After releasing my first collection earlier this month called 'Little Women' I thought I'd do a little post on what inspired this collection and all my ideas behind each little detail. As you've probably guessed the collection is inspired by the Victorian novel of the same name by Louisa May Alcott, but also by a holiday to Long Island, New York this time last year to visit my great aunt and uncle. Before this I'd not spent a lot of time on the East Coast apart from a short stay in New York City so it was fascinating to learn about the history of Long Island and surrounding areas.
From daily history lessons with my Uncle to being introduced to folk art and old American antiquities by my Aunt and her friends I was starting to build up a concept in my head built around everything I had seen and learnt. I became interested, thanks my Aunt's lovely friend who had a collection of originals, in 'Fraktur' which is a folk art form practiced by Pennsylvania Germans principally from the mid-eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries, looking at the symbols within the art work and embroideries. I was also inspired by the 'Heart in Hand' symbol which is present in a lot of folk art.
I love this period in American history and everything I had learnt from my trip so I needed a way to tie it all together - and what better way than the book 'Little Women' which encapsulates all these things - night's around the fire hand- embroidering and cross-stitching hand-made dresses, writing poems and love letters. I then looked at some of the themes within the book, mainly family and love. From this I researched into 'Love Puzzles' from the era, which I took the heart emblem from in my prints, jewellery and scarves. All together I created my prints from a mixture of all the symbols I found associated with this time - with little printed cross stitches holding each print together in the 'Heartfelt Shaker Dress.'
So there's a little summary of my thoughts and ideas for the 'Little Women' collection - I could go on much more but I hope that this little snapshot of my pondering mind gives you an insight into the research and passion I put into each one of my collections!
"The Heart in Hand symbol represents friendship, love and truth."
Hello there and Welcome to Olivia Annabelle! I thought it might be a good idea to introduce myself and my brand. I graduated from university in Fashion Design and I spent most of last Summer applying for multiple jobs but to no avail, it was particularly hard to find any fashion related jobs in the North. So I decided to set up Olivia Annabelle based in Greater Manchester! Having only set up Olivia Annabelle a year ago it has taken me a long time to get to this stage but I am beyond pleased to have launched my first collection 'Little Women' this September. The next collection 'Nomad' is in the works as I write and I am very excited to reveal this collection in the coming weeks! I believe in making clothes that are essentially 'season-less' as I think if you label a collection 'Summer' 'Winter' people are conditioned to think it is now in or out of season and so promotes fast fashion and unfortunately waste. I'm making collections which people won't stop wearing all year long if they choose to, and hopefully forever!
Olivia Annabelle takes inspiration from the nostalgia of the past, old novels, traditions and superstitions. Each Limited Edition collection is designed with exclusive one-off prints and accessories designed by myself. With an emphasis on whimsical and vintage shapes Olivia Annabelle encapsulates the romantic spirit of dressing up in a contemporary world.
I hope that you will follow, and bear with me, on this creative journey over the next few months whilst I pour my heart, soul and nostalgia in each and every piece! I am brimming with ideas and I hope you will be filled with as much excitement as I am!
“Fashion is the Mirror of History.”
Hello and Welcome! I'm Olivia and I'm the founder of Olivia Annabelle, this is just a little page where I can express some of my thoughts and creative ideas with you guys! Occasionally I'll have some guest bloggers on here too! Hope you enjoy and I really appreciate feedback.