Fearne Cotton launched her fourth collection for online retailer Very on Tuesday. Inspired by the 60s and 70s this time she's gone for a neutral palette punctuated with bold splashes of purple, orange and pink to bring out the theme - love in the summer time. We took the opportunity to catch up with the DJ and designer, quizzing her on her own style, her design inspirations and, of course, the royal wedding.
What inspires you when you're designing a collection?
Lots of different things. I start off doing sketches and working out where everything's going to go and what theme it's going to run on. I like looking at old photographs my mum's got or at past summers I've had for doing the summer range. I do lots of people watching too – no cab journey is boring! A lot of shapes I get are from seeing people wear great outfits. Also a lot of good blogs and trawling through fashion shows and archive pictures of people I love – a real mixture.
Which are your must-read blogs?
A couple of my friends run amazing ones actually – my friend Hayley has a really good blog called I Used to be a Tomboy. That's really cute and there's lots of different design elements on there and music based stuff as well. Stranded at the Lites is a really good photography blog. Tavi's blog is amazing and I love looking at all the photos she puts together.
From this collection are there any pieces particularly close to your heart?
Definitely. There are some I can't wait to wear. There's a floor length dress which has a beautiful black and white print all over it. It's quite over the top when you first see it because it's got a sheer layer of chiffon over the top and a cute cape around it. It's my Downton Abbey dress! I love that TV show and I want to go a posh party wearing it. It's yet to happen but hopefully it will!
What's it like when you see people wearing your pieces?
It's the most amazing thing ever. It's better than seeing a TV show that I've done or magazine stuff I've done. Seeing someone wear something you've put that amount of creativity into is amazing. There was one girl I saw at an awards ceremony who had my leopard print coat on from my first collection – I was about ready to faint! After the whole full-circle process that's the end moment for me – seeing someone wearing it.
What's the best outfit you've ever worn?
I've had lots of nice moments where clothes evoke a memory of past times. Lots of fun parties and things. Definitely interviewing Prince William and Prince Harry was a real moment for me so I wore this chiffon orange dress with no jewelry and kept it simple to be respectful! That dress has special memories. Things I've worn to the Brits, too – a lovely red silk romper suit I felt nervous wearing but actually loved and had a great time in the end. Special outfits like that never get worn again, they get put away safely.
So you're not tempted to get the orange chiffon out of retirement for the royal wedding?
No! That dress will never be worn again. It's had its time and that's that! One wear and it will be preserved forever.
Stylewise are you looking forward to the royal wedding?
Yes. I'm so excited I can't tell you! I'm thrilled about the whole thing. Millions of my friends are having fancy dress parties and royal wedding parties. I love the community sense of people doing street parties and stuff. Also finding out what Kate's going to wear is going to be one of the biggest moments in fashion for years. I think everyone's just waiting. It's like when Princess Diana chose that dress, all eyes were on the dress and how she walked in it and what it looked like down the aisle. It was a real fashion moment and it really depicts the eighties. Now we're in 2011 and Kate's dress needs to represent that. I'm really excited – I can't wait to see what she wears.
What would you like to see her in?
I think something really sleek. She's so gorgeous and has the most amazing body so something really sleek and simple. Something cut really well that hangs really beautifully. I think the days of the puffball dress have gone - although she'd still look amazing in that. She could rock anything but I think something really understated and simple would look great on her.
Apparently she's got four pairs of shoes for the day...
You would! You'd have a million pairs of shoes – you're going to be a princess. Do what you want!
What's your most treasured fashion possession?
I've got lots of nice jewellery that my nan gave me when she passed away. My nan had loads of rings and I always loved wearing rings and nicking hers. There's a beautiful sapphire ring of hers which I love. Then I've got a lot of things my mum's passed down to me. I've got a little black bolero jacket that I wear all the time that's hers from the eighties. She was throwing it out and I was like "What are you doing? That's coming home with me!" She's given me some Ossie Clarke jumpers over the years and Biba clothing. It's really special because they're one-offs and you'll never get them again. They're really treasured.
Do you get your interest in fashion from your mum?
Definitely. My mum's always been a big influence. I've never seen her wearing a pair of flat shoes in my life, I've never seen her without makeup on – she's always very glamorous. I can't profess to being the same. I'm somewhat of a slob when not at work so she definitely inspires me to have that upkeep and try and always look nice. Looking at pictures of her from the seventies I always get inspired by little outfits she wore and things she was into.
What's your best piece of fashion advice?
You have to know what feels comfortable. All my friends are different shapes and sizes and they all like different things stylewise so whenever I'm designing a collection I try to imagine them all when I'm drawing and think "What would Becky wear?" or "What would Lolly wear?" and who I'd present which piece to when they're actually made as samples. I think you've got to know what suits your body shape. It's all very well seeing Chloe Sevigny or Cheryl Cole wearing a certain outfit but it won't necessarily look like that on you. Take pictures of yourself and get someone else to give an honest opinion. Get four things that work for you shapewise and branch off from there with colours, patterns and cuts.
Fearne Cotton's summer collection for Very is available to buy now.