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Angy's Blog January - February 2009

The trials and tribulations of a fashion designer in the Lake District!



ARCHIVE: my previous entries:

NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2008 (Recycled Outrageous Clothes Show (ROCS) - Florence No2. - Winter-Mere)
OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2008 (Cumbria Life - NW Evening Mail - Glitz & Glamour Haggerston Craft Show)
OCTOBER 2008 (Woman Event - Collection on Catwalk - Radio Cumbria - Brochure Download)
SEPTEMBER - Early OCTOBER 2008 (Newcastle United Wedding Dress - Wedding Shows at Abbey House and Carlisle)
AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2008 (Fashion Designers - Spectrum in Four Seasons Collection - Sara Gadd Millinery)
JUNE - JULY 2008 (Haute Couture - Vivienne Westwood - Wildlife - Dorset Buttons - Magna Carta)
FEBRUARY - MAY 2008 (Lake District Inspirations - Long Blondes - Wedding Show)



USEFUL LINKS:

CLICK for: SPECTRUM IN FOUR SEASONS catwalk pictures

CLICK for: SPECTRUM IN FOUR SEASONS video clips on YouTube

CLICK for: FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION Cumbria Life - 5.2mb PDF

Romantique Couture
1 Atkinson Court
Fell Foot
Newby Bridge
Ulverston
Cumbria
United Kingdom
LA12 8NW

T: 015395 30648
M: 07812 210880

Email: angela@
romantiquecouture.com


FORTHCOMING EVENTS


15 MARCH 2009

Wedding Show at Lodore Falls Hotel, Derwentwater (display stand only)

24 APRIL 2009 *** Provisional ***
Muncaster Castle Spring Festival - Fashion Show by Romantique Couture

20 NOVEMBER 2009 *** Provisional ***
Haverthwaite - Charity Fashion Show by Romantique Couture



STOP PRESS: STOLEN DREAMS - COLLECTION 2010

I am presently working on a very exciting, and potentially controversial, new collection - 'Stolen Dreams'. No details - no hints! This will be a collection of 'unique', haute couture outfits, to be launched at a special event later this year. Watch this space!


I hope you like my latest advert (right). It will appear in the next issue of Cumbria Life which will also contain a special brides and weddings feature.

Model coutesy of Premier Productions, Scotland


10 FEBRUARY 2009 - VICAR OF DIBLEY?

I was invited to a St Annes Church (Haverthwaite) committee meeting yesterday evening. It was all quite surreal! The reason was to discuss a potential fashion show (no name yet), in November for charity (no idea which one yet). I really didn't know what to expect, but as always I am keen to involve myself in the local community, so I agreed to go along. I couldn't help wondering if they really wanted somebody like me so, as you can imagine, I arrived with some trepidation at the church hall. I suspect the real reason for my concern was that I have watched too many 'Vicar of Dibley' sitcoms on TV ... I had this genuine fear that I wouldn't be able to keep a straight face. I am a compulsive giggler when I get something in my mind!

But guess what? I was taken aback and was really impressed by their professionalism, and how much these ladies work behind the scenes for the benefit of our little community, here in the Leven Valley. They ask nothing from you, just a moment or two of your time. And they organise at leat two or three events every month. Believe me, I've seen their timetable! Relax? Who said anything about relaxing? If you work nine to five in a boring office all week, and need to escape at the weekend, then please join these ladies! They are fab. They will lighten up your otherwise dull life ... but be prepared to work hard! After the meeting, I wishjed I had more time to join them ... but with my hectic life, often working from 8am until well past midnight, I hardly have time to put these few words together.

So, back to the fashion event. The idea is for an autumn charity show with a catwalk, actually in the church itself, showcasing my designs. Its still at the planning stage but I'm very keen to move it forward. Catwalk, models, publicity, music, press ... oh, yes and a few new designs ... must get on. Will let you know as soon as I know more.

8 FEBRUARY 2009 -
IN SEARCH OF WINTER!

Well I can report that winter is definitely alive and well in Cumbria! Its cold. Very cold! But I'm not complaining because it should be cold, and icy, and white! Anyway, after sitting on 'my' seat watching those snow-covered mountains blushing in the setting sun, I felt I had to get out and find some of the snow, the BBC has been going on about endlessly.

