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Friday, August 12

Fancy a sample anyone?...with Paula Barret

I went down to the Motel Rocks sample sale to see the new showroom and hopefully get a great deal. Whilst there I met with their Promotions Manager, Paula Barret. It was funny really as we kind of fell into a conversation about Topshops latest Sequinned boots , before we got down to business. Paula, bright eyed and glowing was more than happy to give me the back ground info on Motel.

Paula Barret - Promotions Manager at Motel Rocks.

GIA: What is it you do for Motel exactly ?
Paula: I'm the promotions manager so I basically run the website and do all the marketing and the social media, such as blogging, Facebook and Twitter. I'm also involved in some of the ordering for the online store.

GIA:  How did you get involved with Motel ?
Paula: Well i'm from Bristol and we have our flagship store up there. I had been a customer for Motel for like the past five years, and I was made redundant from working in PR and decided that I wanted to work for Motel. So I applied for the job as assistant manager in the shop and didn't get that (laughs) as I was over qualified, then I went for the manager of the shop and during that interview I met the head of the company who looked at my C.V and my experience with PR and offered me the job as promotions manager. So yeah (she laughs to herself)

GIA: Where did you study ?
Paula: I studied in Cardiff, I studied journalism .

GIA: Journalism ? Is that what you aim to go into long term ?
Paula: No , no, thats what I wanted to do when I was younger, then I did an internship with amnesty international doing promotions when I left Uni and just kinda decided I really enjoyed doing that. Just over the years I became more and more interested in fashion. I think this job is perfect for me because it mixes my skills with something I love, which is working with beautiful clothes all day so it's brilliant.

GIA: What would you say are your favourite trends for this season ?
Paula: Erm, this season I really like the Motel Jordan jeans, the black and white stripped jeans. We've got a lot of Mondrian inspired colour block dresses. There is a massive colour block trend going around thats great!

GIA: I know colour blocking is going manic
Paula: (Laughs) Yeah, we've got a range called " Femme Fatal" coming out soon, which is lots of sexy lacy dresses with all very flattering cuts which is really great. Another theme that should be coming out next month will be "Boys who like girls". Which is very androgynous style, masculine tailoring, shirt dresses and jeans and a 90's style coat.

GIA: That sounds amazingly exciting, very on trend.
Paula: Yeah, I'm looking forward to it. Erm and then we've got, well I'm really looking forward to the stuff we have coming in September. We've got this Japanese inspired floral print, so we've got like the skinny jeans in this amazing floral print and these cute playsuits also. I'm not allowed to buy it yet until the samples are out. Got the samples in the office but I'm not allowed to wear them out (smiles cheekily). Oh and Christmas, I was able to see our Christmas dresses the other day a quick preview. There's some really great stuff, as you would imagine lots of sequins and stuff like that, but all really nice stuff!

GIA: That's exactly what I love about Motel it's quite vintage with a different take on it. It's rejuvenated.
Paula: Yeah definitely, and I think what I really like about Motel is it retains it's character, despite being trend led you can really recognise Motel.

GIA: What do you think people get out of sample sales ?
Paula: Erm, I think its a chance to really see an overview of what the brand is really about. I mean you've got lots of different seasons, as in we've got things dating back to the past year or so. It's also a chance to get that product you may of missed out on, also it's a lot cheaper (laughs). It's great as we've just recently launched this show room, so it's a good opportunity for people to come and meet us and see the showroom.

GIA: It sounds like Motel has a lot up it's sleeve for the coming months, I wish you the best with it all. Thanks for time Paula, you've been great.
Paula:  Aw thank you, my pleasure.

Tuesday, August 9

The Stitch Drops and Ladders

I love knitwear. It's practical, snuggly and slouchy. The name I often love to call is that of the creative charlie of the knit factory Mr Mark Fast. I absolutely love what he stands for - I'm referring to his stand against the size 0 model, by bringing Haley Morley back (size 12) to the runway exhibiting his A/W 2010 collection, to repeatedly have his name dragged by the media. 

His collections are vocal and imaginative. He shows he understands a woman's figure by sheerly clinging his clothes to it, after all, all women love to fit snuggly in a slinky number. Back to technique - using a domestic knitting machine, he breathes life back into knitwear. Making it exciting and practical with blends such as lycra and wool, viscose and silk and the use of open weaved fabrics. Innovation that seems reminiscent of that of the early 60's and 70's works of designers such as Missoni and Laura Biagiotti. 

Mark is artistic and playful. He always adds an atmosphere that pops to his shows, may it be the rainbow of  knits strolling down the runway or the sour, purse lipped looks on the front row as he unveils his latest shocker.

Craig Lawrence, a fellow former CSM student, was picked by Mark Fast as "One of the creative forces of London" by i-d magazine. Debuting at LFW 09 with Blow 'Presents' showcase. A winner of the Topshop NEWGEN sponsorship regime that year. 

His clothes are beautiful. Particularly his A/W 2010 collection. It never fails to captivate me. I love the combination of texture that results in a variation of high and low rise areas. The light delicately shimmers off the tiers of fringing, elongating the female figure ultimately complimenting her.  It's just so free and expressive which to me just shows his passion and skill. 

Ok people NEWGEN's one to watch list has been revealed. A duo that I will be watching is Alice Lee. They have been getting fashion recognition from around 2002, and are currently stocked by Browns and Harrods. I feel like innovation and adaptation is the running thread through these artists. I particularly love the family feeling in this brand, it's gonna be a sticker. Handcrafted, bespoke sexy what's not to love about this design house. They will be showing at LFW in association with Vauxhall Fashion Scouts 'Ones to Watch' show this September. 
It's exciting to see a monster unleash havoc on traditional knitting traditions and techniques. This is what the fashion world needs. To recognise it's audience, love them and embrace change by leading it.