Mimi Talks to Dawne Stubbs Creative Director of John Smedley

BATD ON Mar 13, 2009 AT 3:12 pm

Dawne Stubbs Creative Director

Dawne Stubbs Creative Director

Here at Beauty and the Dirt we’re partial to a comfy John Smedley knit or two, and we couldn’t resist a peek at what’s new for Spring/Summer 09. We also caught up with Creative Director Dawne Stubbs to talk about fashion, her penchant for the Olsen twins and her top tips on shopping, read on to find out more…

How did you get started?
From a very early age I watched my Nan sew, she was a seamstress and tailoress and even in retirement continued to sew for people.  At the age of 9 I made my first paper pattern, and told a friend that I wanted to be a Fashion Designer, but I only told one person.

Did you always want a career in fashion?
I love fabrics, haberdashery, clothes, costumes and fashion- it intrigues and excites me and looking at beautiful garments, gives me goosebumps.

Highlight of your career so far?
Collecting the British Fashion Award on behalf of all of the John Smedley employees who make the product was pretty unique and special. But seeing your styles in some great stores, displayed beautifully or being worn, is the icing on the cake.

John Smedley Spring/Summer 09

John Smedley Spring/Summer 09

What is your favourite part of the design process?
 I have always loved the concept and the creativity behind a new collection, that waterfall of ideas, particularly as part of a team, it is a very adrenalin rushing process.

You work with knitted material have you ever been tempted to work with other fabrics?
I love all fabric, I find it very tactile and have to touch it, so museums and museum- like shops are no good for me. I need to pull fabric from a roll, touch it and imagine what it can make- even though I may never get round to it. The process at the John Smedley mills in Derbyshire enables me to see results from fibre to garments and the end result and softness of knitwear is something that I love.

Are there any designers out there that you really admire?
I have always been fascinated by John Galliano, his sheer genius creativity from the first sight of that shell like dress on a very young Naomi Campbell. I can’t help but admire the classic designers, such as the brilliance of Yves St Laurent and Coco Chanel, they taught us how the simplest things are the best, attention to detail is key and they inspired me to look at quality and the importance of garments being well made and made to fit well.

Click here to find out what’s new at John Smedley for Spring/Summer 09.

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