Introducing Claire Brinsley from Claire bloom NZ. I’m feeling proud to be one of Auckland’s only stockists of Claire bloom where I offer Bespoke Styling sessions for my clients to find that extra special outfit / dress and now Limited Edition piece to hang proudly in their wardrobe. Not just for special occasions both Claire and I believe luxe fabrics, sparkles and shine are for everyday wear as well.
Below is more about Claire written by FashionNZ, shared proudly by Johanna-May Personal Stylist.
Claire Brinsley is the Queenstown-based designer behind womenswear label Claire bloom which she founded in 2005. Claire creates feminine pieces that are designed to be worn by women of any age and you’ll also find the designer occasionally modelling her own looks as you can see below. Her garments are designed in her rural workroom and stocked throughout the country.
We caught up with Claire to find out more about her brand, what inspires her and what you would never catch her wearing!
Tell us about your latest collection?
Last year I decided to step away from conventional seasonal designing. I sometimes felt that fabrics that were available for an upcoming season just didn’t inspire me. After 10 years of putting together two collections a year, to put out a collection just for the sake of it didn’t sit right with me. I love luxe fabrics, I love pop-out colour and eye-catching prints. I decided I needed to do some more searching for the fabrics that I love, both in NZ and overseas, along with the wonderful wholesalers whom I work closely with here in NZ. Now I am designing smaller capsules throughout the year, not necessarily in the traditional selling times. My stockists have been very supportive of this. It allows me to use my creativity, to have fun and play more. When I see a fabric that I adore I order it there and then. I produce smaller numbers and so my garments are now more exclusive and special, almost bespoke when you consider other larger labels now featured in NZ. There is nothing worse than turning up in a beautiful party frock to find someone is wearing the same dress.
My current collection is based on sequins, The Glitter Collection.
What made you become a designer?
I grew up in Wales and my Mum made all her own clothes. She taught me how to sew. Those were in the days before fast fashion. Clothing was expensive to buy. I made a lot of my own clothes too. I studied Industrial Engineering at University and whilst there I would shop in second hand shops and cut up clothing, making it into something different. After graduating I travelled the world, married a Kiwi and went into Marketing. We then went on to run our own retail store and boutique hotel. When our son went off to school that’s when I had more time and decided to start my own label. I think I always had it in my blood.
What inspires you?
Travel, I absolutely have that in my blood too. I have a roving spirit and am always looking for new places to visit. We spend part of our lives in Spain and go back to our little apartment in Valencia for a few months every year. That is where I get most of my inspiration from. I also love watching movies and reading – this provides me with lots of inspiration.
Looks from The Glitter Collection by Claire Bloom.
Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
I love to wear pretty, feminine, eye-catching ( and a little edgy) garments that are quietly detailed. These attributes are always in my mind when designing.
What is your all-time favourite purchase?
So hard to narrow this down! I found a pair of purple velvet Charles Jourdan boots at a vintage shop in Valencia for 50 Euros, they are so beautiful and are a work of art. I also love art deco jewelry and am slowly building up a gorgeous collection of amazing costume pieces.
What wardrobe item should everyone invest in?
An amazing pair of boots, not boring black boots but ones that turn heads. I love Mexicana boots and I wear mine all the time – with dresses/skirts/jeans/whatever. Every time I wear them I get a comment from someone. They are beige and have a bright pink star on the front. Oh wait… this might actually be my favourite purchase!
Do you have a style rule you always obey?
No, not really as I love to mix things up. It depends on my mood too and how I am feeling and where I am going.
Looks from The Glitter Collection by Claire Bloom.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Lucy Lawless wearing one of my dresses to a function was pretty exciting, and it was featured in a magazine. Actually in my previous career in Marketing I met Nelson Mandela, that has to be a lifetime highlight for me – that was an incredible experience.
What can’t you live without?
That’s a bold statement. I think when push comes to shove you can live without most things, perhaps food and water would be an exception! BUT for me, when I travel I always have to take my curling iron. I have unruly hair and it has the potential to explode if not tamed! Am I allowed two things? Coffee would be the other!
Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
Dungarees. I think the last time I wore them was when I was 15. They have had a renaissance, my 19 year old daughter wears them but they are not for me.
There seems to be fewer NZ Designers that also have their garments made in NZ so another reason why I love working with this brand.
Be ready for winter, it is upon us!
Yours in Style,