An Interview with… Gudrun Vickery

Networking – it’s a great thing. You meet someone, whether it’s through friends or work events, and then if you’re a chatterbox like me, you find some common ground. Favourite pastimes, interests or quite simply, your perspective on a number of things. That’s kinda how it went when I met Gudrun Vickery a couple months ago. And we literally spoke about everything before stumbling on to her underwear range.

IMG_0442In all honesty, I’d actually heard about Gudrun’s range long before I had the pleasure of meeting the mind behind its innovation. Its quirkiness is what struck me first; Gudrun’s desire to create an unorthodox line that focuses on the needs and wants of women first. So when we spoke about the brand we covered just about everything, including motivations and inspirations and so forth. Here’s what Gudrun had to say for herself.

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  1. GV Underwear is pretty much a baby brand. What was it that encouraged you to start making your pieces in 2013?

I’d worked as a media consultant since graduating university and was craving something creative after studying art at school. Plus I’d also wanted to learn to sew, it started from there really. I’ve always really been into clothes and underwear, I wouldn’t say fashion as such, but the way people dress, and very sporty. So making sports inspired items was quite natural.

  1. Did any of your past experiences help you in launching your brand? If so, how?

Hmm… I think my friends have helped me more than anything! I would have given up a long time ago without them. They definitely gave me the confidence to believe in what I was doing. Also spending a few years doing something I didn’t feel was quite right for me helped spur me in difficult times. Oh and my research skills, to find YouTube tutorials for sewing! There are some really funny American videos out there made at least ten years ago.GV

  1. Your creations are perfect for this modern age in British fashion where girls are layering, trading in heels for brogues and entertaining the thought of comfort as a decisive factor. What was it that encouraged you to take these factors into consideration way before they took over high-street outlets?

I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy – I have four brothers – so being comfortable in what you wear has always been my approach to clothes. And I think its important that women wear underwear they feel comfortable in but that also makes them feel sexy and confident.  

  1. On your website, it says that you are inspired by female athletes and the muted chicness of French style – what is it about these sources that inspire your creativity?

Having always been a very sporty person – I’m doing the Hackney Half Marathon in June – I admire the strength and determination of female athletes. It takes a lot to push your body that far, and of course athletes have to dress for the peak performance of their bodies while being comfortable. I’ve always loved the relaxed sexiness of french women and the subtlety of their style – the colours and cuts are what influenced mine to be so simple. 

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  1. Underwear is a pretty interesting choice of garment to design. What drew you to creating and specialising in underwear? 

It was sort of by accident. After learning to sew I started to experiment with making pants, and then the kind of sports style tops I like wearing, and the more I learnt the more interested I became. It was me challenging myself I think as it’s actually a very specialist area as opposed to tailoring and making clothes. It’s a difficult area and I’m going to be getting some more detailed designs produced by sewers much more talented than me! 

  1. If you were to create another garment, what would it be and why?

A pair of classic cigarette pants, the ultimate in simple comfortable chicness.

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  1. If you were to choose 3 words that best described GV Underwear, what would they be and why?

Comfort, sex appeal, fun.

  1. Do you have any advice that you could give to others interested in creating their own brand?

Have faith in yourself and work hard.

Such good words there. As a relatively new brand, this is one that I’ll be keeping an eye on for sure. The subtle shades that Gudrun has incorporated into her s/s 2014 range are simply gorgeous and I’ve particularly have fallen for the Maxime and Torraino Set and, additionally, the Lilac Jo shorts which have all been captured for you above. They are all just stunning.

Interested? Be sure to have a peak at Gudrun’s website here.

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The Coup Edit | Kate Moss for Topshop

Oh yes, it’s finally here! The much anticipated collection by Kate Moss for Topshop has hit the racks last night. Here at The Coup, we have inspected every item and created our edit of the hottest pieces we would like to own. Adiyam has her eyes set on the gold number, perhaps the perfect outfit for an upcoming special event? And I’m dreaming of a white maxi dress for long summer eve…Well if we are quick enough we might get a chance!
Ready, steady, go!

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An interview with… Katya Kovtunovich

Whether it’s a new boutique brand, well-established designers or, quite simply, something that makes us go ooh, you probably have noticed that here on The Coup we enjoy sharing our fashion findings with you. Today we’re saying hello to Katya Kovtunovich.