Pendragon Castle in the Eden Valley, near Kirkby Stephen
Another study in monochrome: the bare bones of winter -
just begging for a photo!
The weather forecast was good yesterday so we headed east, towards the Pennines. We had seen them gleaming in the distance the evening before, so the day promised a chance of some decent snowy pictures. As a bonus a steam train was taking an excursion over the famous Settle - Carlisle railway line, and if we timed it right we could even grab breakfast at the famous bacon butty bar on the old bridge at Kirkby Lonsdale first.

Well, I must say I was sceptical about the train - I always am when Mike says 'It's worth it' ... yeah, right! Worth getting out of a warm bed on a freezing cold morning? Well, you will have to believe me when I tell you that it was worth it - worth every second. Not only the train, but also the fairytale landscape as we pottered about the High Pennines looking for roads that were still passable. The train was like something out of a film, only far better. I was hooked ... the sound, the steam, the beautiful white backdrop. Anyway, see for yourself - this is my first ever serious photograph of a steam train. What do you think? I'm really pleased with it ... and Mike was impressed too!

Here are some more pictures - the first is of the train ( the engine is called 'Scot's Guardsman') climbing past Wild Boar Fell on its way home, the second of it crossing the huge viaduct at Ribbleshead with the summit of Pen-y-Ghent in the background.

I also discovered just how unfit I am after hibernating in my studio all winter. I thought that ten stone is a good, heallthy weight but, hey - I can tell you that yesterday we had to walk up a small hill to see the train crossing the viaduct. Just a small hill. I was already out of breath just halfway up ... out of breath! I used to swim 1000 metres without thinking, or run on sand to build my muscles ... now I'm struggling to climb a small hill! I couldn't believe it ... but it was true. I could blame it on the cold, or the snow ... but when I reached the top there were dozens and dozens of other people, from little toddlers to old men, many of them carrying cameras and tripods, and heavy telephoto lenses. And none of them were out of out of breath. What shame. Its time for a belated New Year's resolution - time to start climbing mountains again, even if the sun isn't shining! No more excuses about too much work to do, because when I got home last night I was tired, but I was also refreshed and inspired!

The lovely, preserved Victorian station at Garsdale, high up in the frozen Pennines - complete with aVictorian loo ,,, brrrrrrrr!
Confession time - I didn't make the snowman - I hijacked it! Well what would you do if you found such a super snowman standing all forlorn in a field ... with no nose and no eyes ... abandoned?



This frozen waterfall at Aisgill reminded me of layers of Venetian lace ... so fine and delicate. In my opiniom we can imitate nature but we can never better it.


6 FEBRUARY 2009 - A FAVOURITE PLACE

Late Friday afternoon, the sun is shining, the sky is blue and we decide to slip out for an hour to watch the sunset. We know a wonderful spot on a grassy hill just ten minutes walk from the back road to Bowness. There is a stone seat, erected in the memory of somebody else who also loved this private place. The view is stupendous - from the Coniston Fells in the west to Langdale, much of Windermere including the islands and the ferry, the arts and crafts house at Blackwell, the Fairfield Horseshoe and Troutbeck Fells to the line long line of the Pennines in the east. It was truly glorious. The Pennines were completely white, while the Lake District mountains were snow-capped. It was so peaceful. We stayed until the sun had set, watching the colours of the landscape changing, then dashed back to squeeze in another couple of hours work. It is at times like this that I realise how lucky I am, not living or workinmg in a city.



5 FEBRUARY 2009 - IN THE NOT SO DEEP MIDWINTER!

The news has been dominated by severe winter weather for the last few days. It seems that the entire nation has ground to a halt and now there is panic that supplies of rock salt for gritting the roads are almost exhausted!
Well I can report that it snowed here on Sunday night and on monday. Fortunately I was quick off the mark with my camera and dashed out to take a few shots before it melted. It was all gone by Tuesday morning! So it's winter ... and in winter it snows!


