STYLE MAT­TERS

Fash­ion de­sign­ers and Cheshire so­cialites, Lee Bloor and Matthew New­ton, are the cou­ple be­hind oc­ca­sion­wear la­bel Lav­ish Alice Cheshire Life: Novem­ber 2018

Cheshire Life - - Banks Lyon Jewellery Showcase -

Can you tell me a lit­tle bit about your­self and how you set up the com­pany? My fi­ancé, Matthew, and I are both from Manch­ester but met at uni­ver­sity, where he was study­ing ad­ver­tis­ing and fash­ion, and my course was fash­ion PR. We’ve been to­gether per­son­ally and pro­fes­sion­ally for 12 years this Septem­ber. Since meet­ing we’ve been insep­a­ra­ble; we wake up to­gether, spend the day at work to­gether and so­cialise to­gether with our mu­tual fam­ily, friends and col­leagues.

We’re both very sim­i­lar and per­fec­tion­ists – to avoid step­ping on each other’s toes, we try to have very dif­fer­ent re­spon­si­bil­i­ties at Lav­ish Alice to avoid over­lap. I lead and over­see the re­tail web­site Lav­ishal­ice.com – driv­ing brand aware­ness, traf­fic and ul­ti­mately sales through PR, mar­ket­ing and dig­i­tal ef­forts. Matthew nur­tures our whole­sale de­part­ment and long­stand­ing cus­tomers such as ASOS, Very and our port­fo­lio of in­de­pen­dent bou­tiques, some of which are lo­cated across Cheshire. It’s the per­fect part­ner­ship.

What in­spires your de­signs? We have de­vel­oped a very clear de­sign hand­writ­ing and brand DNA. Lav­ish Alice is a con­tem­po­rary la­bel mov­ing at the speed of the high-street while main­tain­ing lux­u­ri­ous qual­ity and crafts­man­ship.

Cre­at­ing ready-to-wear pieces from a new per­spec­tive and pri­ce­point, Lav­ish Alice of­fers a fresh and unique mix of fem­i­nin­ity with a mod­ern edge.

What do you hope women get out of wear­ing your clothes? Our cus­tomers love to style and share their pieces on so­cial me­dia – it’s an open and hon­est, col­lab­o­ra­tive, two-way re­la­tion­ship. We get a win­dow into their lives, how they wear our styles and it in­spires us with new col­lec­tion ideas and de­tails. Last year, a cus­tomer wore our sig­na­ture sil­ver se­quin midi dress and had it al­tered in to a mini dress – we loved it so much that it has launched part of this year’s Christ­mas col­lec­tion.

See­ing all the tagged pic­tures of women feel­ing em­pow­ered, con­fi­dent, so­phis­ti­cated, classy and sassy wear­ing our de­signs is one of our favourite feel­ings that we love to share with them.

Who wears them? From Cheshire to Hol­ly­wood; Lav­ish Alice is an in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned, con­tem­po­rary wom­enswear la­bel loved by A-list su­per­stars Ken­dall and Kylie Jen­ner, Gigi Ha­did, Ash­ley Gra­ham, Jes­sica Biel, Eva Lon­go­ria, Olivia Munn and Nicole Richie along with the Real Housewives of Cheshire stars Dawn Ward, Ner­mina Pi­eter­sMe­cik, Rachel Lugo, Lau­ren Si­mon, Darby and Tay­lor Ward and Chris­tine Mcgui­ness.

As a de­signer her­self, it was a huge ac­co­lade when Nicole Richie wore Lav­ish Alice. Sim­i­larly, Eva Lon­go­ria’s wed­ding gown was de­signed by Vic­to­ria Beck­ham so it was a spe­cial mo­ment when she wore Lav­ish Alice. De­scribe your per­sonal style? In the of­fice we’re more ca­sual and of­ten wear Yeezy in­spired loungewear as you never know what each day en­tails – from de­liv­er­ing a dress for RHOC film­ing to at­tend­ing shoots, we al­ways have to dress com­fort­ably and be ready for any­thing.

For din­ner and drinks we usu­ally wear skinny jeans, Gucci Ace train­ers and a shirt or de­signer top. We also love wear­ing a state­ment tro­phy jacket or blazer teamed with a tee to dress down the look – pair­ing with train­ers gives it more of cur­rent vibe, which coun­ter­acts and com­pli­ments at the same time.

When at­tend­ing black-tie events, we try to cre­atively in­ter­pret the for­mal dress code and mix it up. For Dawn Ward’s birth­day, I wore a le­mon suit – it couldn’t have been fur­ther away from black, how­ever it was still for­mal and ap­pro­pri­ate for the spe­cial oc­ca­sion.

Who is your per­sonal style in­spi­ra­tion? In a pro­fes­sional con­text, we both adore and ad­mire Meghan Markle’s style, she per­son­i­fies our brand per­fectly. We love her sartorial essence of com­bin­ing clas­sic and con­tem­po­rary pieces. Of­ten wear­ing clean lines, off-theshoul­der cuts and sharp tai­lor­ing, the Duchess grace­fully brings a fresh ap­proach to royal fash­ion.

In terms of our own style icons, Bal­main’s state­ment suit­ing is a sta­ple in our wardrobe as well as Gucci and Givenchy for more street style looks.

What do you love about fash­ion? The blue sweater scene in The Devil Wears Prada sums up our feel­ings to­wards fash­ion per­fectly. A blue sweater is not just a blue sweater, but the re­sult of many dif­fer­ent peo­ple work­ing very hard to give you some­thing ex­cit­ing. Ev­ery gar­ment has a story and en­ables the wearer to ex­press them­selves in their own way.

You are in the pub­lic eye. Has this changed the way you dress? In the age of so­cial me­dia, al­most ev­ery­one is in the pub­lic eye and scru­ti­nised for their style choices. In­sta­gram es­pe­cially, is a way of show­cas­ing the best ver­sion of our­selves and like ev­ery­body else, we try not to re­peat out­fits. What’s right for one event, might not be right for an­other.

We are com­ing up to the party sea­son, do you have any tips for men want­ing to dress up a bit? Jewel colour suit­ing, such as bur­gundy or deep green are clas­sic fes­tive tones and can be dressed down with train­ers and a tee. For our Christ­mas party, we’ll be tak­ing the team to Pic­col­ino in Alder­ley Edge and will both be rock­ing this look!

What is the most you’ve ever spent on a gar­ment? We’ve both got a bit of a thing for leather jack­ets in­clud­ing a Saint Lau­rent one with fring­ing that we bought from Sel­fridges Ox­ford Street a cou­ple of years ago as well as a Bel­staff jacket cov­ered in badges from Sel­fridges Traf­ford Cen­tre. They’re both in­vest­ment pieces that will keep their value, plus Matt and I are the same height and size so of­ten share cloth­ing – win­ning!

What do you love most in your wardrobe at the mo­ment? We have a col­lec­tion of de­signer sweaters – Givenchy, Kenzo, Gucci, Saint Lau­rent – that are su­per easy to wear, throw and go!

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