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Some of Katya’s biggest fans include Hollywood celebrity Vanessa Hudgens and Princess Charlene of Monaco; it’s not suprising then that Katya’s designs are no stranger to the red carpet. So when we recently caught up we wanted to discuss everything, from Katya’s previous role as a fashion journalist to the inspiration behind her designs. Here is what Katya had to say:

Q: It says on your website that you started designing dresses for your Barbie dolls when you were only 7 years old. What was it that drew you in fashion and, in particular, designing garments?

As, I think, every little girl I was dreaming of being a princess and wearing beautiful dresses. But in my childhood Russia was still a Soviet Union and we did not have anything particularly beautiful in the affordable stores. Beautiful clothes were very few and were very expensive. I come from a very modest family, so I could only dream about wearing those ball type of gowns. And with the help of my mom I started realising these dreams in the dresses for my Barbie, my most precious toy that I was lucky to have. I would create dresses out of lampshade fabric, curtains. I would spend all my free time doing it. I even won a Barbie fashion competition in my home town when I was 9. At around the same age I started making clothes for myself.

_MG_1745Q: How has your time as a fashion journalist helped you in launching your own brand?

When I came to London to do fashion internships in order to learn about the industry I was not sure what exactly in fashion I wanted to do –  And as I did not get much luck with “designer” internships I went into journalism. I started writing about everything that I saw and that inspired me and I happened to have a flair for writing as my editors kept asking for more articles. So it really was a coincidence.

Of course it was an incredibly enriching experience and I am very lucky to have had it! it opened a lot of doors and allowed me to meet the most outstanding people in the fashion industry – Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano, Gianfranco Ferre, CEO of LVMH Bernard Arnault to name a few, as well as the most talented models, actresses, photographers. It was a dream life. And it was incredibly inspiring. I constantly wanted to get more knowledgable, learn to write better, ask better questions, be more professional. This passion made me into a true fashion industry professional – when I applied for Masters of Fashion Journalism at London College of Fashion I was told I was overqualified :). 

It taught me that sometimes in order to be a real professional – you do not have to study, you can just work and learn from people who you admire. In a way it made me believe that I can be a designer without a formal education.

Also, of course, as a journalist I was given a great privilege to interview a lot of fashion designers and hear their stories. It is an incredible sensation – when you sit with a talented person admired by very many people around the world in a one on one meeting and ask them questions. In one moment you really start feeling that that person has truly opened up and suddenly you almost understand it beyond words – the things and the experiences he or she is talking about. I learned that all of the designers worked very hard, that success was not an overnight thing, that they were not afraid to dare to do things differently, sometimes against the circumstances. I also learned that no one had a fairy tale story. Everyone worked very much for their success and created their own luck. It reassured me that if they could do it i could do it to.

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Q: What was it that made you specialise in dress making?When I was a journalist, I kept making my own dresses and wearing them while travelling for fashion weeks in New York, Paris, Milan.

And I would always get compliments from people in the street. They would stop me and ask where I got that dress from or wanted to have my number to get the sme coat made for their girlfriends. I was thinking “Hey, I must have some sort of talent that makes people notice my clothes” – I promised myself if 10 more people stop me and tell me that I should be a designer – i would have to become one. So, thats how it happened.

Q: What sources do you draw inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from successful women that I admire. I like to think – what would they like to wear to a business meeting, to the beach or a lunch on a yacht, a romantic dinner, a St Tropez trip or a skiing holiday. It gets me inspired.

Q: If you were to chose 3 words that best described Katya Kovtunonich creations, what would they be?

Head turning, elegant, timeless

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Q: Do you have any advice that you could give to others interested in creating their own brand?

To not give up and always ask people (who in the end are going to be your final clients) to decide if what you do is good or not.  Sometimes it may be easy to get discouraged by opinions of some industry professionals when you are a growing brand. But if people around you notice what you create and want to have those pieces – this should be your motivation and a “sign” that what you do is right.

Q: You’re quite a traveller by that sounds of it.  How has your time in Russia, London and now Dubai influenced your work?

My travels help me to understand the needs and tastes of people in different parts of the world. When I used to travel to fashion weeks – I would wear totally different clothes in Paris, Milan, London and New York. Each city has its own vibe and inspires you to look different. hence, when I create a new collection – I can imagine and combine what a girl in New york would wear, a girl in Paris and a girl in London.

