Sunday, 10 July 2011

Designer Profile: Amy Jean Moore

Amy Jean Moore is a 23 year old fashion and costume designer based in Kent. She graduated in 2009 with a First in fashion design from Brighton University with a gala winning catwalk collection at graduate fashion week.

Since then Amy has progressed into both the world of fashion, starting her own alterations and repairs business, as well as in the world of costume, where she has not only got to work on the costumes for the current Pirates of the Caribbean movie, but has also progressed to doing costume design for established theatres, after only a year in the industry.

She is currently moving into starting her own Fashion brand under the name the "Wardrobe assistant", the first samples of which you can see in this photo-shoot!

What made you want to get into fashion design?

I love the process of bringing a character to life through the clothing, looking at traditional techniques and skills from history. With my designs and approach to fashion, I want to bring some permanency. I really believe that people should buy less and keep things longer and this is how I approach my designs. I aim for timeless pieces heavily inspired by history that are simple, classic, well made and will age beautifully.

What's the hardest part about being a designer?

You have to have true grit and determination to keep picking yourself up after rejections, as well as managing the stark contrast between the times when there is not a lot of work, and when there is tonnes, working around the clock.

What's the best thing about it?

There is so much, it can be an immensely rewarding job! Most importantly the people you meet, I have met so many inspirational characters that are a pleasure to collaborate with, each time producing something unique.
But for the work itself is the opportunity to constantly learn, not only new sewing techniques but also to research various aspects of history and traditions in depth.

What does an average day entail for you?

Every day varies wildly, as a designer you have to be incredibly flexible, have the ability to do lots of different jobs and travel all over the place. Some days will be spent purely sewing but the next I might be doing invoices and accounts, at museums researching, having meetings in London... or on a shoot in an iron foundry!!!!

What's the most memorable assignment you've had?

So far I would have to say it was working on a Christmas production in a theatre of Toad of Toad Hall. I love working on costumes for theatre as it really gives you the opportunity to be really creative and a bit wild! For this production I had to make a rabbit disguise for an actor that was playing a fox, made dozens of ears and rabbit noses, big flouncy dresses with layers of petticoats and much much more. I literally got lost in the attic of the wardrobe department in piles of fur and breaches!

Who or what really inspires you?

I am really inspired by British history, not only from fashions of history but also the culture from folklore and craft to the cottage industry, which is how I approach business. I think something like fashion should be small and personal, we can use it to support other local interdependent businesses. For my next project I am looking at traditional dying techniques such as woad and the history that surrounds it, considering characters like Boadicea and the Iceni tribe.

What advice do you have for those looking to take up fashion design?

1. Smile and the world smiles with you. It is desperately important to be a pleasure to work with, make friends and contacts and you will be remembered and recommended and this will only lead to more jobs (and some wonderful friends)

2.Keep positive! you should only approach a career like Fashion design if it is your dream because there will be times when you are very poor, very tired and down hearted....... but keep going, try a different angle.

3. Work for free whilst you can afford it (in both time and money). Whether you studied fashion at university or not, everyone starts at the bottom probably working for free. There are very few paid graduate positions within fashion, it's all about experience, even if you want to start your own label. You will learn what the industry is really like, and techniques and skills that are integral for working practice, and most importantly the opportunity to explore different areas of the industry that will help you develop your own work as well as doing other jobs that may well suit you more.