Interview by Ceri Wheeldon
I caught up with Lorraine at the launch of her latest collection for JD Williams. It was great to see how Lorraine’s collection has evolved since I interviewed when she launched her very first collection but I also couldn’t resist taking the opportunity to ask Lorraine about how own attitude to body shape, colour and life over 50 had influenced her designs.
Lorraine has lost a lot of weight over the last few years, and through her renewed enthusiasm for exercise , mainly her dance based exercise classes, she has slimmed down, toned up and regained her waist, nor to mention toning her arms.
Lorraine has said that this has given her the confidence to wear sleeveless dresses. Her wardrobe has also become more colourful…but how is this reflected in her designs?
Lorraine is very hands on when it comes to the clothes themselves. All her designs start with looking at the fabrics available to her. As she says , some fabrics just inspire the design, such as a very simple red floral dress. as Lorraine said, the fabric was so striking that it didn’t need anything extra to be added as the print spoke for itself. I had two favourite dresses from the range, one a coral dress which was very ‘Jackie O’, and the other a black bodycon dress with a slit at the neck and a kick frill lined in white, which I’m sure would look terrific when worn, very Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Lorraine has said that she feels she has been ‘braver’ with this collection as she has grown in confidence. She has listened to feedback from customers on her previous designs, and has now lowered the necklines and also introduced elbow length sleeves with a little slit. Recently she introduced dress in bright yellow – although others weren’t too sure it was an obvious choice- but the dress really worked in that colour and proved to be popular.
Very hands on with the design
She works closely with the design team at JD, making changes right up until the point of going into production – for example, the slit at the neck of the black dress I liked was added quite late in the process as Lorraine felt the original neckline wasn’t quite working.
Lorraine designs with style, comfort and cost in mind – as she says, we all want to be comfortable. She puts a lot of thought into the length of each dress ..and tends to design along the lines of what she knows works for her.
I was really impressed with the current collection, and also the core JD collection – they seem to have banished the frumpy elements I had seen on the previous preview days. The current clothes are far more contemporary , and definitely do not scream ’50 plus’. I would describe them as ‘ageless’. I shall be watching out for a fabulous pale faux suede trench coat when it is available to buy, as well as the black dress from Lorraine’s collection.
I think JD Williams and Lorraine have hit just the right mark.
I’m looking forward to the items being available to buy.