They say that necessity is the birth of all meaningful inventions, and there’s no exception when it comes to the brilliant New Season Collection by British Fashion Designer, Charlie Buckle. Already regularly featured by the likes of Vogue, Tatler, and GQ magazine, the eponymous Charlie Buckle outerwear was born out of a desire to offer both men and women a stylish solution to keeping warm even in the coldest of temperatures. With this idea at the forefront of her mind Charlie, a creative powerhouse, went to work, designing contemporary lines that are hot enough to thaw the rigidity of your typical winter wear.
In our recent exclusive interview with Charlie (below) she talked about starting her own fashion label, Charlie Buckle, back in 2014, how she has turned a negative of living with the rare blood disorder sickle cell anemia into a positive, her style inspirations, and how a background in performance guides her designs. Offering this timeless advice “When you look good, you feel good.” there’s no doubt you will feel good wearing her most recent collection, unique takes on classic designs that allow you to brave the cold in style.
A rising star of the fashion world Charlie Buckle has created a unisex outerwear collection that is truly breaking the mould and brings the designer’s lyrical expressions to life. A stunning collection of coats and jackets awaits, it’s the following pieces however that are really turning heads this season, a collection that has us more than excited for winter!
The cool and sophisticated Charlie Buckle Cole Coat in Mushroom is a knee-length coat made from luxuriously soft British wool featuring an asymmetrical wrap design that is accented by contrasting black panel-edged deep pockets and front closure. In typical Charlie Buckle style, this classic long coat is given a fresh look with edgy buckles and a cowl neck that can be worn as a hood for those extra cold walks home after a night out.
Made with a cozy loose fit that’s right on trend this season and perfect for layering, The Charlie Buckle Harris Coat in Red is capable of keeping you warm without losing an ounce of style. Created with 100% British wool this coat features unique lines and buckle detailing, as well as a contrasting v-neck, that make it, and you, stand out from the crowd.
The most elegant and effortless way to wear wool this winter, The Tulip is an oversized fully-lined ladies’ coat that is anything but dull. Smart knee-length drapes and a waist clinching belt allow you to create an enviable shape that is sure to be the talk of the town.
While the cap sleeves might be the first thing to grab your attention, The 100% British wool and fully lined Fawn Coat has been designed specifically for women and uses an asymmetrical zipper and neutral colour blocking to create a look that warms and wows.
The Georgie is a distinctive two-piece jacket and waistcoat combo that is more than initially meets the eye, designed with a gold button-adorned waistcoat that layers beneath a wool cape, giving you a versatile look that will stun both on the street or in the office. The unisex Georgie pictured here in cherry is also available in Navy and Grey.
The epitome of stylish comfort, the Alvine in aubergine features a contrasting graphite grey exaggerated ribbed collar and cuffs, creating a luxurious accent to the loose-fitting jacket. Made from 100% British wool that is incredibly soft to the touch, the Alvine will keep you snug all winter long, what more could you want from your outerwear?
Our Exclusive Interview with Fashion Designer Charlie Buckle
What made you decide to start the Business?
Quite a few things inspired the birth of the business. First is, I have a blood disorder I was born with. Sickle Cell Anemia. It affects my mobility and pretty much all areas of my life. A painful attack, known as sickle cell crisis, can be brought on by cold temperatures among other things like stress, tiredness, or being active. So it’s essential for me to always keep warm first and foremost, and manage my day-to-day routine carefully. A big chunk of a month can be spent bed or couch-bound getting through an attack and recovering. A sickle crisis can last anywhere from 2 hours to 2 weeks for me. So this made keeping a regular 9 to 5 job unrealistic. I used to work in TV production but had to stop as I began to wake up with swollen feet every morning and could barely stand let alone go to work.
But I’m a very creative, industrious, and determined person. I appreciate every moment I am mobile and can be productive. So not being able to have a consistent 9 to 5 job didn’t mean a life of doing nothing. I couldn’t for the life of me, bear that. I completely believe in “seizing the day” as life is unpredictable and short. Being creative and expressing myself through art increases my quality of life. And so my creativity became my business.
To keep warm I would always wear a long puffer coat. Which was the ‘party pooper’ to the rest of my outfits for special occasions. I always looked like the Michelin Man and something had to change. I wanted to keep warm but look good doing it lol! And this is where my sense and inspiration for style comes in. My inspiration for style first began with my beautiful elegant grandmother, who I was named after. Her style was all about elegance in simplicity. Which is what I absolutely love! That coupled with my love of the ’40s and 50’s silhouettes, architecture, and abstract art, melded together became the designs for my line. I was granted the amazing opportunity, which was pretty much also my market research, to sell my coats at a pop-up shop in Westfield. The feedback and response to the range built my confidence to believe I had something to offer the market.
You studied at Kensington & Chelsea College, how did you get into fashion design?
I actually studied Millinery design at Kensington and Chelsea college. Fashion design began with me teaching myself to sew. I am dyspraxic as well as dyslexic so my way of learning is different from the norm. I don’t do so well learning in a classroom with note-taking, lectures, and just the standard way of learning. I’ve always loved creating things and I learn by just doing. Lost in my own world of colour and just doing. I decided at Christmas 2012 to buy myself a sewing machine in the new year. This machine became my best friend from January 2013 through to April 2013, where I had designed my first coat and actually made it myself. Oh, how proud I felt hahaha! And that was it. I began trying different techniques and ways to add detailing and other features to the coats. And sold them in Westfield in September that same year.
Is there a link between your performing arts background and your designs?
I would say absolutely! When you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, you are more likely to present your best self. Performing is a presentation of one’s self and I like to think of style in the same way. I loooooooove jazz, blues, soul, musicals, and all things 40’s 50’s. The dances, the outfits, and the style of singing in that era. And when I perform, it is this influence I am more likely to project as well as a designer of clothing. I do like to fuse the old with the current, and the futuristic with the old. All art and expression of what lays within.
Which is your favourite Charlie Buckle design and why?
Oooooh, there isn’t just one I’m afraid. I love the Cardi-Coat as it was the very first one, the Cardi-Jack for its versatility, The Georgie for the waistcoat and unique detail in the back, and The Tulip for the sassiness in how it sits and falls when worn. But my favourite within the current collection is The Lainey Spring and The Lainey Winter. It’s that Coat dress you wear with your best heels to see that special someone or for that special occasion. If you know what I mean!
Your products are made from 100% British wool, are you able to give us further information on how you source your materials?
I source my fabrics from my very lovely suppliers here in Britain, who make the fabrics in their very own mills up in Leeds. Sourcing materials within Britain that are also of good quality was and still is very important to me as I wanted to keep things more “Local”. It just makes having access to good quality materials, setting and keeping the ethos and reputation of the brand, and communicating and liaising with suppliers much easier.
And finally who are Charlie Buckle’s customers?
Customers of Charlie Buckle are men and women with a love for unique shapes and style but with comfort and wellbeing in mind.
For more information and to view the full collection online, visit: charliebuckle.com