31 JANUARY 2009 - THAT SINKING FEELING!

Newcastle 1 - 1 Sunderland. Exciting game. Could have been worse. But we are now hovering on the relegation line with a few tough games ahead of us and we've lost one of my favourite players - Shay Given. Ashley was in the crowd today, protected by his heavies. Just in case. Now, I understand his comments regarding ridiculously high transfer fees, and a team wages. Let's face it, they only have themselves to blame, though it is the gullible supporters that are footing the bill. I am also fully aware that we are in the middle of a credit crunch - who isn't? And, I appreciate that he has injected a lot into the club to pay off debts, and has even reached into his own pocket. But, he can't plead poverty when you read about the sums he gambles in one night at a casino, or loses on the Stock Market. Casino or Stock Market - what's the difference? He would have been wiser to have invested in players, or at the very least, in talking to the fans.

Fresh blanket of snow in the churchyard Buses didn't run in London on Monday - ours was spot on time all day!
On the doorstep Windermere and the River Leven at Newby Bridge

28 JANUARY 2009 - QUALITY v. QUANTITY

I received a call from a potential client yesterday. Fab, I thought. I'm still in demand despite the 'credit crunch. People still appreciate good quality outfits. Anyway, the aforementioned client arrived on the doorstep with a big bag full of fabrics - nothing but silk, and more silk - my cup of tea alright!

But I was wrong! She wanted all kinds of things making ... but at a ridiculous, knockdown price. What is wrong with these people? This is not China, nor India. I have taxes to pay just like everybody else. I work long hours, but I don't ask the earth for my time, or for my skills. I could have reminded her that she gets what she pays for, but in this case it was quite impossible. Just because you can buy mass-produced, ready made clothes from various High Street outlets, it doesn't mean that the dressmaker round the corner can do the same. Not unless they accept to be taken for ride.

Sorry, but I feel really annoyed at the moment. Insulted. People seem to forget that there is a huge difference between buying from a High Street shop and ordering a bespoke item. For a start there is the personal service. And the outfit is unique, carefullycrafted for YOU alone, and not something off the shelf that is one of thousands upom thousands of identical outfits designed for an average fit. There is also the quality - with bespoke dressmaking you will still have the same outfit in a year - the same stiches, the same trims, the same shape. Mass produced garments are often of such poor quality that they completely lose shape after a couple of washes. Not are dressmakers like myself exploiting people, and even children, in other countries, and paying them a pittance. Instead, they are working here right under iue noses, using specialist skills that have almost beem lost in the so called 'developed' world.

But sadly, many people do forget, or they simply choose to ignore, the difference. They compare endlessly and make you feel guilty - as if you are ripping them off. At times I want to ask them how much they are earning per hour, as they drive off in their BMW or 4x4. Either they simply love to bargain, in which case I quickly realise that they do not appreciate quality, or they claim to have dabbled in dressmaking before. The excuse then goes that it isn't difficult so I should cut the price! Not on my street! Quality has the value of that personal, individual touch. Even with a sewing pattern you still need a fitting to ensure that the fimished garment fits perfectly.


25 JANUARY 2009 - COUTURE WEEK

It's Couture Week! My eyes are glued to the Paris Fashion Week, and more - Vogue, Tatler, ... etc ... etc. The BBC have also been running a series of programmes about the influences and changes over decades in fashion. Compulsive viewing - I think I'm developing square eyes! I have been completely absorbed, an eye open for all those hush-hush secrets, that are often just something recycled from a previous generation!

By the end of the day, what we are wearing today often has its roots in the past. The elegant or stylish designs inspired by the 50's and 60's for wedding and formal wear for example. Mary Quant , the minishirt, and 'Swinging London'. There there are those inspired by the 'individuality' and 'creative freedom' inherent in the designs of the 70's. Glamour and Glitz, King's Road, Vivienne Westwood, Punk, and so on. Not sure about the 80's, and certainly not the 90's. Perms and shoulder pads for the former, slapdash and grunge for the latter I suppose. These were the decades when technology moved in and clothes were created en masse for the masses. Of course technology was, and still is, a very important factor in fashion. Have you seen those jackets with flashing lights, or solar panels to charge your mobile phone? Not a bad idea, but one which has yet to catch on.


18 JANUARY 2009 - THE TROUBLE WITH BEING SMALL!

I'm feeling a bit frustrated at the moment. Setting up a business is always difficult, but making your break out into the big, bad world is never easy when you are small, and relatively unknown. I am very keen to get in touch with up and coming artistes or bands, for the challenge of creating an image or a distinct style. But it isn't easy. First, I need to be able to relate to their psyche, so that I can tune into their creativeness. No problem. Then I need to make contact ... you would think that in this age of communication it might be easy. Dream on! Even before they are snapped up by the big guys they are protected by managers, agents and spam filters and ... either that or they simply choose to ignore the small fry like me! Could it be an ego thing? After all, they all started from the bottom. Anyway, musn't give up - persevere Mike says. I will!

PS. on a different note, what a terrible week for Newcastle. Knocked out of the FA Cup by Hull reserves, then thrashed at the weekend by Blackburn. Edging on the drop zone and no sign of any new blood. Even Shearer admitted the Club was in a mess. Will dedicate my next collection to the long suffering fans. I can but hope.


15 JANUARY 2009 - CATWALK SHOWS on YouTube NOW!

I have uploaded a few clips of the 2008 catwalk shows onto YouTube. These range from 3 minutes to almost 10 minutes in length.
Please click on the following images for each show. Models courtesy of Premiere Productions, Scotland.
Angy Morton Catwalk Show - Wedding Event Carlisle 2008
LIVE THE DREAM
Wedding Event
Carlisle
30 March 2008

Running time:
3 mins 9 secs

6 Designs:

Wastwater
Whitbarrow
Ice Maiden
Borrowdale
Black Rose
Solway Sunset
Wedding Event - Carlisle 2008 Angy Morton
LIVE THE DREAM
Wedding Event
Carlisle
28 September 2008

Running time:
3 mins 19 secs

Spectrum in
Four Seasons
Collection

6 Designs:

Apple Noddy
Midnight Sun
Meltwater
Wild Fire
Hibernation
Candlemas
Angy Morton designs at Woman Event 2008 CUMBRIA LIFE
WOMAN EVENT
Evening Fashion Show
10 October 2008
PART ONE

Running time
7 mins 29 secs

Spectrum in
Four Seasons
Collection

8 Designs:

Candlemas
Ice Maiden
Aurora Borealis
Meltwater
Apple Noddy
Solway Sunset
Wild Fire
Midnight un

Angy Morton Catwalk Show - Wedding Event Carlisle 2008 CUMBRIA LIFE
WOMAN EVENT
Evening Fashion Show
10 October 2008
PART TWO

Running time:
3 mins 13 secs

Spectrum in
Four Seasons
Collection

4 Designs:

Sirocco
Harvest Moon
Hibernation
Shades of Grey

Angy Morton Catwalk Show - Woman Event 2008 CUMBRIA LIFE
WOMAN EVENT
Daytime Fashion Show
11 October 2008

Running time:
10 mins 45 secs

Spectrum in
Four Seasons
Collection

12 Designs:

Candlemas
Ice Maiden
Aurora Borealis
Meltwater
Apple Noddy
Solway Sunset
Wild Fire
Midnight un
Sirocco
Harvest Moon
Hibernation
Shades of Grey




SPRING SALE - 25% DISCOUNT!

25% OFF all sales or orders from the Romantique Couture website until 31 March 2009. This includes all designer dresses and bridalwear including orders for bespoke fashions, and on handbags and accessories. All outfits shown on these pages have been created for show. When you order one of the unique designs from my collections, the outfit is recreated exclusively for you, made-to-measure, and that design is then withdrawn from sale. The design is then yours and it will not be repeated or resold. You can be confident that when you turn up to an important function nobody else will be wearing the same dress! Any of these designs can also be adapted to meet your own tastes in colour or fabric. I am planning to introduce a range of LIMITED EDITION designs later in 2009 to supplement the unique designs ... these will be small in runs of only 10 - 25 outfits - WATCH THIS SPACE!




14 JANUARY 2009 - THE SOUND OF 2009

The bad news first: The Long Blondes are no more ... they decided to break up amicably at the end of October. Dorian suffered a stroke over the summer and, although he is recovering, he decided it was better to call it a day. A sad loss to the music industry of an excellent, up-and-coming band. I hope Dorian recovers quickly and wish him and the rest of the band well. In the meantime you can still check out their website www.thelongblondes.co.uk and buy their latest compilation album 'Singles'. You will also find 'Giddy Stratospheres' as the back track to one of my YouTube Catwalk Shows (coming soon).

