CHLOE DOUGAN DESIGNS
DESIGNER | ARTIST | MAKER
Chloe Dougan Designs is a womenswear clothes and accessories range exploring the realms of femininity, mischievousness and sensuality in the modern woman.
The collection exudes a boisterous and playful nature with the eclectic mix of vintage furs, leather skins and distressed embellishments. Chloe demonstrates her skill with embroidery on leather, crushed wool and crepe fabrics to create a truly bespoke and eclectic mix of fashion and fun.
Chloe is a recent graduate from the Belfast School of Art and has been awarded a year of Residency at the University to boost her workshop and teaching skills alongside launching herself into the Fashion and Textile industry.
I was delighted to interview such a talented and inspiring designer. I first saw Chloe’s work in last months issue of the high-end fashion magazine 10TEN and I just had to interview her. Her designs are edgy, modern and really out there. Check out her interview below and don’t forget to follow her on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with all of her fabulous upcoming collections.
Chloe is definitely one to watch! LJD x
1. Tell us about your latest collection?
CDD SS15 – The collection has a palette of nudes, black and red and eludes a consciousness of female sensuality. The fabrics are rich and luxurious with elaborate beading and gorgeous embellishments. Capes, floating tulles, lace skirts and ostrich feathers are predominant.
Some of my favorite pieces to date are showcased in this collection and I’m very excited about it.
2. What inspires you when creating a new collection?
CDD SS15 Inspired by Valentino’s 2013 collection with decadent capes and delicate laces – these are so beautiful -I really wanted to challenge myself to make something different and test my design and sewing skills. I also love Dolce and Gabbana’s SS15 collection with its deep reds and crisp whites, so stunning.
3. Would you say that there are growing opportunities for creative people in Ireland and the UK?
With Game of thrones, Dracula etc. departments here at the Titanic quarter, it shows there are definitely opportunities for creative careers here. It gives a real confidence to students and artists that they can start their careers in Northern Ireland and don’t need to go to London as most people suggest once you mention you’re an arty person. It squashes the myth that N.I has no opportunities. On the other hand though it doesn’t really matter where you are in the world if you work hard and get involved with every opportunity no matter how big or small. Network and get to know the right people in industry and you never know where it could take you.
4. What have been the highlights of your career to date?
Victoria Beckham commenting on my Mongolian fur cape at London’s Global Gala Ball. I almost cried when I found out she said she liked it I was so excited. Cathy Martin of CMPR wore it to this event and was photographed with Nicole Scherzinger and other celebs, it was so fab! I have also been very lucky to work with some amazingly talented photographers as well , which is great for bouncing off creative ideas and working with others. I won £1000 in October in a “Dragons Den” event for Invest Ni, this wasn’t too shabby either, it really helped to kick start some online aspects of my business and give me great confidence in my business venture. They have really helped me out along the way.
5. Where do you hope to be in next five years?
In 5 years I would absolutely love to have my own couture store. I would love to begin with concessions in places like Brown Thomas and Harrods selling my clothing range and accessories and then open my own stand alone store. I’m getting nervous even talking about it!
6. Your work has gotten a lot of exposure. Do you have any advice for design graduates?
Yes, always believe in yourself. People don’t have to like you or like your work but if you have a brass neck and do what you want eventually you will see positive results.
At University I was told that my work wasn’t good enough and I wasn’t working hard enough, they even suggested that I didn’t make a final collection and just to focus on experimental work. I don’t like being told what to do and this really affected my university experience. Once I graduated and was awarded the Residency, I just decided to give it a shot, worked all hours of the day to meet deadlines and made sure I was involved in every opportunity that came my way. It’s important to work hard and never think you are better than anyone else. People respect you more and want to work with you if you are honest and hard working. They are very good qualities and you should always give it 100% no matter how big or small the project.
7. Do you have any exciting projects coming up?
Yes, in March I am launching my first retail concession in Studio Souk, Belfast. I’m so excited about this as it will be a great outlet for me to speak to clients, increase my customer base and connect with the people wearing my clothes. It will mean that followers on my social media will be able to go in and look at my garments and get involved with CDD directly.
Image credits: Photographer: Stephen Potter | Model: Aimee Boyle of CMPR.
Have a fabulous idea for a dress and want it tailored to fit you? CDD also works with clients to create one off garments for any special occasion.
Contact on Chloedougan@hotmail.co.uk