In 2010 Orange Pop Design hopes to bring you the cool news in the area of art, architecture, fashion, design, interior, shopping and more! As my New Year’s resolution is to make the blog a joy for all Orange Pop Design’s readers, I intend to make this (blog) year one that will be full of articles, finds, gifts, surprises and interviews. If you feel your designs or products cannot be missed and should be featured on the blog, please give a shout. Would you have any suggestions or ideas, please do let me know… I am looking forward to your feedback!
Now, let’s kick off with an exclusive interview (thank you again, Sarah!) with the wonderful, ever enthusiastic Sarah Brannon from fashion label Chelsea Rebelle. Sarah's designs are modern and flirty, whimsical with a dark twist, always focusing on luxurious fabrics and a sleek silhouette. Sarah just launched her the 2010 spring/summer collection ‘Oh you pretty things’, which is absolutely amazing. Aren't the items fabulous and fun?
Chelsea Rebelle (CR) seems to be quite ‘new’ in the fashion industry, but you have been around for almost 10 years. Was it hard for you to enter the existing industry?
CR officially launched in 2005, prior to that I did different lines on the side but never confident enough to go head first into my own line. It was a natural transition though, upon studying fashion I began making clothes for myself, then for friends, then for friends of friends, then for strangers and so it grew organically. Once I decided to start a "proper" label I had relocated from New Zealand to the United States. The United States is a much different market, harder to break into, so nearly five years into it and I'm finally getting some recognition. It has not been without it's ups and downs though, the biggest down been a fire in my studio just three months after launching the line…it destroyed everything! I persevered though, and I'm glad I did as I can't imagine doing anything else.
Can you tell a little bit about CR? Where does the name come from and how your signature can be described? How can a true CR be recognized?
I came up with Chelsea Rebelle because my own name is a little dull! I took Chelsea from a song by a little known English band called These Animal Men and Rebelle is Rebel in French. I thought Rebel sounded a little harsh; Rebelle is a little softer but still tough. My signature
look is feminine, flirty, playful and a little rebellious! I think the bow is becoming a standout CR feature…I just love bows!
The last couple of years more and more magazines and stylists seem to have picked up on CR. Can you tell us how this has impacted CR and yourself?
It is great! Not only is it amazing to get some recognition, it definitely helps with sales! I have worked so hard to get to where I am, I've done everything on my own. It is easy to start a line, get a showroom and a PR company and get recognition immediately, but I feel I’ve earned it. I want longevity out of this as I think it can be a bad thing to get over exposed too soon so I'm happy that I'm only just gaining momentum in the fashion world.
Is CR about fashion, or more? And what or who inspires you/who do you admire and is reflected in your design?
It's definitely about more! It's about creating a story, an escape, a fantasy. My inspirations are rather vast. I have my staples, Lolita, England, youth culture, music, outcasts, misfits and rebels but each season I take on a strong theme. I am a total sponge, and love to absorb things from art to films to buildings, photographs even cemeteries. I can literally be inspired by anything. The specific theme I take on for a collection is reflected in my designs in different ways, sometimes it's obvious and sometimes not so. It can be in a print, fabric finish or trim. As far as people I admire, there are so many! Edie Sedgewick is high on my list, Lolita even though she is fictitious!
Who is the woman you have in mind when designing a new collection?
She is stylish yet quirky, a bit of a rebel and an outcast but always the cool kid and a free thinker!
What has been the inspiration for your latest (awesome!) collection?
Awww….thank you! "Oh you pretty things" was inspired by listening to far too much T Rex and David Bowie! In the early stages of dreaming up this collection I found myself sitting in the studio listening to these two constantly, then my friend showed me some old footage he had of the both of them; they were both just such amazing talents not to mention their
incredible style. They were well ahead of their times both musically and style wise. I took aspects of their style such as glitter and spandex and incorporated it into a CR girl.
What to you is the perfect outfit or creation?
Oh, gosh, that's a tough one; I just love so many different things! I guess I'd have to say anything Viktor & Rolf! From their couture to their ready to wear to their branding, logo and packaging, it's perfection!!!
Best advice you’ve ever received?
On the business side of things a wonderful fashion writer once told me to preserver and told me how she has watched many designers come and go over the years and the ones that can tough it out eventually make their mark. Perhaps that seems like logic, but it's a hard industry, sometimes you just want to quit so it's inspiring to hear something like that from a well respected writer.
What brands do you wear yourself?
I tend to wear a lot of vintage, band tee shirts and Marc Jacobs. I love vintage because it's like no other, band tee shirts are just a staple in my wardrobe and Marc Jacobs is brilliant, totally wearable and on trend but classic and timeless. Oh and my friend Linda Wong's line The Battalion, they make the best pants ever!!! Black, skinny, stylized, and super comfy, they are an eco bamboo knit but they look like jeans! If I had the option I think I'd wear Viktor & Rolf, Chanel and Vivienne Westwood everyday but I will always love vintage and band tees!
Are there any plans to expand and have your designs sold in more countries ?
Yes, I really want to expand CR into the European market, I think CR is very suited to Europe. Also Australia, I think they have a great fashion sense. Of course New York is on the list as is Japan…I pretty much want world domination!!!
Where your designs can be found?
The current season is will be available from Feb 2010 at Wolf and Badger in London, online at Not Just A Label, Coco Career and The Moon and Mars. There will be more to come but we are just coming out of a recession, many stores I did sell too have closed down so I'm taking things slowly and placing myself in hand selected boutiques.