The good news: a new face has appeared on the scene - 'Little Boots' - a highly talented, 'local lass' from Blackpool. Watch out for her in 2009 as she can't fail to make quite a stir! There have been predictions about the 80s coming back - but not quite like this - she is powerful, quirky and very quick if you ask me. To understand 'Boots' better I surfed the web and listened to a wide selection of her music. The first thought that came to mind was 'Cyndi Lauper', and not just because she has posted a clip of 'Time after Time'. However, her style is far more difficult to pinpoint because it is so innovative. There is no doubt that there are hints of 80s 'electronic music' (just like the most recent long Blondes Album), and she admits that she likes the Human League, Gary Numan and Giorgio Moroder, and has been influenced by Blondie and Bowie. Can't complain about anyone who shares my taste in music. And she has been voted BBC Sound of 2009 winner!

The name 'Little Boots' has nothing to do with the size of her feet ... it is taken from 'Caligula', the inotorious Roman Emperor - Caligula is Latin for 'Little Boots'.

8 JANUARY 2009 - FOG ON THE TYNE: THE SAGA CONTINUES

There has been nothing to cheer about for Newcastle fans over the New Year: Thrashed by Liverpool, beaten by Wigan and no goals against Hull in the FA cup - at least we still have a replay to look forward to. Worse still has been the news that both Michael Owen and Shay Given may be leaving, and that due to the 'credit crunch' Ashley cannot find a buyer for the club. So more of the same, though, to be fair, Joe Kinnear has been a decent manager so far. The real test will be whether he is given the cash for new signings in January - or will he have his hands tied behind his back. Deja-vu. I think I will reserve judgement until then, but it is beginning to feel as if all the protests have been futile, and that there is even a risk that we could be facing relegation.


5 JANUARY 2009 - A WINTER CHILL

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2009! I have just returned from a relaxing few days with my family on the other side of the Pennines. The New Year has arrived with a vengeance with temperatures well below zero outside, and not much higher indoors. Brrrr! We had to chip ice off the inside of some of the windows this morning. To make matters worse, I have returned with a cold so I am not in the most sociable of moods at the moment ... and I am being force fed with Lemsip - yuk! yuk! yuk!

It was nice to escape for a few days so I feel as if I have come back down to Earth with bump. If only I could go back to bed and curl up under the duvet again. I really envy the cats curled up without a worry in the world.

We enjoyed a leisurely journey back over the North Pennines, driving through James Herriot Country and up the long, and very pretty valley of Swaledale. The higher we climbed the colder it became. There seemed to be a permafrost everywhere, and in places the river was frozen and waterfallls were frozen into walls of icicles, glistening in the late afternoon sun. Nice ideas for another frozen wedding dress! The road finally wound up over a pass, crossing bleak and desolate moors stretching out to either horizon. I was just thinking how inhospitable it appeared outside our tn box, and how much I would hate to be lost up there in the fading light, when a lone cyslist whistled by! Fortunately it was all freewheeling for him so I am sure he would have arrived safely home before sunset.
Various views of Upper Swaledale and the High Pennines between Muker and
Kirkby Stephen.

My previous Posts:

NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2008 (Recycled Outrageous Clothes Show (ROCS) - Florence No2. - Winter-Mere)

OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2008 (Cumbria Life - Glitz & Glamour Haggerston Cradt Show)

OCTOBER 2008 (Woman Event - Catwalk Photos - Radio Cumbria - Brochure Download)

SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2008
(Newcastle United Wedding Dress - Wedding Shows)

AUGUST - SEPT. 2008 (Fashion Designers - Spectrum Collection - Sara Gadd)

JUNE - JULY 2008
(Haute Couture - Vivienne Westwood - Dorset Buttons - Magna Carta)

FEBRUARY - MAY 2008
(Lake District Inspirations - Long Blondes - Wedding Show)
Angy's Blog is written by Angela Morton, Fashion Designer & Dressmaker
Photographs copyright of Mike and Angy Morton


Copyright Romantique Couture 2009