Tuesday, July 24, 2012

FEMININE, LUXURIOUS & CLASSIC: GODDESS & SWIFT - AN INTERVIEW


 Photo: Phelan Trayte Hardy/ Assisted retouching by Lee Mitchell

Hair: Connor Kerr/ Hedonist Hair
Creative Direction: 4Fashion Events
Make Up: Emma Mcconville Mua
Model: Alex Catherwood

Designer: Larissa Watson for Goddess & Swift

Larissa Watson is an Artist, Designer, Entrepreneur and Academic. 

With over 20 years experience in design, branding and bringing products and projects to market Larissa has produced under her own name and for other fashion houses and luxury stores worldwide. 

Having a multi disciplinary background means she is very much in demand for her unique ability to marry creative and commercial concepts. 

These days she is just as happy lecturing her MBA students on strategy in design led innovation as Consulting in small firms, developing creative enterprise projects or designing and painting for her new business venture. 

Larissa lives in Belfast, is mother to four fabulous children and enjoys getting out in sunny Northern Ireland.

The Green Pebbles Girls caught up with her to find out more about her latest venture Goddess & Swift!

As a mother of 4 we are sure you are asked 1000 times how you juggle everything (interestingly enough this question is never asked of men who have many children probably because there is the assumption that there’s a wife at home managing the household while they are out at work!), we would like to turn this on its head and ask you if as a mother of 4 you feel that motherhood has actually dramatically increased your ability to multitask exceedingly well and prioritise far better than ever before not to mention your ability to make swift decisions at the drop of a hat?  Making you a far more successful manager  and entrepreneur than you otherwise could have been?
 Photo: Phelan Trayte Hardy/ Assisted retouching by Lee Mitchell

Hair: Connor Kerr/ Hedonist Hair
Creative Direction: 4Fashion Events
Make Up: Emma Mcconville Mua
Model: Alex Catherwood

Designer: Larissa Watson for Goddess & Swift





Being a mum means that I have to be very organized, focused and has increased my ability to prioritise extremely well. 


Having lots of experience dealing with the highly emotive drama’s of bringing up kids has ensured that when it comes to business I rarely get upset or stressed. 

Kids teach you what is important in life and to keep looking at the bigger picture and push past fears, or what you think is possible. 



 How would you define GODDESS & SWIFT the brand?

Feminine, luxurious and classic with a strong creative vibe.

How would you define LARISSA WATSON the designer and entrepreneur?
Creative, ambitious, focused and uncompromising about design  


What was the inspiration behind setting up Goddess & Swift?

I wanted to develop a brand that was about modern women – putting the ethos of femininity and old style values of quality and craftsmanship back into our wardrobes and lives. 
Clothes to make us feel like Goddesses.


What inspired you to set up your own business?
I started up my first design company in the early 90’s in the middle of a recession because I could not get a design job. I ran this for 12 years and loved every minute of it.  
Silk jersey and organza sculpt dress


After 12 years of working at a very intense level to build a very successful company I wanted a sabbatical and a change of scene and accidently fell into academia. I have been involved in lecturing and research for the last 8 years and thoroughly enjoyed it. 

First and foremost though, I consider myself a creative and had been doing planning and development work to start Goddess and Swift for eighteen months prior to the company launch in August 2011.




 Photo: Phelan Trayte Hardy/ Assisted retouching by Lee Mitchell

Hair: Connor Kerr/ Hedonist Hair
Creative Direction: 4Fashion Events
Make Up: Emma Mcconville Mua
Model: Alex Catherwood

Designer: Larissa Watson for Goddess & Swift

What do you think is the most difficult thing about setting up your own brand? i.e. design, production, sales, finance, marketing, advertising etc
As a designer with commercial experience the design is a pleasure, I have lots of marketing experience and a masters degree in the subject so it does not really faze me, ditto with the finance. 

The greatest challenges in the business are; Juggling most of the functions between myself and my assistants at present, Accessing finance to be able to do the  marketing I want to, properly, internationally,  and lastly, finding good agents and outlets to represent us globally.

Have you ever regretted it?
Never! (ask me again in 18 months!)


What do you love about being a designer?
I love that every day I am being creative about solving problems, pushing myself and our team forward, developing new designs and delighting our clients with new and innovative collections.

What has inspired your latest collection?
Our most recent collection is Autumn Winter 2012. (For this we used the eco headonism macro trend and within this the submerged and monochrome micro trends. ) There are two key themes within the collection, submerged oceanic and monochrome screen goddess. Within the submerged oceanic line we have a number of strong prints. 


The ‘china blue’ was influenced by oriental ceramics and the idea of lost civilizations. 


The ravine print used in a playful way references underwater coral gardens and the inky blue space dyed silk jersey dresses remind us of the cold Celtic Irish sea. 

The second trend we used was the monochrome look where we referenced vintage black and white movie glamour and screen goddesses from different genere’s. this can be seen in the cream and black ‘Jackie O’ dresses and the ironwork printed flapped dress. 

We commissioned a beautiful large scale hounds tooth black and white weave to make our retro glamour box jacket and a lovely diamond for the elegant swing coat.

