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Fashion Graduate Speaks Out: Karlie Symone Whitehead

Karlie Symone Whitehead has just completed a Fashion BA at the University of Central Lancashire. She showed her feminine collection of pastel knitted dresses last week as part of Graduate Fashion Week and we caught up with her to find out about her inspiration and future plans.

  • What was the inspiration behind your collection? My inspiration was looking at body contour and silhouettes of the female form; I took the shapes and created them with the corsetry wire for a unique and new concept.
    I also looked at ballerina costumes to see how the tulle layers are created to give a feminine full look.
    I named my collection "Captured Contour" as I felt it captured the mood of my collection perfectly.
  • To see the rest of her answers read more

  • Which is your favourite piece? The ballerina-esque tutu corset dress as I love the soft grey alpaco yarn knitted for the corset next to the layers and layers of tulle. Its so girly & feminine, with a hint of sexiness as the back is low and revealing, I feel not only does it sum up my collection but me as a designer also.
  • Did you encounter any problems with creating your line and how did you overcome them? As I'm a perfectionist I encountered a few minor problems that I wasn’t happy with but if I was unsure about anything I would work on it until it was perfect. It did get a little stressful at times but I loved every second of producing my collection from design to pattern cutting, knitting my fabric and actually making it. The whole process gave me a sense of achievement each time I completed a piece, it has definitely been the most exciting part of my life so far. Seeing my collection for the first time on the catwalk in the gala show made me feel like the last four years of late nights, lack of sleep & sheer hard work has definitely paid of & was worth every second.
  • Which designers do you admire? I admire many different designers for various reasons, one of my favourites is John Galliano as I love his concepts and how his shows are brought to life in a very theatrical way, I love the impact he makes & his collections every season. A few other of my favourites include Mathew Williamson as he is a very successful businessman, Chloe for the feminine, soft, luxurious look & Zac Posen for his couture stunning dresses.
  • Which person would you like to see wearing your clothes? Anybody who shows my clothes off to their best potential & anyone that feels comfortable, feminine, sexy and stunning wearing my creations. I've no particular person in mind just anyone that likes my ideas.
  • What are your plans post-graduation? I'm definitely considering starting my own business as I feel I would love nothing more than to create my designs and see them worn on females who appreciate gorgeous clothes.
    I do want to get some more experience behind me first as I feel there is always more to learn in the fashion industry.
  • If you could work for any designer/design house which would it be? Christian Dior without a doubt, I’ve always loved Dior, looking back at the new look and the collections today, its truly feminine and always makes an impact, I would love to meet John Galliano & see how he creates his lines.
  • Any predictions for Autumn/Winter 2008-9? I feel anything individual will work, I think design is about creating something new, fresh and unique. I would love a soft, feminine silhouette to be a huge trend and girly fun layers as this would definitely mean I’ve done something right.
  • Photos by Kirsten Borst

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