Interview with Rachel Simpson- The New Spring/ Summer 2018 Collection
Q: Tell us about the new collection- key colours, style, themes?
A: I am genuinely really excited about this one- it’s been under wraps since last year so it’s fantastic to finally be able to show everyone the new styles. On the whole we’ve kept silhouettes fairly simple this season- the focus is on materials and well considered detailing. Olivia for example, is a very simple elegant t-bar sandal, but by combining on trend crushed velvet with a tonal glitter heel, we’ve brought something new to our signature style. Our key pastel colours are there, but with a new twist; mint leather has been updated to mint suede, and powder pink brings a new shade to our popular blush palette. There’s some real glamour in the collection too, as we introduce even more metallic into the RS family. Maria (in striking gold and silver) is so called because I can imagine her on the stage in a production of my favourite musical- West Side Story!
Q: How do you go about designing a new collection?
A: It’s a pretty relaxed process to be honest- as designers we’re constantly absorbing inspiration and ideas, it’s not like you switch the design process on and off. I work closely with our Senior Designer Katie, and we’ll usually start with ideas of the forthcoming trends we like- for example we’ve had a bit of a velvet crush lately (see what we did there?), or we’ll have had feedback from our retail team about what our brides are loving. It’s important to get out and feed your creativity, and we’ll often visit inspiring places for design inspo, or trade shows to keep an eye on trends. From there we put our mood and colour boards together for the new collection, which show the themes and colours we are focussing on at a glance, and are a great way to keep the team informed about what’s coming in too. Sketching is next, and both Katie and I are fairly old school, preferring pencil and paper before transposing final ideas into more technical specs for our factory.
Q: How does this collection differ from the classic Rachel Simpson look?
A: I think the nice thing about this collection is that it manages to combine our signature look with something which is new and a little more trend driven. We have styles such as Amalia and Ana bringing a fresh twist to our iconic t-bar peep toe with on trend Spring pastel colours and intricate handmade trims, whilst styles such as Lolita and Luciana lead the more modern style, with brighter ivory and iridescent 3D florals.
Q: You did the photoshoot at Aynhoe Park- how was that?
A: We were thrilled to be able to shoot the collection at Aynhoe- if you’ve never heard of it I strongly recommend you Google it. It really is breathtaking- an incredible building first built in 1615, which has been transformed many times over the centuries and now houses an incredible collection of art and taxidermy. It was the ideal choice for the Spring Summer collection, combining old with new, classic with curiosity.
Q: I know we shouldn’t ask, but do you have a favourite shoe from the new collection?
A: Ha, no you shouldn’t! It’s funny being a designer- you have favourites in terms of what you would wear yourself, but also favourites because they bring something to the collection, or because you know brides are going to love them. For me to wear this Spring it would have to be Maria in gold leather- I’ll be wearing them with ankle length jeans and an oversized shirt for a bit of laid back weekend glamour I reckon!
Q: How can brides get hold of the new styles?
A: The new collection, rather aptly, launched today- St Valentine’s Day. Our lovely stockists worldwide will have selected styles instore, and the collection is available online too. We’re also holding our Spring Event at the showroom in Birmingham in a couple of weeks, which will be a great opportunity for brides to try the collection, have a cheeky glass of fizz and choose their perfect pair. I’ll be there on the Saturday, and can’t wait to see the shoes come to life being tried on- that bit never gets boring!
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