I cannot believe it is almost that time of the year again - London Fashion Week.
With just four days to go until the big night - Saturday 19 September, when friends, family and the media will gather to support my spring summer collection - the office is beyond crazy. Everything kind of builds to a grand crescendo as we frantically get every item of clothing finished to perfection, keeping everything and everyone involved in check. Little sleep, early starts, and lots of caffeine.
So much more goes into a fashion show than just the amazing clothes and to call it "full-on" would be an understatement. There are the shoes, the jewellery, the hair, the make-up, the venue, the lighting, the music... it's like putting on a big production all at the same time as well as actually developing the collection!
And as all of this preparation takes place, I obviously need to continue running my business. The fashion industry is high pressure and fast moving but nothing can be put on hold. My team and myself can't slack off for a moment - unless of course it's to tend to my gorgeous French bulldog Peggy who can often be found distracting everyone around the building. (She knows she's the real boss around here!)
So, yes, it's all a bit manic but it's rather fun manic. It reminds me of Christmas at our headquarters in east London because we send stuff down to the factories to get made; new fabrics and finished samples arrive and everyday there is something new to open.
As well as previewing my collection, my catwalk show is set to be extra fascinating this year, thanks to a project I've been working on with the techies over at Visa's innovation hub, Visa Europe Collab. We have a surprise for you all tucked up our perfectly tailored sleeves...
Being a self-trained designer, I am always trying to better myself and improve my skills, while being at the forefront of new ideas. Where design meets technology, the way the two different worlds work together, is a really interesting space.
So we've been collaborating on something in order to unite the realms of fashion and technology. I can't give too much away, but together, we have essentially created a new interactive retail experience as part of the catwalk showcase itself.
I enjoy exploring innovative ways to get products out to consumers and for you all to shop through new technology. Often when I indulge in a shopping spree, the worst part is the dreaded (boring!!) join-the-long-queue-to-pay process.
I'm not a particularly impatient person, but you're telling me to line up for the changing rooms and THEN to endure another one at the till? No thank you. So much precious time utterly wasted... time that could be better spent browsing and shopping some more.
That's what inspired House of Holland's collaboration with Visa for this show - looking for a way to weave the latest payments technology into the emotion of the catwalk to give a truly different retail experience. It's a world-first, so stay tuned!
Meanwhile, you can learn a bit more about what we've been up to here: