Harriet's Muse: backstage interview at London Fashion Week

Craig Spellar and Cheryl Langley are bold and brave designers. For the autumn/winter 2009 collection the pair dared to be different and instead of the usual catwalk show format, took a chance and presented us with just four looks all of which were built before our eyes.

© Marian Buckley - Harriet's Muse: backstage interview at London Fashion Week
© Marian Buckley
Models in bespoke underwear were positioned at the end of the catwalk and then each one was individually dressed by the designers in what unfolded as a mini dressing-up play.

With scant resources they focused on revealing the essence of their label: fairy-tale bustle corset dresses ranging from black leather to detailed Victorian-inspired ensembles. This mesmerizing performance also included live ripping of garments before our eyes!

"We felt that because of the current economic climate, we had to do something different," explains Cheryl backstage after the show. "We must be mad!"

"It's good to be reflective sometimes,
" adds Craig. "We looked at where we want to be different, both in business terms and also in catwalk and aesthetic terms it has been about us re-inventing ourselves this season."

© Marian Buckley
© Marian Buckley
"Originally we weren't going to do anything at London Fashion Week this season but people said 'you have got to do something' - it was peer pressure! We didn't buy any fabrics, we went through our archives, we didn't have a pattern-cutter. We re-used what we had and freshened it up!"

The corset has always been a staple for Harriet's Muse and from this they build their vision of a modern woman.
"For us it is all about the women's silhouette," says Cheryl. "We love womanly shapes and for us the waist is meant to be a waist, we do like to have a good bust and a bit of a hip there. It is feminine and that's what it's all about."

"It's letting women be women!" enthuses Craig. "It's not about being too outrageous in terms of erogenous zones it is about picking an area, showing a small area and being ultimately flirtatious and having fun."

"We are going forward in many new ways," says Craig.

While we cannot yet reveal all the details of the new developments, we can safely expect Harriet's Muse to be much more widely available and boast a fantastic accessories range to boot!

The designers are full of optimism and ready to take their label to its next level with a vision of woman who is confident and comfortable exploring her naturally feminine curves.
© Marian Buckley
© Marian Buckley

- William Tempest
- Emma Bell
- Avsh Alom Gur
Paul Smith

Catwalk photos and reports here.

Marian Buckley


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