Sometimes I create a piece that I imagine worn only in Russia – but it turns out to be adored by a girl from Los Angeles. This happened with  my coats made out of traditional Emirati Tent and sofa cover fabrics. Also my Parisian clients liked them very much. It was a very unexpected success and made me feel very proud – that I managed to anticipate the wishes of such different women in such different countries. 

Also living in different climate zones made me more practical in terms of designing. When I create winter clothes – practical features come to my mind first, as I know very well what it feels like to have cold winters from my time in Russia. On the opposite, when I create summer collections – I take on my Dubai experience and try to use as much as possible cottons, cooling fabrics and lose silhouettes. 

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Q: What kind of woman are your designs for?

For successful, confident, intelligent and fun women, who know that they deserve to be admired.

Q: What has been the highlight of your career to date?

When Andrea Bocelli’s wife and CEO Veronica Berti ordered 5 dresses from my collection.

Q: What is next for KK?

We are looking forward to creating more beautiful dresses that will help more ladies all over the world to look and feel very special.

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Such beautiful designs! If you’d like to find out more about Katya and her work, be sure to check out her website here.

Images by Gleb Osipov

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Alexander Wang X H&M

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Finally, H&M have unveiled who their new collaboration will be with, and it’s none other than Alexander Wang. Wang, who is also the creative director at Balenciaga, confirmed the news last night at music festival Coachella. He’s following in the footsteps of Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney and most recently Isabel Marant who all have collaborated with the high-street favourite.

Exciting! Roll on November 6

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Emerson Fry

As always, I am on the look out for new places to shop and lately my curious fingertips have been browsing websites faster than ever. I’d like to share one of my new findings with you. Maybe you’ve already heard about them, as they’ve been around for a while, but maybe you haven’t so here goes…!

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Today I’ve come across this gorgeous label for anyone looking to update their wardrobe with some classics – EMERSON FRY

In my case, I’d love to get my whole wardrobe from this designer!

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Simple, streamlined designs in classic colour pallets make stunning staples and Emerson Fry coats alone are to die for!

But there is one more thing in this collection that has won me over hands down – kimonos. They are a silk perfection, aren’t they?

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Oh and yes, they ship internationally!
http://www.emersonfry.com

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Interview with… Loukippi

This summer we were seeing a lot of crochet on the high street, after all nothing screams beach and sun like crochet!  Designs that offer a sexy glimpse of skin, without revealing too  much, and create a fresh and modern look. This week The Coup had a chat with Loukippi, a very talented designer behind hand-made crochet accessories. With these pieces you can take a piece of summer into the Autumn/Winter season. Collars (that are so hot right now) will add a touch of prep to your look, and delicate crochet jewellery is a boho classic. We are loving each and every piece!

Flower necklace 1915 (£18), three stacking bracelets (made to order, £6.60) and a crochet lace cuff (£12.35) all by Loukippi.

What made you decide to start your own business?

The birth of my daughter has radically changed my life, its rhythms and needs. I think I have rediscovered a need to express myself creatively, and therefore the decision to open a small Etsy shop has been a matter of course.

Where do you get your inspiration?
The first source is my love for the past, in particular for the so-called “Belle Epoque”. I find antique pattern books from that time really charming and inspiring. However also modern trends and artists, as many wonderful ones met on Etsy, inspire me a lot.

Do you create small production runs or make to order?
Some of my items require a quite long production time, therefore I replicate them but I can not create large runs; some are instead just one-of-a-kind items, as I love to try out new ideas and quit some old ones in the meanwhile.

What are your favourite fabrics to work with and why?
I love old fashioned fabrics, as taffeta and satin. However I mostly create my items with extra fine cotton thread. I use only 100% Italian threads, a very high quality cotton.

How would you define your style?
My scope would be a “modern antiquity”, turning antique patterns into modern trends. However I am just at the beginning of this style research, I am going on working…

Shop Loukippi’s designs:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/loukippi

Follow her blog:
http://loukippi.blogspot.com

Embellished Dress

Embellished dresses are perfect for the Christmas season; you probably will have noticed more of them popping up in shops. I have quite a few embellished pieces in my wardrobe, and the number of them is growing steadily. I love a little glitz and glamour, and embellished garments really do make me feel girly.

Today, I want to share one of my pieces with you. I have so many to chose from, but after much deliberation I’ve chosen…

I wore this dress for my birthday. As there’s a lot going on in the dress, I thought it was best to keep my accessories to a minimum. You might also remember my outfit from this years LFW, where I wore an embellished skirt.

