In celebration of Fashions Finest 10 year anniversary this September, British Style Society will be introducing a host of upcoming designers showcasing at this fabulous event.
First up is Laura-Shannon Harding, a recent fashion graduate from Leeds Arts University. She caught the eye of The Times Newspaper and was named by Draper’s Magazine amongst Fashion’s Rising Stars 2019 to watch.
Having a love for colour, Laura-Shannon creates fun and playful pieces that feature heavy use of embellishment, texture and print. An appreciation for festival culture and its judgement-free atmosphere has informed the eccentric aesthetic and silhouettes of her designs within the ‘Make Every Day A Festival’ collection that was featured at Graduate Fashion Week 2019.
The intricate panelling and the hand-sewn sequins, equal with the overall great attention to detail and 3D shape construction of some of the pieces allow the collection to really catch the eye.
Laura, tell us how you first got interested in fashion?
Producing handbags with my grandmother in primary school for a playground fayre sparked my enthusiasm for sewing and making my own clothes.
Did you always dream of becoming a designer?
I’ve always been more involved in creative subjects as opposed to academic ones and I wanted to be an artist for a long time, however, the realisation that I wanted a career in the fashion industry came when a Textiles course became unavailable to me. The absence of the subject allowed me to realise that it’s what I wanted to do.
Where did the love for fashion come from?
As long as I can remember I’ve had a love for fashion and accessories, at age 5 I already had an extensive hat collection.
When you first started, did you have any specific ambition?
When starting university, it was my goal to be able to launch my own label after the three years. I’m happy to be able to say that I’m achieving this goal.
What makes a good design?
For me It’s got to be something that has colour, I’m almost drawn to it like a magpie. I like designs that aren’t serious, that make people smile.
How does your typical day look like? How do you balance your career with your personal life?
I think it’s important to take time for yourself, nothing is worth jeopardising your mental health for; I like to go to the gym in my spare time just to focus my mind on something different. As much as I love spending time in the studio, I do have to tell myself when to turn the sewing machine off and just relax or spend some time with friends.
Who from the fashion industry do you find inspiring?
I love Agatha Ruiz de la Prada; happy fashion is what I love. She was my main inspiration when I produced my mini collection in my second year of university, without producing that collection I definitely wouldn’t be the designer I am now.
Name five things you cannot live without
Hair dye, my diary/planner, chocolate, seeing my family regularly and daily naps.
Where do you see the brand and yourself going in the future?
My goal for my brand for the next ten years is to be able to hold pop up shops in festivals around the world. I have a life-long dream of travelling and this would allow me to do what I love whilst exploring the world.
Laura is set to showcase at Fashions Finest during London Fashion Week this September. You can get tickets to Fashions Finest here and don’t forget to check out more of Laura’s work on Instagram.
Photographer: Megan Mechelle Dalton \ Makeup artist: Ashley Jordan Jones \ Model: Matilda Wilson