Whenever I have a fashion show to participate in , I'm excited, but nervous. Watching fashion shows when I was a kid always had me on the edge of my seat, and even now I love them so much. Taking part in one as is really the fun side of being a designer.
When I first started up there weren't any to take part in and I had to run them myself if I wanted to show . It's very complicated with a lot of elements to coordinate together and I found the time I had to spend managing the events incondusive to the creativity needed to actually make the clothes. The clothes always seemed to come second place and I was never really happy with my collections .
Fast forward a few years and now I only participate in events that someone else has put together, usually charity events , there are quite a few to chose from but I don't find I can't do them all.
Recently my eye was caught by 'Fashion Able' , a show which started only last year and takes place in Waverly train station of all places ! It's a body positive event, inclusive and fair trade, which are all hot topics right now.
The aim of this show is to include people of all sizes ages and abilities in the world of fashion to encourage body positivity. It's right up my street .
On the rails of my shop I have all sorts of sizes of clothing and I alter to fit on demand. It was therefore less work for me to dress the diverse models than it usually is to put together a collection if size 8s for professional models.
I'm really happy with my collection which came together almost entirely from the rails today, with only a few items having to be made specifically, which were mostly recycled underskirts just to give the outfits an extra element.
I've also incorporated a vintage and second hand elements for the first time.
The story I have put together is Tartan and Leopard. Here are a few of the outfits as a sneak preview .....
I love shopping for vintage items to sell in the shop, digging and delving in amongst all the stuff , searching for that certain something that sets a garment aside from the others, that I can offer to you at a reasonable price, Its a process that can take hours , and I can spend whole days rummaging for them ! I know all the best places, and have it down to an art form !
Here's a picture of me in a 80's jacket I have taken a fancy to !
Some of the vintage I buy is from here in Scotland, but a lot of it comes fro Amsterdam, where they have a lively second hand clothes scene on a scale unparalleled her in the UK. I also find that they have a different selection than we find here, a quirky style, and that often the clothes have been made with lasting quality in mind, as opposed to our own 'throw away' fashion culture.
This original 1960's dress came from Amsterdam
There are many reasons to buy used clothing. , Environmental issues, caring about the working conditions abroad, are of course of utmost importance, and on an individual level, standing out from the crowd, vintage trends or simply looking for good quality at a reasonable price are all interesting and valid points.
When I search through all the piles of stuff for you, I like to think I am providing a service, I am spending my time doing that , so you dont have to ! I pre -select individual items that catch my eye for one reason or another. I like to think that every item I offer has something going for it. I dont just pick up pre- packed bags, or buy by the kilo, which would inevitably lead to me acquiring a load of junk along with a few decent items, therefore, I am never needing to try and sell rubbish to you and trying to pass it off as good.
Beautiful Quality, or Quirky style, all catches my eye, this jacket has both !
When selecting , I have to think of everyone, you cant go looking for vintage with much of an idea in mind, its more a case of looking at what is available and visualizing who or when it would be worn. I try to keep all you ladies in mind, young and mature, slim and plus.
These pictures were taken on a recent shoot, with a mix of 80's 60's and 70's items
Sometimes a batch of vintage might become available in one particular style , for instance, a batch of 1960's dresses, or a batch of 1980's office wear. this week, I have found a treasure chest of smart coats and jackets, suitable for ladies who want to look smart on a daily basis. sometimes, its glam evening wear. Its all good stuff, and I hope you enjoy it . I will post again about WEARING second hand and vintage in the future, and how it can be accessible to all ages and sizes.
This Quality velvet jacket is from the selection I have just added.
Burdz December 08 2014, 3 Comments
I hope you have been enjoying all the beautiful pictures from the bird shoot, or 'Burdz' as we, who were involved have termed it .
An amazing team to work with,
Model: Elaine Ford . Designer: Alison Harm @ Psychomoda , Hair: Louise Quinn . Make up: Susie Bloice , Location: Balgeddie House Hotel with Stuart Milne Falconry Photo: Howard Ashton-Jones @PSBPhoto.
When I was invited to join a small but highly skilled team for the shoot with the birds I was delighted. I've seen some other work with birds of prey before , and thought It could be something my dresses would suit.
When we woke up that morning, it was chucking it down, we really couldn't have chosen a worse day to shoot outside, but I was really excited and nothing was going to spoil the fun.I love a good photo shoot day, and this one was no exception. The Hotel is absolutely gorgeous, and made us very welcome, above is a picture from the gardens, looking back to the bay window where we took the indoor shots., Below is a picture of Lynn,in the ante-room of the grand ballroom of the hotel, which was kindly allowed to us, as a prep area.
One of the models, Elaine, gave me a lift , and Howard, the photographer had arranged the whole thing, so all I had to do was turn up, with the clothes. when we got there, everyone else was already there, and Susie (make up ) and Louise (hair) were half way through Lynn's look. I was amazed, as always at the process, and this time the theme was creative, so everyone was letting their imaginations loose. Their were hairpieces and blushers all over the place.
A very welcome addition to the days proceedings was Susies' beautiful baby, Ella, who was really as good as gold all day, and what a little poppet she is too, So I had a little chat with her while her mum got on with the business.
Hair and make up applied, and fittings done ( nothing to change ) we went out into the lounge of the beautiful hotel. Howard and I had selected a location ,( which was the window,) and we messed about with furniture and curtains until we got what we wanted, which turned out to be no furniture or curtains!
below pictures, messing about with the lights.
The birds of prey were brought in one by one as required. The first was a lovely little kestrel, who have to wear their hoods indoors so as not to get startled. She looked so pretty in it. I was very impressed with Stuart the bird man, he really knew his stuff, and we learned a lot about their routines, feeding and work they do.
He had an amazing rapport with the birds, which were all in beautiful condition.I would recommend him to anyone.for an educational event or party. the birds are immaculate and obviously very bonded with him.
When it came to the outside shots, the weather and light were horrendous so we were very limited with time, but, like troupers, the girls got stuck in. No princess behaviour there, I can tell you !
To gasps of awe and wonder, out came the big birds, an Eagle Owl which looked straight out of Hogwarts , and an American Hawk with amazing rust coloured plumage . They were released to fly freely and they soared above our heads, I was completely smitten. I didn't know how he was going to re call them, but a simple whistle and a bit of food, and back they came. The smaller garden birds fled, and the crows and magpies started all sorts of defensive behaviour . It was very interesting to see the reaction of the other wildlife to them.
Th fabulous shot with the Hawk landing on Lynn's arm was obviously a little difficult to capture, but with Howard's amazing timing, and Lynn's steadfast pose , in the face off an enormous bird landing on her arm were commendable, especially considering the rain chucking down.
Elaine was also fabulous in managing to remain so composed with the gigantic owl sitting majestically on her glove.
After the shoot ended, and we all packed away and goodbyes said, I was very happy with the way it went. My only regret is that my pearl bracelet snapped while i was standing on the patio watching the shoot, and pearls went pinging off in every direction. So, if you are visiting the hotel, keep your eyes open, you might be lucky enough to find them ;-)
22 years ago when I opened my first shop , I would never have dreamed that one day I would be sitting here writing a blog post , as it happens, we didnt have blogs, or websites, or even internet access. A designer simply designed stuff, and hopefully sold it, from the window, or out and about at markets and craft fairs.
Psychomoda is an extension of me, and my personality. I design and make clothing that is meant to be fun and make you happy when you wear it. I like to inspire confidence, and bring out the sassy side of you.
I make clothes from new fabric, old fabric , and sometimes not even fabric at all ! I create knitwear , and crochet, corsetry, and evening wear, I can break rules, and disregard tradition, I try to use fabrics in a new way, putting them together in surprising combinations and cuts.
I love to hand finish, and embellish with lace and beadwork, vintage notions sit alongside super modern fibres, and the new sits alongside the old on the rails, and sometimes in the actual garments themselves. We have designer made on the premises collections, as well as vintage and budget ranges. sometimes , I just see a bit of fabric and make it into something I like, as a one off piece, or small collection. In the store this all works together in an unexpected riot of colour and design. Its like no other shop, in its individuality. Customers often 'fall in love' and return again and again, for which I am eternally grateful for their support over the years.
I like to think of Psychomoda as if it were a wardrobe at home. ( albeit a big and eclectic wardrobe) there are some luxe designer items that you drool over and bring out on special occasions, some less expensive but still quirky more everyday items, some budget items that you just wear all the time, and some delicious vintage treasures that you inherited from your gran, or bought down the lanes on your last away weekend somewhere trendy.
My old website was an extension of this. A sprawling colourful information centre, an extension of creativity. Unfortunately however, time moves on , and I now need to concentrate more on online selling. This translates as needing a clear cut simple to use , clean website like this. Its difficult to translate my work in this way. Ive never put emphasis on traditional sizing or available colours etc, having always been able to make to measure and adapt designs for the individual, so there will be a transition process. please bear with me, while I reign myself in.
of course, the shop will still be as mad as you are used to, and i will try to project that individuality onto this page. The best way to see Psychomoda, is just to dive in, and thats what I need to do now , so , here I gooooooooooo !!!
Heres a pretty picture, of one of my popular corsetted top and skirt sets, a one off, made from wool fabric. shown here on stage at the Royal Highland Show 2014. picture by Howard Ashton jones.