 

Here are a couple of other cute embellished dresses that have caught my eye. I’m loving the glitz and glamour!

From left to right:

Elissa Tee Dress – All Saints

Stephanie Dress – Jones & Jones

Aztec Mini Dress – Antik Batik

Long Sleeve Embellished Dress –  Miss Selfridge

An Interview with… Paulina Liffner

Say hello to the Little Liffners; fashions newest and cutest accessory!

Perfect for adding a little character into your daywear, these bags are ‘small in size but big in style.’ They are just so cute! I’m looking forward to purchasing one on my next trip to Sweden, which hopefully will be sometime this winter. Team Coup recently spoke to the lovely Paulina Liffner; mastermind behind these beautiful creations.

Q: Did you have any experience of working in the fashion industry before launching Little Liffners?

Yes. My magazine jobs basically consisted of styling and during my years in PR I have worked closely with many fashion labels which gives quite a lot of insight, so its all different sides to the same coin really.

Q: What was it that made you specialise in designing bags?

 I always thought of accessories as the icing on the fashion cake. Also many of my friends and I seemed to have trouble finding beautiful bags in a clean style that didn’t come with a price tag of a two week vacation.

Q: Which sources do you draw inspiration from?

Art exhibitions, street style photos, architecture and cool interiors. Traveling is also a major source of inspiration. I’m a major people watcher, a starer even, haha. I love to make up imaginary life stories for the people I stare at.

Q: What are your favourite fabrics to work with and why?

Leather of course, the possibilities are endless and it’s a natural material that ages well. But I look much forward to working in other exciting materials to like rubber, woven wools and canvas.

Q: If you had to choose 3 words that best described Little Liffner bags, what would they be?

Clean, all round and chic

Q: What has been the highlight of your career in fashion so far?

Taking the leap and starting Little Liffner for sure. But also being a fashion assistant at ELLE Sweden at my first photo shoots was amazing.

Q: What is next for the Little Liffners?

To do the best bags I possibly can and develop the concept of add-ons further with additional shoulder straps, handles, name tags etc.

The Next Big Thing – Huishan Zhang

Huishan Zhang was, by far, the breakthrough star of this years London Fashion Week. Having studied at the presitigious Central Saint Martins,  the 29 year-old impressed all with his modernistic take on Chinese motifs at Londons Somerset House last month.

All of Zhangs lace trimmings and crystal embroideries represent good symbols; thus creating a traditional yet modern fusion of Anglo-Chinese fashion. With the bulk of innovate designs coming from the East, Zhangs work truly embodies the perfect equilibrium between Western society and the Asiatic world. But, as Jason Wu has done in New York, will Zhang become the first person to champion Anglo-Chinese fashion? This, I do not know. But if the success of CSM’s previous alumi is anything to go by (Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen) along with Zhangs stunning designs, then he could very well be the one to watch…

Image source: http://www.vogue.co.uk

Trend Alert – Oversize Me.

Most girls I know are pretty scared of sporting oversized items and I don’t exactly find this shocking. So I’m pretty sure that like me you’re feeling a little thankfully for the rise of the oversize this fall.

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If I had to chose three words that best illustrated what ‘oversized fashion’ is all about, I’d chose big, bold and bossy. To help maintain that trendy look this fall, I really do suggest that this is the one trend you don’t ignore! For one, it’s really comfortable, looks fierce and, bonus,it’ll keep you warm.We’re not just talking about clothes here to; ‘oversize’ is taking over scarfs, jewellry and bags too.

Choosing the right items to pair your oversize garments will help accentuate your look. A word of advice; always think opposite. Oversize trousers & fitted top. Oversized top & either a pencil skirt or tailored trousers (ankle trousers too!). You get the idea. Remember, what you want to do is compliment the other section. Now go on, try something new today.

Items, from left to right,

Mohair Oversized Wool Jumper – Mango; Anna Dello Russo Bracelet – H&M; Contrast Sleeves Masculine Coat – Mango; Anna Dello Russo Earrings – H&M; Palazzo Pants – Ministry of Retail; D-Frame Acetate Sunglasses -Michael Kors; Oversized Clutch With Bow – Miss Selfridge; Women’s Tulle Skirt – Rundholz; Tall Oversized Blossom Tee – Topshop; Oversized Spot Tights – Pamela Mann; Blue Oversized Shirt – MiH; Anna Dello Russo Leather Boot – H&M; Sparkle Jewel Long Pendant – Accessorize;  Montpellier – Kurt Geiger

Get Ready: London Fashion Weekend is here!

