Interview: Lauren Jessica Taylor

Lauren is a recent fashion graduate and she has recently set up her own business called Lauren Jessica Lingerie. I was lucky enough to have a little chat with her about her new business and career plans. 

Hello Lauren! Thank you so much for letting me interview you. How are you?

I'm good thank you! Thanks for taking the time to interview me. 

Tell us a little bit about your background.

I recently graduated from Plymouth College of Art where I studied Fashion. I have always been a creative person and found my passion for making lingerie and nightwear after my first year at university. Although my course wasn't specialised in contour wear I decided to stay on and push myself to pursue lingerie and nightwear design on my course. 

I adore your new business. What made you decide to set up Lauren Jessica Lingerie?

Thank you! While making my final collection I realised how much I enjoyed hand making and designing lingerie and nightwear! I am a creative & passionate person and when I find something I enjoy I really put my everything into it. I wanted to graduate from university and continue doing something I love. 

Why did you call your shop Lauren Jessica Lingerie?

I didn't want to over complicate my name so I decided to go with something simple - so chose my first and middle name! 

How has your creative process changed since the start?

University definitely helped me with the design process from initial ideas to finished garment! As I had no experience prior to my course it was great to start the course with a fresh approach to designing. I will often pick my inspiration and start to collage with images and then draw my designs over the top!

How did you manage to learn and hone your craft?

As my course wasn't specialised to lingerie and nightwear at first it was very stressful to be honest! But after my first mini collection In my second year (2 outfits), I kept practising making over the summer which helped a lot! I also attended a swimwear and buying event in London and spoke to some of the designers. I also attended an intense bra pattern making course in London for 5 days which was very helpful! My 3rd year was still very much a learning curve with my final collection and there are still things I would do differently or alter and change - but I'm glad I can continue to develop my work and keep challenging myself. 

Have you always been into fashion and sewing?

I always enjoyed textiles & art at school and loved free hand embroidery. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it so decided to go down the fashion route as I enjoyed textiles and being creative.  

If there were no resource restraints, what would be your dream project? 

I would love to make some luxurious wedding lingerie! However I am still looking to do this in the future. 

What equipment do you use for your work?

My singer sewing machine and overlocker is my main equipment for making my lingerie and nightwear. My pattern master and grading ruler are very helpful when I'm sorting my patterns for my products!  

What tools or materials could you not live without?

Probably my small fiskars scissors and my neon pink pins! Obviously my sewing machine and over locker too!

What is the reason behind doing Look Books?

I have been quite picky with how I want my images to look to represent Lauren Jessica Lingerie. I want my photos to be natural, fun and feminine! As I have worked on a few different pieces/ collections at university I wanted to make a few mini look books to show what I have made on different models and locations! I think it's important to see how it looks on a person too.  

How has doing Look Books for your website and Facebook page helped your business grow?

I think it has helped as I have been able to collaborate with different photographers and it shows how my pieces fit on people. I also had one of my bras from my final collection shot by Rosie Foster on Hannah Pixie Snow which was amazing! I am planning a shoot with one of my favourite photographers to shoot my products for my website with different sized models which I am excited about! 

Do you have any advice for anyone starting a Look Book?

I would say take the time to find a photographer you like the style of and contact them to collaborate. 

Why has social media been an important platform for you to use?

I started my Instagram in my first year at university and for my it shows a personal journey of how I have progressed and developed in my work! As social media is such a big platform it's great to reach so many people across the globe and get my work out there. 

Who inspires your work?

I love For Love and Lemons - their products are so beautiful and so are their photos. I follow many handmade lingerie brands such as Alexandrea Anissa and Handmade by Elma who inspire me to keep pushing myself to get my website up and running and to not give up what I enjoy. 

Do you have any favourite pieces of clothing that you adore at the moment from your shop?

I love the white fine knitted bed shorts I made in my final collection which featured a crochet trim along the hem. I also love the 4 piece set of the longline triangle bra, suspender belt, adjustable briefs and adjustable leg garters! 

What do we hope to see in this up and coming year for your Facebook page, Instagram and your work?

My website countdown and my new pieces on my Instagram and Facebook!

What are you currently working on?

I have a folder of all my product designs and fabrics/components so at the moment I am working on all of my patterns for everything! Sizing for lingerie and nightwear takes time and patience which is why I am taking my time. Once my patterns are sorted I will be making up my pieces in different sizes to be shot. 

I am also going to have a limited edition set featuring prints from my final collection who are designed by Alisa Borland- a 3rd year print student who I collaborated with for my final collection. 

What’s your typical working day?

I also have a part time job in a retail shop specialising in lingerie which is great! So if I'm not working there I am working on custom designs and my product patterns.  

What’s been the biggest struggle in getting your business off the ground?

Saving up enough money for the fabrics etc, but I will get there! 

What advice would you give to people looking to define their own style?

It took me a while to find my design style, but I think I found mine after a lot of trial and error! My best advice is to stick to your style as its unique to you and will set you apart from others. I designed my logo myself as I wanted it to reflect my pieces and style. 

Do you have any advice for anyone starting their own online shop?

Although I don't have mine up and running yet, I am learning so much from the process and it takes a lot of hard work and patience but it will be worth it. 

Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to start sewing or get into fashion?

I would say if you enjoy sewing/designing/fashion then keep perusing it and don't give up easily! 

What’s next for Lauren Jessica Lingerie? 

To have my LJL website launched by early next year! 

What's the best piece of creative advice you've ever been given?

Probably that if something goes wrong it means you can learn from it and improve- It's not necessarily a bad thing!

Please follow Lauren on her Facebook page  ‘https://www.facebook.com/LJLhandmade/’ for updates on new pieces of lingerie and Look Books.