Stephanie Pratt exclusively talks to House of Solo Magazine around her latest hit collection with Goddiva, think art deco, decadence and haute couture.
Coming to prominence in the hit TV series The Hills (which is set to make a return to our screens soon) and Made in Chelsea, Stephanie Pratt is no stranger to the celebrity spotlight and lifestyle. As a TV Personality she has grown as a woman we have all come to adore. Holding back with her reality series for now, she uncovers her incredible talent for designing and her third premium collection with occassionwear specialists, Goddiva.
Gorgeously perched on a plush purple pouf, Stephanie welcomes the room with a strong presence and beautiful smile to match, wearing a piece from her collection, the navy-blue sequin mini dress that dazzles on her frame, with her famous blonde tresses, catching the light through the window frames, we immediately get sucked into talking about the collection. “ So with this collection, I was really comfortable with working with Goddiva, the inspiration came together in January because that is when its award season so I started there and took photos of the outfits I loved. I would then begin to sketch elements of the dresses before adding different touches. Whether it is a gown that is completely see through, where we may add a sheer lining and then add a fitted waist to a piece that was completely structured. I would then send my sketches through to Goddiva to start the sourcing and sampling process”. Having a hands on approach to her work is the only approach that Stephanie is willing to take, she adds “ They would send me samples of what they could create with my designs and I would take them home and cry with happiness before trying everything on – with the help of my good friends and using different body types – I would then make notes and suggest changes that would improve the design and fit”.
The passion and excitement in her eyes suggest not only is this a collection that she proudly links her name with but a collection that she has spent months planning, sourcing and working to perfect for her customers. “ This collection was more inspired by high fashion designers such as Alaia and Dolce and Gabbana – I saw the cap sleeves on the runway and died”. Not only combining her knowledge from fashion school but also her knowledge around commerciality and product development she comments, “ I also think that because its going to be so flattering on so many people (cap sleeves), a lot of people don’t like to show their arms and I’m one of them, when I’m on TV I will wear a cute jacket with a blouse”. How heart-warming to hear that a woman of such stature still has her own body hang-ups and owns it, making sure that the collection not only caters to everyone but also includes risk factors. “ The jumpsuits are quite a funny story because in my last collection I wanted to do a deep V sequin jumpsuit and Goddiva are known for their dresses and I pleaded with the team – I secretly wanted it for my own closet – and it successfully hit my top 3 best sellers and we couldn’t keep up with the demand”, so four jumpsuits were added to the latest collection: a halter neck sequin number in rose gold to white and a aqua green, as well as classic strapless jumpsuits in pink and navy with an effective waist-synching peplum.
As a designer Stephanie recalls it being a pinch-me moment with so many highs and lows, talking of highs “ It has always been our little meetings when we first see the samples, I walk in and they are on the rail and they are so perfect” and her lows, “ Would be dresses that I wanted to make but couldn’t, whether it’s the fabric or material that is sourced in India, the time for getting dresses back ranges to around 2 or 3 months and it can never be completed in time”. Speaking of highs and lows as a designer and building with a brand, Goddiva appear to be the perfect fit for Stephanie. Moving over to London 5 years ago and starting her time on Made in Chelsea she opens up on the development of the strong relationship with the brand. “ A lot of different brands came to my agent and they set up meetings and wanted me to put my name on an edit or collection and when I asked if certain pieces could be removed as it wasn’t in line with me, they would always push that this was the final edit and it was ready to go, they just needed my name”.
Clearly a woman who knows her worth, brand and name, Stephanie comes across as the Girl boss who wouldn’t sign a contract just for the sake of it, making sure “ I wasn’t putting my name on something I didn’t design or even wear”. Talking about her development with Goddiva, “ three years ago, my licensing agent from heaven, Vicky, set up a meeting with Goddiva and we had a big meeting where they brought a team in and at the time it was overwhelming but because I had had so many meetings in the past, I was straight up and I said I wasn’t going to put my name on the dresses without being involved in the whole process”, and the dream began there. Studying at FIDM, THE fashion school in Los Angeles, Stephanie learnt the basics behind design and product development, “I let the Goddiva team own the pattern making because I was never good at that in FIDM, but everything else in the collection had to be mine and driven by me”. The trust was built there but the transition from TV personality to designer was a lot harder for Stephanie than anticipated, “ I was really scared because I thought that people would think I am just putting my name on the collection and sometimes I still think that”. Obviously a woman passionate about her brand and collection, she ensured that each collection was a design hit and marking her third year and third collection with the brand. It is clear her design background and knowledge of the fashion industry plays perfectly for the Goddiva customer, making her celebrity collection – away from Michelle Keagan for Lipsy – a commercial success.