Right now, we are feeling uber excited about going to London Fashion Weekend at Somerset House tomorrow. Our schedule for the day is definitely going to be hectic (starting at around 9am) but we are looking forward to enjoying a fun filled day of fashion, new trends and runway designs. We’re also looking forward to sharing every little bit of info and fashion news with you so make sure you check out our homepage on Monday. You might even catch some sneaky pictures of us behind The Coup; our sense of style and what we chose to wear to the event. Everybody knows that this is a fashion bloggers standard protocol but, for us, it’s a first. If you’re on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter, you’ll be able to get live fashion updates directly sent to you throughout the day. Make sure you click on the links below to join our pages. Buckle up, get ready and enjoy the ride!

Facebook  www.facebook.com/thecoupeu

Bloglovin  http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/3846207/the-coup

Instagram  ‘teamcoup’

Twitter  www.twitter.com/thecoupuk

Love,
Team Coup x

Things that make me go ‘Ohh’!

A statement clutch can either make or break your outfit. As a lover of streamlined btw ensembles , I always look for accessaries that can stand on their own. These Matthew Williamson embellished  suede clutches (£995, from Net-a-Porter) are exquisite! On-trend neon instantly updates lavish looking brocade and with two colours to choose from, you cannot go wrong about updating your look.

Meet The Kooples: a brand you are bound to love!

I’d like to introduce those who don’t know, to a massive hit among the young, rock and roll girls and boys to a French brand – The Kooples. This brand has found a quirky niche in the fashion market and introduced a store where new couples, married couples, men and women in civil partnerships who are feeling in sync, can shop and create styles that are in sync also. It’s clever advertising campaign uses real couples who look drop dead stylish in Kooples clothing. In the image above, you are looking at Johan and Mikaela who have been dating for 1 year.

  
          

Sharp blazers, crisp shirts, skinny fit trousers and pointy heels, this is Parisian chic at it’s best. And now with over ten stores in London, whats not to love?

http://www.thekooples.co.uk

Get the New York Fashion Week look: Olivia Palermo


Ah the season of fashion weeks, where what we see on the street is almost as important as creations on the runway. Fashion photographers scout the arrivals for the most stylish, interesting looks and all the bloggers are posting plethora of street looks. One memorable look for me from New York Fashion Week has to be Olivia Palermo attending Rachel Zoe Spring Summer 2013 fashion show. A very simple, casual ensemble spiced up by strappy snakeskin shoes and a patent crocodile clutch. Olivia as always gets the mix of textures just right for it to look uber relaxed but sexy at the same time. I have put a little selection of items that will help any of us achieve this. The jacket: New Look khaki ponte blazer, £15.99. The t-shirt: Mango wrapped sleeves t-shirt, £19.99. The skirt: Rick Owens ‘Lilies’wrap effect  skirt, £235. The shoe: Alexandre Birman ‘Stella’ sandal, $517. The belt: ASOS Metal Keeper Super Skinny Waist Belt, £6. The clutch: Mundi crocodile clutch, $38.

Boutique Alert: Ministry of Retail


It always seems that the cutest fashion always comes from Asia.  Something about their super fresh take on getting dressed and unlimited imagination, so I am glad to start seeing more of their labels making into the UK. New Look have started stocking  new labels and you can find an occasional Asian brand at Topshop’s label lounge…
However internet is probably still your best source when it comes to finding new designers. Hence I want to share with you a boutique I came across – Ministry of Retail! I know on-line shopping can make you nervous a lot of the time but these guys really put a lot of emphasis on making your experience with them as stress free and exciting as possible. A very neat tool at the top of the page allows you to change currency with just one click (without losing your page load!). They stock over 500 designs, some of them so unique I cannot wait to try them out.
   
For example look at the white cloak style jacket at the top of the page, £29. Cape sleeves so fierce your arms make a stylish cutting edge look, reminiscent of statement made by Guineth Paltrow, who wore a cape white dress at the Oscars 2012. They have a huge selection of dresses on offer, from structured pieces to relaxed holiday ones, flowing and romantic. Everything comes at very affordable prices, which allows you to pick and mix and try new things. So go on check them out! http://www.ministryofretail.com


All images courtesy Ministry of Retail.