Nearly a year after graduating from Bournemouth Arts Institute with the collection Mass Ration, Felicity Doubleday has been nominated for the ‘Jon Adams Portfolio Award’ at GFW, been provided a platform on The Clothes Show stage, worked with both Allegra Hicks and Manjit Deu and is now focusing on multiple collections for completion in A/W 10. Phew, did you get all that?
Having a stall at the upcoming Alternative Fashion Week in April, Felicity took some time out of her very hectic schedule of freelance commissions and bespoke wedding dress designing to discuss the past 12 months of recognition, nominations and showcases (as well as her future goal to sell her pieces in Brown’s one day soon…)
“I relish designing and styling my female muse: independent, confident and exuding a relaxed quirkiness. As it's the festival time of year, this seemed an apt setting for an ethically-based outfit. A festival is particularly appealing for the 'eco-chica', who has a passion for sourcing a variety of garments and accessories in order to create an innovative outfit. This way of approaching fashion may help encourage individuality and customisation, and therefore ethical thinking.”
With the Mass Ration collection being reflective of sentimentality, memorabilia and treasuring family possessions in our Recessionista times, Doubleday clearly stitches ethical credentials into each design, a cause which she wears on her metaphorical green sleeves (Sorry, we couldn’t resist…). With fashion houses waking up to the fresh-fashion -forward idea of sustainability, from Portland Fashion Week (The new Seattle) to The Green Fashion Show held in London just last month (and attracting Nicole Farhi to the front row), it seems the future is no longer orange.
With admiration for designers such as Hussein Chalayan (“He is a real inspiration to me - his revolutionary vision to experiment and push boundaries of the dress.”), Westwood and the late McQueen (“For their rebellion and shock factor in Fashion.”) as well as Viktor&Rolf (“For their beautiful designs that represent something close to their hearts.”), she reveals:
“I find it fascinating to constantly learn about how new technologies and processes develop to help towards creating a more green future in fashion, which I feel would lead to a lot more respect for real technical and beautiful long-lasting fashion garments.”
With this revelation, it is understandable that Doubleday has a current interest in upcoming designers Iris Van Herpen and Louise Goldin, both whom showcased their A/W 10 collections at LFW. Herpen’s exquisite armor-style pieces take power-dressing to a complete new level together with her mesmerizing headpieces and mermaid-esque dress sculptures (adopting the look of precious cocooned coral). Goldin’s studded heels are now available at TopShop courtesy of Philip Green for a cool £150 and the directional knitwear designer has just scooped The Fashion Forward designer prize for 2010.
Having interned with organic resort queen Allegra Hicks and Couture designer Manjit Deu early in her career, Felicity has gained a cosmopolitan experience within the industry, continued to keep an open mind and is now looking full frontal towards her fashion career. So has Hicks’ elegant wear influenced her designs?
‘It was a wonderful opportunity and certainly made me approach my own designing with a new found interest for using chiffon and velvet. The print designing probably gave me the confidence to design the tights and placements of the images on the high-waist trousers. Furthermore, I was extremely grateful to her for sponsoring me by providing some of the fabrics for my graduate collection!’
And what ultimately attracted her to work with newbie Deu? “I was really intrigued to work with Manjit as he is very new on the fashion scene, yet doing extremely well so early on in his career. His dresses are beautiful. It has been an inspiring experience working with him on his Harrods collection.”
So, with recognition, nominations, experience, aspirations and true talents Doubleday is set for a great 2010, and she gave MA a little exclusive into the year ahead: “I was really pleased to have been nominated for the [Jon Adams Portfolio] Award, it really challenged me to push the boundaries and be as creative as possible in the way I presented my work. It was such an honour to be asked to lend some of my pieces to The Clothes Show. For 2010, I hope to gain more experience in the industry and I am hoping to complete another collection by the end of the year.’
MA cannot wait to get our green fingers on them…