How did you get into designing latex lingerie and clothing?
For my BA Fashion graduate collection I experimented with latex as a material and then presented my finished looks in my graduate fashion show. The response to my collection locally was very positive, and many people who'd seen the show commented that my collection was nothing like the kind of clothes you think of when you hear the the word 'Latex'.
I have always wanted to start my own label and, after the success of my first collection, and the fun I had creating it, I decided to see if I could pursue latex fashion design full time. My initial research showed me there is definitely a market for latex garments outside fetish wear, especially those produced to a high standard, and I launched my line with my first collection in 2009-10.
Why the name Lucky Dame?
I came up with the name Lucky Dame in my sleep actually. I had a sketchpad right next to my bed, and had been in the process of trying to name my clothing brand for a few days already. I dreamt up my lady customer, woke up in the middle of the night, and wrote Lucky Dame in the sketchpad. My friends applauded on the name and so Lucky Dame was born.
Who do you see as the “Lucky Dame” lady?
Lucky Dame's clients are women with strong desire to feel unique and sophisticated, whilst making a fashion statement with their retro inspired garments and accessories.
I became fascinated with the material of latex because it's structurally hard and soft at the same time. In some ways it behaves like fabric, but its rigidity allows me to create shapes that would be difficult to achieve with fabric. At this stage in my career I am still testing and pushing the boundaries of what latex will and won't do, and this is one part of the design process that I enjoy the most.
Who would you most like to wear your designs?
As a young girl I used to look up to my mum and admire her subtle, feminine style. I would watch her putting an outfit together, and she would tell me stories about various style icons. Having that connection as a little girl, I have always been style conscious in my every day life and as a young designer.
Latex material, of course, might be more appealing as a special occasion ensemble. I would love to design and create a performance piece for Róisín Murphy, who, for me, is the ultimate retro style icon in the music industry. She's always been ahead of everyone else, mixing up relevant styles, to create eye catching statement pieces.
Women with a strong sense of style, like Róisín, are my favourite customer to create my designs for.
Do you have a piece of advice for aspiring designers?