Aberdeen’s Aymee Charlton isn’t afraid to put in the hours to make her dream of being a top fashion designer a reality. The talented Gray’s graduate juggles several part-time jobs with work on her latest collection, so she can finance her growing brand. We caught up with her as she launched her latest collection…
‘Even as a child, I was really into creative work, especially illustration, photography and making things with my hands. I studied textiles at Harlaw Academy and then graduated in Fashion Design. In school I made a few tops and a dress – looking back it’s really interesting to see how my design style has evolved’, Aymee smiled.
‘My current collection is inspired by the typical French maid, but not in the Ooh La La sense! I’m using muted colours with bold hints of red. I wanted to look at the working woman’s lifestyle. I’m influenced by minimalist designers like Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Margiela but my overall favourite designer is Russian designer Vika Gazinskaya. I just love the silhouettes she creates!’
‘I also design to commission. I am working on designing a dress for the CEO of ANA Recruitment at the moment andI’m happy to consider other commissions. Having clothing made for you is something every woman should experience at least once. I design for customers who want to feel feminine but still dress comfortably. My garments are often oversized and made so they will drape well on the body. They will look different on every body shape’, Aymee continued.
‘As well as my collections, I’ve done some costume design work for a short film down in London and designed costumes for elementz dance group for a short dance film this May. I’d love to do more costume work.’
Aymee admits that becoming established as a designer isn’t the easiest of options. ‘It can be difficult to set up on your own, but not impossible. I’m determined to succeed and I’ve had help from the Prince’s Trust and Business Gateway. I was lucky to be offered a graduate residency at Gray’s for a year and I’ve been waiting to move into a studio since last September with Aberdeen City Council.’
‘Premises has been the biggest issue for me. I cannot work at home as there’s not enough space, but everywhere in Aberdeen is so expensive. A lot of creative businesses here falter because of lack of space. At the moment, I’m really grateful to have a temporary studio in a summerhouse in garden out in Cults.’
‘Once I have permanent studio space, I plan to continue working on biannual collections. I am really inspired by Scandinavian fashion design and am currently trying to secure stockists in Norway and Iceland as well as in the UK.’
‘I’ve also been working with Hannah Joy Scott, a local textile designer on a collaborative project inspired by a trip to Iceland. I absolutely adore print. I enjoy illustrating and like to include that in with my designs and trying my hand at new things.’
‘Scotland has a long history of outstanding textile and fashion design and I really want to be part of that. Lots of people really want to have quality garments and accessories that are made here. I want to show that you can start up a fashion label outside capital cities. It’s good to let people know lots of creative things are happening up here.’