Black and White Ironwork silk dress - inspired by Wrought ironwork found on Nomadic and Titanic 1st class lounge - choosen as key trend for AW12 by Pure London and WGSN
 — withTitanic and "Tìtanìc" at Titanic Quarter.



You were inspired by the design from the wrought ironwork grilles on the first class salon of the Titanic as the inspiration for the black and white print on the flapper dress with black feather collar which has been picked up by WGSN as one of the key trend indicators for AW12.  

What is your fascination with the Titanic?
I was brought up in Belfast where the Titanic was built and from a young age we heard about the luxury and tragedy associated with the fate full liner. I came from a long line of textile weavers, dyers and lace makes as my great  grandfather dyed and spun wool for the Prince of Wales tweeds and my great grandmother and her family made lace which was exported all over the world. As a textile designer and artisan by trade I naturally hold some affinity and fascination for the workmanship that went into what is probably the most famous/ infamous ocean liner of all time. 
SS12 Water Dress. Hand painted& embroidered Irish Linen Bustier.
Layered hand painted silk chiffon.

What is your favorite design in the collection?
I don’t have one favorite piece, but if I were to pick a few strong looks they would be; the waterfall transition coat with the feather collar, China blue cap sleeve dress, crocus velvet dress, Ravine print look and my diamond swing coat.

You have defined your pieces as unique…what makes them unique?
Many of our pieces literally are unique as we can design and produce our printed silk and linens as one-off lengths exclusively for our clients or   limited edition runs for select boutiques and department stores.


What sets the Goddess & Swift brand apart from other brands?
Our dedication to the end result!

Who are your clients?

We have many private clients in Uk and Ireland and a handful of small boutiques across  Asia and Europe.


Where are your collections made?

We do almost all of our manufacture in Belfast with a small proportion being made in Italy.


Diamond Pe' coat - 100% wool made in Ireland 
What do you think the trend (s) will be for this coming Autumn Winter?

Print will continue to dominate but texture and monochrome becoming more important elements.

Where can we buy the Goddess & Swift Collection?

Selected stockists and Online at www.goddessandswift.com


Where do you hope to see your brand in the next 5 years or so?
I would like to have a network of stockists and agents across Europe, US and Asia. We have plans to launch an accessories line and more so watch this space,



What do you hope to be in doing in 5 years from now? 
A lot more delegating J!

For additional information contact the Goddess & Swift Customer Service Team : goddessandswift@gmail.com


 

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Green Pebbles A Passion for Luxury Fashion and Watches: FEMININE, LUXURIOUS & CLASSIC: GODDESS & SWIFT - AN INTERVIEW

FEMININE, LUXURIOUS & CLASSIC: GODDESS & SWIFT - AN INTERVIEW


 Photo: Phelan Trayte Hardy/ Assisted retouching by Lee Mitchell

Hair: Connor Kerr/ Hedonist Hair
Creative Direction: 4Fashion Events
Make Up: Emma Mcconville Mua
Model: Alex Catherwood

Designer: Larissa Watson for Goddess & Swift

Larissa Watson is an Artist, Designer, Entrepreneur and Academic. 

With over 20 years experience in design, branding and bringing products and projects to market Larissa has produced under her own name and for other fashion houses and luxury stores worldwide. 

Having a multi disciplinary background means she is very much in demand for her unique ability to marry creative and commercial concepts. 

These days she is just as happy lecturing her MBA students on strategy in design led innovation as Consulting in small firms, developing creative enterprise projects or designing and painting for her new business venture. 

Larissa lives in Belfast, is mother to four fabulous children and enjoys getting out in sunny Northern Ireland.

The Green Pebbles Girls caught up with her to find out more about her latest venture Goddess & Swift!

As a mother of 4 we are sure you are asked 1000 times how you juggle everything (interestingly enough this question is never asked of men who have many children probably because there is the assumption that there’s a wife at home managing the household while they are out at work!), we would like to turn this on its head and ask you if as a mother of 4 you feel that motherhood has actually dramatically increased your ability to multitask exceedingly well and prioritise far better than ever before not to mention your ability to make swift decisions at the drop of a hat?  Making you a far more successful manager  and entrepreneur than you otherwise could have been?
 Photo: Phelan Trayte Hardy/ Assisted retouching by Lee Mitchell

Hair: Connor Kerr/ Hedonist Hair
Creative Direction: 4Fashion Events
Make Up: Emma Mcconville Mua
Model: Alex Catherwood

Designer: Larissa Watson for Goddess & Swift





Being a mum means that I have to be very organized, focused and has increased my ability to prioritise extremely well. 


Having lots of experience dealing with the highly emotive drama’s of bringing up kids has ensured that when it comes to business I rarely get upset or stressed. 

Kids teach you what is important in life and to keep looking at the bigger picture and push past fears, or what you think is possible. 



 How would you define GODDESS & SWIFT the brand?

Feminine, luxurious and classic with a strong creative vibe.

How would you define LARISSA WATSON the designer and entrepreneur?
Creative, ambitious, focused and uncompromising about design  


What was the inspiration behind setting up Goddess & Swift?

