Friday, 21 January 2011


Ok - so what am I up to....Below is the 'official' press release which explains in hopefully a sensual, evocative manner - normality will conclude at the end:

Autumn / Winter 2011 sees CHARLOTTE TAYLOR traverse down a silky wormhole of exquisite, clashing and mood-altering colours, bold contrasts and snippets of African, English Heritage and Hungarian Gypsy inspiration.
For its third season, the label has been stripped bare – focusing on the essence behind the CHARLOTTE TAYLOR charm – the weird and wonderful, the deliciously tactile, the beautifully brave – the prints.
Past prints will carry over, with new colour-ways and designs holding hands to showcase a deluxe, delectable feast for the eye.
The prints envelop duvet-sized scarves, classic silk blouses and shirts and of course the celebrated CT head scarf.
Limited edition Wallpaper prints are also a new introduction – An army of Penguins to share your bathroom with should be an addition to any self-respecting individuals’ bucket list in the 21st Century!

This press release will go out to the database first thing Monday morning, but I thought it right to talk about the new changes on here first. I hope that you are all as excited as I am....

To complement the 'editing' of the label we will not be showing at London Fashion Week either. The collection can be seen by appointment only and please contact the team for details: or

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Who am I and where am I going...?

So lets go back to London Fashion week - what I can remember was a bit of a blur.

So from the outsider you saw:
- CHARLOTTE TAYLOR SS11 shown at LFW as a Ones to Watch with VFS
- A Vauxhall custom print car with CT robots all over it (a personal highlight)
- International press coverage
- New look books, press releases, amazing cookie robot donned goody bags etc...

But I know what everyone is most interested in is the behind the scenes.

Here is what you didn't see:
- My first ever model casting where the VFS designers collectively selected a choice of models for the show.
- All the normal panic and stress that you would expect with the culmination of a collection, although surprisingly I did feel more organized this time round as I was more familiar with the VFS team and their set-up.
- The acquiring, implementation and feedback of sponsors of the show.
- A rather chaotic backstage at the show. I arrived super organized, even for me, but the shift of rail location 15 minutes before the show totally flummoxed me and 2 hours of prep went down the drain.

- There was also no time to fit clothes on models and because I was 2nd in the group, I had the least time (there was menswear after me so Georgia had a leisurely change in comparison) and many of the clothes did not fit the models. One of the tops had to be safety pinned on a super tiny model and another split a skirt open. One of the necklaces was put on wrong and a top on back to front and dont even get me started on shoes!!! Anyway needless to say I will NEVER go into a show without having fitted clothes on models previously (even if I have to make a scene and insist) and I will always have enough shoes for a pair per look. Having time to prepare your dressers is also essential and a rail per model, so all their looks are on one rail is pretty elementary, but you never know! Anyway no-one got to see any of this and the models made it out on time so all gravy. However my stumble out onto the catwalk after the show was comparable to a rabbit (who had probably been run over a couple of times) in headlights and was one of the most surreal moments of my life.
- Some serious waffle to some journalists backstage. Thank god I had Camilla, my helper extraordinaire aka the Elephant (because of her memory, nothing else) to prompt me whenever my frazzled brain stopped functioning.
- The collection was then whisked upstairs to join fellow designers in the VFS exhibition room to begin 4 days of press and sales appointments.Phew.

Anyway, what a week. However it is when all the hype calms down that the work really begins and this is where I had to make some seriously tough decisions.
From the outside LFW was a great success for CT, and dont get me wrong, it was. However as well as being a fashion label, this is also a business and without money coming in it is essentially a glorified hobby.
The collection and label are going well at this point but unless I make some changes in some way, finances will run out and it will be tough to get a backer on board.
I also feel that the label has lost a part of its identity. Although I love the collection, I feel it needs a stronger message and editing.

On making the business more financially viable:
- Obviously one can never expect to make a return immediately with any fashion label but it needs to be moving in that direction.
- I dissect the label, its financial figures, its identity and also my vision for it and see what can be done. The problem is I dont want to sacrifice the brands essence to make a quick buck.

SO the options are:
- Increase the price of the product (this would be confusing to the buyers, press and customer. I also never wanted to have seriously pricey products as it is not me and has never been my vision for the brand) = not an option.
- Decrease unit costs ( moving production abroad and potentially decreasing the quality of the raw materials) = NO THANKS
- Reduce the size of the collection, styles and different fabrics within it (increasing minimums on fabrics and orders of one style and subsequently reducing costs). By editing and reducing the collection you can focus on a more identifiable product and message, solving both problems = YES PLEASE

By going down this road, the brand image, target market and price range also remain the same so no confusing message is given.

So moving forward : I am going to leave this to the next blog as I am sure you've read enough for one day...

Monday, 17 January 2011

Revolutionary road

Firstly, please accept my most sincere apologies for my serious lack of updates over the past few months. Inexcusable I know but this down to a couple of things....

After London Fashion Week in September I simultaneously took on two of the most challenging journeys of my life. One was mentally and one physically, and I can safely say that DA DA DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA....I survived. Heavy heavy sigh....

In short the two challenges were:
1. Analysing the label, its strengths, market position and future. Making some tough decisions and pushing it forward into a more focused message.
2. Crossing Costa Rica in a 6 day endurance race on bike, foot and raft for charity.

I shall elaborate.

1. I have always endeavoured to be honest about the journey that I have and am undertaking to provide a sincere, accurate account of the behind the scenes world of the fashion industry. This will never change, but please don't always expect a sugar coated fairytale. I'm a Lancashire lass and you will get no fluffy waffle from me. My reason for emphasizing this point is due to the business going through a period of change. Change that I did not predict or expect, but change that evolved and just happened. Until the change was complete and the message clear, I have been hesitant to divulge too much information for fear of portraying a confused message.
Hence - my lack of blogging.

My intention is to talk you through what has been the most interesting chapter of the business so far over the next few days and bring you up-to-date on where it stands at the moment and how it will be going forward.

2. Costa Rica Coast to Coast challenge. If you are interested then check out the website. This was the hardest thing I have ever done and the best. I am going to write an account of our adventure if you are interested ill post a link on the blog shortly.

Anyway - lots to tell. So grab a cuppa and settle in. Will be posting regularly over the next few days to bring you up to date. Good to be back.

Over and out x