A few weeks ago I was going through my emails when I found one from Nicola Woods, Founder and Creative Director of Beautiful Soul London. Given how many hundreds of emails most of us send and receive every day, it’s sometimes tempting not to pay as much attention as we perhaps should to those from brands or people we’ve never heard of. Beautiful Soul London was a name I didn’t know and, being in a mega rush as per always, I almost clicked straight on to the next one. Luckily I didn’t. Entranced by the incredibly beautiful blooms adorning Beautiful Soul London’s “Secret Garden” SS15 collection, I decided further investigation into this label was necessary. And I’m very glad I did as some of the pieces are truly exquisite. While it was Nicola’s summer designs that reeled me in, I thought I’d better take a look at AW14 because that is of course the season essentially upon us. Entitled “Viola Sunshine”, Beautiful Soul London’s latest collection has some really stunning prints and pieces. While some of it’s a little too feminine for me – not something that happens often – I’ve fallen hard for the minidresses which tap into the season’s sixties ingenue vibe without compromising the Beautiful Soul London aesthetic. If, like me, you’re struggling to start packing away their floral print summer fare, Nicola’s delicate take on moodier blooms are perfect for easing the transition into autumn.
Above & below: Beautiful Soul London AW14
Beyond the fact that Beautiful Soul London has some gorgeous pieces at very reasonable price points, what interested me once I started looking into the label were its brand values and its founder. I have to admit, I’m a bit rubbish when it comes to really considering where the clothes I wear come from. This is not a good thing, and something I’m trying to pay much more attention too as it’s a huge issue. Whether your talking about supporting local textile manufacturing and how those industries and their demise can effect communities, where fabrics are coming from or the working conditions of the people who craft those fabrics into clothing all over the world, it’s important although not always easy to consider the wider context of our sartorial choices. Beautiful Soul London may have hooked me in with adorable florals but their commitment to sustainability, especially as an independent start up, is equally worth celebrating. A conscious approach to fabric sourcing, focus on minimising environmental impact and commitment to local, UK-based production lie at the heart of the label combined with a zero-waste policy which sees material remnants used as fastenings and embellishments. Beautiful Soul London’s approach to design and sustainability saw the brand win the 2014 “Business Acumen and Innovation Award” at The Luxury Law Summit – organised by The International New York Times and The Global Legal Post no less – and has landed its pieces in the wardrobes of Livia Firth, Katy Perry, Laura Bailey, Lily Cole and Amber Valetta to name but a few. With this in mind, it’s surprising the label remains so under-the-radar. If you like rocking frocks half the world wont have seen before, I suggest you get in on the action asap.
Above & top: Beautiful Soul London SS15
As I mentioned, Beautiful Soul’s Founder and Creative Director, Nicola Woods is a pretty interesting lady herself. I mean, turning round after 11 years working in high level corporate insurance and deciding to give it up in favour of pursuing the, let’s be honest here, hugely unreliable, potentially financially disastrous, odds-stacked-against-you career of being a fashion designer – I have boundless respect for anyone who pursues this path – is a fearless move. But, determined to follow her childhood dream, Nicola swapped the corporate ladder for London College of Fashion and launched her label the year after graduating. Obviously Nicola was in possession of both a well honed business acumen and design talent, the decision to make a career 360 and combine the two was both an impressive and high risk move, but one that was evidently well worth taking.
What do you think of Beautiful Soul London?
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