“Don’t change to fit fashion, change the fashion to fit you” – this fashion quote resonates strongly with my guest this week. I’m chatting to Coral of Coral Turner Couture, an unique British label which caters for the discerning woman. Coral doesn’t believe in “throwaway fashion” and is an avid collector of fabrics – her designs are truly distinctive and I was privileged to interview this lovely lady who is championing the artisan craft of sewing … hi Coral…
Hi, I am Coral, and thank you Linda for inviting me to have this conversation with you and your audience.
What inspired you to become a couture designer and set up your own unique label, Coral Turner Couture?
The need for individuality expressed through clothes is definitely top of the list as to inspiration; then my private bespoke clients encouraged me to set up the one-of-kind ready-to-wear label so other women could have access to exclusive garments you wouldn’t find on the high street.
I love the “Truly Blue” Jersey Swing Dress – totally gorgeous! As your clothes are unique investment pieces, what clothing items are most popular with your customers?
Thank you, that’s really kind of you. It’s an interesting question, however, as each garment is exclusive in its own right, it’s not about one garment being more popular than other, the women who wear my designs love the unusual fabric designs, coupled with the shaping of the garments.
Out of all the outfits you’ve made, do you have any favourites?
All the outfits I have made and make are my favourites as they each have their own personality.
Have you always wanted to be a designer & dressmaker, or did you have other career aspirations?
I was a freelance PA for a number of years when I moved from my home town of Manchester to London; however my sewing was always in the background. I always knew that one day I would have to follow my passion, my love of fabrics, making patterns, the creative craft of sewing, and designing my own clothes, I call it heaven at a sewing machine!
Hypothetically speaking, if anybody could be the “face” of Coral Turner Couture, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I have a great admiration for an African-American designer called Ann Lowe who dressed society women from all over the USA, as well as designing and making the wedding dress for Jacqueline Bouvier (Kennedy). This talented dress designer forged a path for herself despite obstacles, one of which being not being recognised by the fashion industry due to her being a woman of colour.
I hear you are an avid collector of fabrics – what do you look for when buying/collecting fabrics?
How long have you got… I’m drawn to colour, textures and unusual patterns, however what is paramount is how the fabric feels and drapes.
If you could pick any place in the world to shop for fabrics, where would you go to shop until you drop?
That is such a hard question to answer as I am always searching out fabric shops on my travels, when I went to Paris for example I found a boutique fabric shop and it was so hard to pull me away, plus there are so many places I have yet to visit!
Bespoke dressmaking – if I wanted an outfit for a special occasion, what would I expect from a consultation?
First I would need to know what the occasion is, then your role, are you for example attending as a guest, or will you be involved? There are a myriad of circumstances that I have to take into consideration, all of which are integral to the design. We would talk about the colours you like, the style of dress you currently wear, shapes and silhouettes these are a few examples; meanwhile I am creating a mental picture of shapes that will complement and enhance your look.
As you are based in London, are your outfits available to purchase online worldwide?
The garments on the website are available to purchase online, and yes they do travel worldwide; clients also visit me at my studio in East Greenwich which is by appointment,they can try on and purchase the garments there also.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
Whereas the chameleon changes colour to suit its environment, my outfits do the same. I can be found wearing a Swing Dress with boots for my ‘Rock Chick’ look, my Multi Coloured Fleece Top with 1920’s style collar and trousers, Column Style Dress with band hem, ruffled collar and Tailored Jacket and heels. I don’t have a set uniform; I like to mix things up.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites? (Apart from your own!)
Wordery, next to fabrics, I love books and reading.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
I’m a fan of kitten heeled shoes, I think they are so chic and are a timeless classic.
Boots or Shoes?
Boots or Shoes, what about Boots and Shoes! Definitely both, they can do wonders for adding the finishing touch to an outfit.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can find out more about Coral Turner Couture
This has been such fun, thank you; the website is www.coralturner.com, Instagram https://www.instagram.com/coralturnercouture or watch the videos on my YouTube channel Coral Turner Couture https://youtu.be/LREiVZzWEhw
It’s been a pleasure to feature you on my blog Coral … I’m pleased to hear you are a fan of kitten heel shoes and books … I simply adore them both too! Your designs are just beautiful – thank you for allowing me to showcase them on my blog.
All photos have been published with kind permission of Coral Turner Couture.