I wanted to develop a brand that was about modern women – putting the ethos of femininity and old style values of quality and craftsmanship back into our wardrobes and lives. 
Clothes to make us feel like Goddesses.


What inspired you to set up your own business?
I started up my first design company in the early 90’s in the middle of a recession because I could not get a design job. I ran this for 12 years and loved every minute of it.  
Silk jersey and organza sculpt dress


After 12 years of working at a very intense level to build a very successful company I wanted a sabbatical and a change of scene and accidently fell into academia. I have been involved in lecturing and research for the last 8 years and thoroughly enjoyed it. 

First and foremost though, I consider myself a creative and had been doing planning and development work to start Goddess and Swift for eighteen months prior to the company launch in August 2011.




 Photo: Phelan Trayte Hardy/ Assisted retouching by Lee Mitchell

Hair: Connor Kerr/ Hedonist Hair
Creative Direction: 4Fashion Events
Make Up: Emma Mcconville Mua
Model: Alex Catherwood

Designer: Larissa Watson for Goddess & Swift

What do you think is the most difficult thing about setting up your own brand? i.e. design, production, sales, finance, marketing, advertising etc
As a designer with commercial experience the design is a pleasure, I have lots of marketing experience and a masters degree in the subject so it does not really faze me, ditto with the finance. 

The greatest challenges in the business are; Juggling most of the functions between myself and my assistants at present, Accessing finance to be able to do the  marketing I want to, properly, internationally,  and lastly, finding good agents and outlets to represent us globally.

Have you ever regretted it?
Never! (ask me again in 18 months!)


What do you love about being a designer?
I love that every day I am being creative about solving problems, pushing myself and our team forward, developing new designs and delighting our clients with new and innovative collections.

What has inspired your latest collection?
Our most recent collection is Autumn Winter 2012. (For this we used the eco headonism macro trend and within this the submerged and monochrome micro trends. ) There are two key themes within the collection, submerged oceanic and monochrome screen goddess. Within the submerged oceanic line we have a number of strong prints. 


The ‘china blue’ was influenced by oriental ceramics and the idea of lost civilizations. 


The ravine print used in a playful way references underwater coral gardens and the inky blue space dyed silk jersey dresses remind us of the cold Celtic Irish sea. 

The second trend we used was the monochrome look where we referenced vintage black and white movie glamour and screen goddesses from different genere’s. this can be seen in the cream and black ‘Jackie O’ dresses and the ironwork printed flapped dress. 

We commissioned a beautiful large scale hounds tooth black and white weave to make our retro glamour box jacket and a lovely diamond for the elegant swing coat.

Black and White Ironwork silk dress - inspired by Wrought ironwork found on Nomadic and Titanic 1st class lounge - choosen as key trend for AW12 by Pure London and WGSN
 — withTitanic and "Tìtanìc" at Titanic Quarter.



You were inspired by the design from the wrought ironwork grilles on the first class salon of the Titanic as the inspiration for the black and white print on the flapper dress with black feather collar which has been picked up by WGSN as one of the key trend indicators for AW12.  

What is your fascination with the Titanic?
I was brought up in Belfast where the Titanic was built and from a young age we heard about the luxury and tragedy associated with the fate full liner. I came from a long line of textile weavers, dyers and lace makes as my great  grandfather dyed and spun wool for the Prince of Wales tweeds and my great grandmother and her family made lace which was exported all over the world. As a textile designer and artisan by trade I naturally hold some affinity and fascination for the workmanship that went into what is probably the most famous/ infamous ocean liner of all time. 
SS12 Water Dress. Hand painted& embroidered Irish Linen Bustier.
Layered hand painted silk chiffon.

What is your favorite design in the collection?
I don’t have one favorite piece, but if I were to pick a few strong looks they would be; the waterfall transition coat with the feather collar, China blue cap sleeve dress, crocus velvet dress, Ravine print look and my diamond swing coat.

You have defined your pieces as unique…what makes them unique?
Many of our pieces literally are unique as we can design and produce our printed silk and linens as one-off lengths exclusively for our clients or   limited edition runs for select boutiques and department stores.


What sets the Goddess & Swift brand apart from other brands?
Our dedication to the end result!

Who are your clients?

We have many private clients in Uk and Ireland and a handful of small boutiques across  Asia and Europe.


Where are your collections made?

We do almost all of our manufacture in Belfast with a small proportion being made in Italy.


Diamond Pe' coat - 100% wool made in Ireland 
What do you think the trend (s) will be for this coming Autumn Winter?

Print will continue to dominate but texture and monochrome becoming more important elements.

Where can we buy the Goddess & Swift Collection?

Selected stockists and Online at www.goddessandswift.com


Where do you hope to see your brand in the next 5 years or so?
I would like to have a network of stockists and agents across Europe, US and Asia. We have plans to launch an accessories line and more so watch this space,



What do you hope to be in doing in 5 years from now? 
A lot more delegating J!

For additional information contact the Goddess & Swift Customer Service Team : goddessandswift@gmail.com


 

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