10 Questions With….Joanne McGillivray

Joanne Mcgillivray wearing her own label with Model (Right) wearing her winning design _4

1/ Tell everyone what you do.

I am a fashion designer and own my brand called Joanne McGillivray. 

2/ Take us through the steps involved in creating your new collection and what makes it special.

I will normally start with a theme. Something that I find interesting or has caught my eye. I then collect loads of images related to that theme and basically filter it down to find out what exactly it is I like about those particular images. It can be a lengthy process but worth it as I understand the collection more. 

3/ What sort of woman would you like to see wearing your latest designs?

Women who are classic, feminine and stylish. I don’t like labelling my brand with an age limit. If you feel great in my clothes then I’ve done myjob! 

4/ Where or from whom did you find inspiration for autumn/winter 2013?

My new collection is called The Russian Revolution. The inspiration was taken from a recent trip to St Petersburg, Russia. I loved the city and the details in all the buildings. When I came home I couldn’t wait to start the design process.  (A piece from Joanne’s new collection is pictured below).

Joanne McGillivray

5/ What specific challenges do designers face in Scotland and what forms of assistance are most needed?

I don’t think designers in Scotland face any specific challenges differently to designers anywhere else. It is tough to make yourself known within the industry as a new designer. One thing I would say is Scotland needs to more forward thinking about manufacturing and fabric. 

Tell us about a time when you were surprised by an unexpected personal success.

Has to be winning the 2012 Graduate of the Year at last years Scottish Fashion Awards. The standard in the category was so high it genuinely was a shock when they announced my name. (Soon after graduating from Heriot-Watt University in 2012 Joanne won Graduate of the Year from the Scottish Fashion Awards.  As a result, Joanne worked with Marks & Spencers to put her winning garment design into production. The dress she designed is pictured below and is now available in stores).

Model wearing Joanne Mcgillivray M&S dress_1

7/ Tell us about your biggest fashion disaster and how it shaped your personal style.

There isn’t really one particular fashion disaster. I think from about the age of 13-17 was all pretty much a fashion disaster. It did take me a while  to fall into the style I have developed now. 

8/ What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Long evening dresses what don’t touch the ground! Every women should try their heels on with the dress before buying. 

9/ What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Dress for yourself, not for anyone else. 

10/ Share something most people don’t know about you.

I actually started my degree in Textiles then moved over to fashion in 3rdyear. Thanks goodness I did!


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