Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Exclusive! CeleBlog: Roxanne Alison Peters & Sharon-Ann Marie Alder on Bras for a Cause


Every time I hear the word "kitsch" I get all excited! Yes, I'm that weird 30-something who's hung up on her music from the 80's, who can't resist checking up on some old flames (right!) like Saved By The Bell's Mark-Paul Gosselaar and who just wishes she could go back to the good old days, minus the horrific hairstyles (God that was bad) and the pimples.

So when I got to Alison and Marie's interview, I thought this is it; kitsch and chic all at once: let's bag this! Literally.

These two cousins' first collection is a blend of Dubai's culture where they were raised, with vibrant colors all wrapped in unique classic clutches. And I'm not being cavalier with the word "unique"; each piece is hand-made and each design is limited to two pieces only. Now if that doesn't make a girl feel special, I don't know what does!

This particular collection is inspired by the Hand of Fatima and the Evil Eye which developed from being simple ornaments on a purse to becoming the clutch itself.

And these creations are as unusual and charming as this pair of designers. Indeed, when you get answers like "Child-Woman/Drama Queen" and "Artist/Thinker" to the same question you know you're up for a special ride. And the story even gets better when you discover what's underneath these answers: two talented ladies with a big heart.

Read for yourself...

The Designer behind the Brand

Name, age, nationality and current country of residence
Roxanne Alison Peters, 26, UK and Sharon-Ann Marie Alder, 35, Indian. Both live in Dubai.

What’s your design background?
R- Undergrad in Fine Art and Masters in Arts Management.
S- Designing chic quirky clothes and accessories for myself. 

Describe yourself in three words
R- Artist , Thinker and a Lady.
S- Child-Woman, Dreamer and a Drama Queen.

Alison and Marie - SS2011

Who’s your favorite designer?
R- YSL, Marc Jacobs, Elie Tahari.
S- Elie Saab, Zuhair Murad, Mcqueen, Marc Jacobs.

What kind of music inspires you?
R- Sade, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu...
S- Music from 'Glee'.

What’s your favorite movie?
R- Annie.
S- Confessions of a Shopaholic.....mannequins talk to me!!!!!

If you hadn’t been a designer, what profession would you have chosen?
R- Something within the Creative Industry.
S- Luxury PR, That’s what I have done and love doing.

The Brand

Describe your label in three words
Kitsch, Chic and Bespoke.

When did you establish it?
November 2010.

Who is your target audience?
Women who dare to be different and most importantly who love themselves.

Alison and Marie - SS2011

Tell us a little bit about your creative process: how long does it take for you to create a new collection, what inspires you, how do you choose colors, fabrics, themes?
The entire process takes anywhere from 2-3 months. We do everything together...inspirational travelling, designing, brainstorming, putting our thoughts to paper and finally into production. We use the color trends for the upcoming seasons as inspirational guidelines. Our themes are usually around ideas we believe in and love ourselves. Our creations are things we adore in conjunction with fantasy.

Alison and Marie - SS2011

The Event: Bras for a Cause Middle East

Why did you decide to participate?
It’s for a cause that is close to our hearts. My dearest friend is a 'Survivor', a fighter; she is an inspiration to many women, and not just Cancer patients but regular women like you and me that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Most often it’s a beautiful blue sky with the most fabulous rainbow!

What did you design, a bra or a t-shirt?
Both! :)

What inspired your design?
T Shirt – We were inspired by the fight that all the survivors have endured. The angel wings are also a symbol of respect for all the great individuals who lost the battle of Breast Cancer.
Bra – The design is vintage incorporating the Alison and Marie lace. The color theme which is a variant of crystals from dark to light metallic tones. The shades form dark to light is significant of coming out of the dark towards the light of hope – survival.
We used our trademark crystals and embellishments, as every woman should look fabulous!

Alison and Marie - SS2011

Did you take a different approach when designing for cancer survivors (or their supporters) or did you consider them as any other client?
Whilst designing for a survivor/supporter/patient we keep several things in mind:
-They must feel special whilst they wear our t shirt/bra, as they are fighters of a disease/cause. Angels of hope admired by many.
- Every woman wants to be told and feel that she is beautiful. We want them to feel even more beautiful whilst wearing our t-shirt and bra. Unfortunately the survivors of today are limited to beautiful lingerie. We wanted to give them a different option. It was all made with extra care, love and hope.
-Comfort was a very important factor.

What role do you think fashion can play in the fight against cancer and empowering cancer survivors?
It is awareness of the cause. Designers are creators. We are creating for a good cause, to make every survivor even more beautiful than she is!

How do you view the Middle East as a fashion platform and audience to your creative vision?
The ME fashion culture is one of the most emerging and developing at the moment. Middle Eastern designers today are the most sought after and coveted world over. The women in this region take risks with fashion and convert those risks into trends all over the globe. It is slowly becoming the center of the fashion world. We are honored to be in the heart of it all!

Is this event the first time you present your work to Arab audiences? If yes, then what are your expectations and hopes with this first-time participation?
YES. We hope that this participation is a stepping stone to the bigger picture. It is a great opportunity to meet other creative individuals in the industry and celebrate this good cause together. We hope that our creations are appreciated and enjoyed by all.

As you know, there is a category for aspiring designers in the competition. How would you like to inspire young designers through your participation in Bras for a Cause?
We would like to inspire young designers by reminding them to Reach for the Stars! They will make it :)

Alison and Marie - SS2011

Following that experience, would you consider expanding on your Bras for a Cause design and creating collections that speak to cancer survivors in the future?
Most definitely. As we mentioned, this is a cause very close to our hearts and we would love to support and be a part of Bras for a Cause on an on-going basis. We would also like to create an exclusive line of items for the cause and donate all sale proceeds to a Breast Cancer charity.

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