Zoe Our Creative Director Tells Us About Herself
After finishing at The London College of Fashion, I joined the retail trade and I worked in my first role at River Island. I then joined Johnny Boden when he was starting out creating the Boden Brand. I later I went to work at Tesco helping to create the Florence and Fred Brand. I changed my career slightly, after having two children and became a stylist and interior designer. I decided to get involved with Rey House because I just could not find good quality stylish clothes to fit. I had a number of beautiful pieces in my wardrobe that I went back to time and time again and a few of them no longer fit me as well, as over the years I have changed shape.
I believe that great style is about wearing the right shapes and colours that suit you the best. We are all however, guilty of going back to the same old faithful shapes that we believe suit us the best. It is really important that as we get older we don't loose confidence when choosing what to wear and experimenting with what suits us. One of the keys to buying the right pieces is making sure that you have great basics in your wardrobe and then layer them with items that add colour or are more trend driven. If for example you don't have a decent pair of black or navy trousers that fit properly, are comfortable, are well made and look stylish then you end up struggling to put an outfit together where you feel great.
Family and friends that know me think that because I am in the industry I find it easy to find clothes. Well I don't, I actually find it very difficult and some of that might be because I am so critical of what is out there. Some of my most favourite go to pieces are over 10 years old. The things they all have in common are that they are well made, fit me properly, are made from great quality fabrics that look good and drape well. They are also pieces that you can wear on multiple occasions are comfortable and you get that feeling that "you are wearing the clothes, they are not wearing you. Once you find something you love, it fits well and suits you, you return again and again to it…
My go to pieces are always a black jean, styled depending on the occasion. A really good LBD (little Black Dress) that can be worn anywhere and can be dressed up or down. A black jacket, this can be leather or a more tailored shape in a wool, but it must have some give in it. There is nothing worse that feeling restricted around the arms or bust.
Wear a colour that suits you, worn with a neutral works best. There is a lot of information about skin tone and colour and it is easy to get your colour chart done. Warm tones suit me. Khaki, brown, many shades of green and warm blues. The one thing I always do is put neutrals with any colour that I wear. There is nothing worse in my view as head to toe colour, it is ageing and can make your clothes look cheap. You don't have to look much further than Italy or France to see how well dressed and stylish some mid aged women look. For us in the UK it is slightly different because we have very varied body shapes for a whole host of reasons. I have however, seen some fantastically well-dressed mature and fuller figured women in Milan and Rome. Many of the Italian premium brands are making clothes for people other than 5'10' 20 year old models.
I am a Classic Cut Diamond, I don’t want to wear anything that accentuates my waist. V necks and empire lines are the most flattering styles for my diamond shape. I am blessed with long slim legs and slim arms, a small flattish bottom but, I am slightly shorter in the body despite being tall, 5'10". I want to accentuate my legs and upper body. I can wear wide leg trousers and if I find the right fitting dress I am delighted. The range of dresses we have are all designed to fit most of our Diamond shapes. I can wear all of them and even the beautiful silk tie front dress, I wear the tie more around my hips rather than my waist and it is very slimming. The silk shift is another dress that is really flattering, apart from being really comfortable and beautiful it is also really flattering if you have a larger bust or a thicker waist. It quite literally flatters your best bits and disguises the bits you don't like without having to wear restrictive underwear. I love a shirt and my favourites are our boyfriend shirt in 4 colours and our satin shirt that can be worn with jeans or as a smarter look with the satin wide leg Trousers.
We continue to work on shapes, patterns and gradings and talking to different women of all shapes and sizes and testing styles on them and above all getting feedback on how the clothes make you feel, which is the most important part of our journey. Everything we design has been tried and tested on real women and this inspires me to develop other pieces that have to fit the criteria. We have a lot more ideas coming through over the coming months, all of which I would wear.