent!
Thank you for the use of these beautiful images and I wish good luck to all three of you and look forward to sharing this blog and all the lovely work we have created together with everyone!
For a few months now I have been working along side designer and stylist Jeff Mehmet on a new project with the Welsh fashion label Tempest. I have just received the images of the photo shoot, so hot off the press and am pleased to be able show you just a small glimpse of the Spring/ Summer 2015 collection!
All photographs are the work of Jay Mclaughlin
Hair and make up by Salt.Cake
Stylist Jeff Mehmet
Model below is Chloe Jasmine ( X Factor )
Looking forward to working on the next collection with Tempest Fashions!
Caroline Bruce Designer Dresses has now been trading since August 2014 and am pleased to say I have been busy with various projects since day one and already completed a celebrities bridesmaids dresses...details to follow!
Other than actual work and creative projects, I have spent quite a bit of my time promoting my business and was lucky enough to have been asked to talk about starting my business at a House of Commons reception in October, just one of several speaking events I have attended in the last few months! The event was for MPs and housing associations from around the country. Myself and two others were the special guests speaking to Esther McVey, Employment Minister on the motivation behind our entrepreneurship and the progress we had made since we attended a pop up business school through our landlords, mine being West Kent Housing.
We were also pleased to have the opportunity to talk with Stephen Timms MP about being self employed and how we see the future for our businesses.
In November I attended an event for Global Enterprise Week in Sevenoaks to promote my business, network with other local small businesses and get advise from business professionals in the local area. Below I am talking with Councillor Mrs. Jill Davison about my business and plans for the future.
Now we are at the beginning of December and rapidly heading towards Christmas... where has the time gone? I am looking forward to a very creative 2015!