We’ve been talking a lot about festival fashion and what to wear at the hottest music venues this summer, and recently I stumbled across a boutique called ‘Rosa Bloom’. It was love at first sequinned playsuit. Rosa Bloom creates sui generis pieces of clothing inspired by Britain’s biggest festivals and has become more and more well-known in the festival and fashion world. Rosa Bloom is the queen of textures, patterns and aesthetics and I know you will all love her pieces as much as I do, the ultimate in festival fashion. A few days after the release of the 2014 Kaleidoscope collection, I got the opportunity to speak with Rosa Bloom herself about her unique approach to styling and designing sheds a little light on a visually inspiring line.
Why did you decide to become a fashion designer?
I didn’t really decide to! It happened by accident. When I was in Art College, my focus was printmaking and photography. Although I had a penchant for textiles from a young age (I hoarded fabrics and embellishments like a magpie), I never really considered a path in the fashion world. I still don’t really consider myself as being a fashion designer – I design clothes I want to wear, and it is exciting and rewarding that other people want to wear them too!
Hot from the new collection are these Indus sequinned leggings that feature in a range of colours. I love the fact that when taken out in the sun their reflective nature will create even more colour, and these are a perfect statement item to incorporate in to a look. Also featured is the sea green boudicca top and firebird feathered cape.
How did the concept of Rosa Bloom come about. and where are its roots?
One of my strongest passions is aesthetics – whether it be fashion, art, interiors or nature, indulging my visual sense is one of my greatest pleasures. I notice detail: from embroidered trim on a vintage dress; to a juxtaposition of curious objects on a shelf. Out of this love of visual curation, grew the desire to create a space for people to come into, containing exactly what I would want to find in a beautiful shop. I began with not only clothes that I designed, but also jewellery, sourced curiosities such as rose-scented tea, homeware, vintage clothes, hand-dyed second hand silk wedding dresses…essentially, I was playing shop! And so Rosa Bloom was born.
You use a huge variety of interesting materials and patterns, what is the process and inspiration behind the creation of your ’boutique of curiosities’?
It’s very organic – having never formally trained in design or pattern-cutting, I mostly design on my body. I begin with a collection of imagery (photos of inspirational colours, patterns and treasures found on my travels) and then play with a few simple sketches. I find it hard to develop 3D ideas in 2D, so quite early in the process I sample the designs in fabric. I am material guided – a design idea might spring from finding a particular fabric or embellishment. My sequin range for example – I found these big round iridescent scale-like sequins, and my imagination ran wild with the garments I could create! This has now grown in to my best-selling and most well-known range.
Probably my favourite piece by Rosa Bloom is this mermaid-esque sequin playsuit, featuring in a huge range of colours.
You hit up some of the UK’s hottest music festivals, Glastonbury and The Secret Garden Party to name a few, on your fashion festival tours. How is the reception of your clothing in this atmosphere?
Festivals were a founding inspiration. Having attended them for years, and fallen in love with the culture of dressing up, which is so particular to British festivals, the Rosa Bloom was curated especially with festivals in mind. It is lovely to return to these music festivals year on year and feel like there is a growing following for my designs – I love it when customers come back in to the shop wearing pieces bought in previous years. I often remember customers by what they bought: a woman walked in to my shop at Glastonbury last year, and I pointed at her and said “Black and white striped Dannii Dress and Sea Green Sequin Hotpants, two years ago!” and she just burst out laughing – I had got it spot on!
Kimonos have always been a huge fashion statement in the summertime, and I love this one. It’s perfect for a festival as the material isn’t too heavy, and I love the tassels that line the bottom.
When the festival season is over, where do you see your brand heading?
Although my collections are designed with festivals in mind, I aim to create pieces versatile enough to be styled for wear outside of festivals too – I don’t want people to feel they can only wear something for a few days or weeks of the year. My clothes are made to be worn, not hang in the back of a wardrobe. Mt online shop has become busier in the past year, and I also hold a couple of Pop-Up shops each year in London, which are very well attended. I love the opportunity to create an experiential retail space, and my customers love the opportunity to come and shop ‘offline’ and outside of a festival. Most of my marketing is through word of mouth, I like the way my brand has grown on the strength of my product and my customers’ passion for my designs.
I love the care and hand-stitched detailing on this Inca bodysuit, something I could definitely see myself wearing to The Secret Garden Party this year!
What is the shooting process like for your collections?
A wide variety of different inspirations gradually get whittled down, and the theme almost emerges without me realising it, or consciously constructing it. This year, for example, the Kaleidoscope theme emerged due to a combination of the rich, bright and delicate colours in the line, as well as the amazingly vibrant location we used for the campaign. Plus, of course the reflective qualities of the sequins I use.
If you could describe Rosa Bloom in three words, what would they be?
That’s a hard one! Uhm…Exciting, Delectable, Wearable!
Yes, you! I can tell you are all probably scratching at the screen at Rosa Bloom’s collection, but if you want your own aesthetic experience with these amazing pieces, there will be a Pop-Up shop from 10am-8pm on the 13th and 14th of June at Hoxton Gallery, London. Make sure you come along to get festival ready, more details on Rosa Bloom’s Facebook page.
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Pick your poison! Thanks for reading, and make sure to check out Rosa Bloom!