While Somerset House shone in the spotlights during London Fashion Week, friend of All Walks Nina Malone (of production company “The Collective by Reema and Nina”) was involved in the production of another fantastic fashion show, this time in the name of charity. Set up by The Anglo Ecuadorian Society to help raise funds for charities in Ecuador, the event featured numerous designers and their handy work.
Debuting her collection ‘Infused Beauty’ that evening, was fresh-faced designer Debbie Huntley, founder of L.2 Mae. There were many reasons why Debbie stood out to us. Her mindful nature pervades the very core of her label, at the christening of its name; L is the first name of her beloved Grandmother Lillian, the 2nd of May is her birthday, May is also the month she started creating the collection and the change from May to ‘Mae’ is simply the designer’s creative touch.
Debbie made a conscious decision to use models whose bodies more closely reflected that of the average women in order to compliment the simple cut of her garments, having become fed up of seeing the same unusually thin models in every magazine. As a result, the dresses were complimented by the size 12 curves of the models, and both women and garment were accentuated and shown off beautifully. Her approach, as a new designer, was refreshing:
I wanted to use size 12 models because I design for women, so I want diversity within the models who represent my brand. I want people to look at my collection and be drawn to the garments first and not the young, very skinny girl beneath them. I want my customers to have the confidence to go out and try my pieces on because they can relate to the models being used within my campaign.
Fashion is getting a bit ‘same-old’ in terms of the stigma attached to size 12+ models. You might not even notice that the women in my photo-shoot are a size 12, because the first thing you notice is how beautiful they look. The garments look much nicer when you can see curves and femininity beneath. Some people are naturally very slim and some are not, but good design caters for all women, so why not show that by using different models to the standard size 6/8.
I have a lot of ideas in terms of models and how I want photo shoots for the brand to be. I adore Daisy Lowe because she is stunning and she embraces her curves within modelling, so to have someone like her would a be a dream for a campaign in the future. I’m excited to show people the photo shoot and hopefully get a good reaction for the collection too.
Another of the gorgeous L.2.Mae models, Kendra, was an older model; further proof that age does not effect beauty or poise. Debbie’s ethos and approach to fashion is exciting and fresh, and we look forward to seeing more of her work on the runway in the near future.
Words by Hanna Fillingham
Hanna Fillingham is a second year Journalism student at Cardiff University. She is currently interning for Caryn Franklin. Hanna has a blog here, and is on Twitter @hannafillingham
Editor Charlotte Gush, on Twitter @CavaCharlotte