As regular readers will know, I love independent designers and small brands, plus I have a fondness for upcycling. So, when I come across a brand that ticks all those boxes, I just have to share them with you. Offering reworked garments and vintage pieces, View From The Moon is a fun young label making a strong statement. I spoke to Founder & Designer Alaina Louise about how she made her dreams a reality, and what her plans are for the future.
How did you come to set up View From The Moon?
Ever since I was little, I always dreamed of having my own fashion business. When I was younger and lived in Australia, I would cycle over to my Grandma’s house after school so I could use her sewing machine. I’d be there for hours learning to make my own outfits or reworking clothes I already had.
Moving to London was also a big dream of mine and I did just that when I was 16. London really opened my eyes to the rich culture of fashion and how diverse it can be. When I was 17 I was employed full time at London College of Fashion which I feel was a pivotal part of me becoming so inspired to do my own thing. I had the benefit of attending London Fashion Week and many other catwalks and events throughout the years I worked there. Seeing so much flare and craft made me pine for designs of my own to be seen. Then in June of 2013, after working at London College of Fashion for the better part of 6 years, I finally plucked up the courage to take the leap and leave to start my own fashion business.
My partner has been my muse throughout the experience so far, he helped me develop the name ‘View From The Moon’ and has collaborated with me to evolve and expand the business to what it presently is.
What inspires your designs?
I find the 80’s and 90’s truly fascinating and I love just about everything that came out of those era’s. The flamboyant hair styles, the club kids, the music, the films. The entire scene was bursting at the seems with creativity and I really enjoy exploring that terrain for inspiration.
Everything from music like Siouxsie and the Banshees, Nirvana and X-ray Specs to films such as Labyrinth, The Goonies and Pretty in Pink and people like David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper and Adam Ant are all inspirational to me. Virtually all of the John Hughes Classics play a really big part when I’m looking for classic vintage attire. Also, being a 90’s child and looking back on what I wore in those days really helps me forecast my ideas.
Tell us a bit about your customisation service.
Do you ever find something in a store that you love, only to find they don’t have it in your size, or would have been so much better if it was only a little bigger around here or smaller there or had something added to it? Or do you have things in your wardrobe that you never wear because it no longer appeals to you? We offer a service where everything we have for sale is customisable, as well as offering to find and create you a 100% bespoke piece – designed by you and handmade by us. Say for example you find a pair of shorts online that you really like, but wish they had a few more studs, we can add more for you! Or if you can’t find a pair in your size, we can source a pair just for you.
On top of that we are happy to rework anything from your own wardrobe! Including your own shorts, or perhaps that old skirt could be reworked into something new. Our aim is to help everyone find and enjoy things they like, all you have to do is send us a message with your ideas!
What do you look for in the vintage pieces you sell?
Each vintage garment is hand selected by me. I go to markets as far as Southern France and Spain to source truly unique pieces that are of superior quality and individuality to today’s typical high street fashion. I look for items that are unusual and no longer easily found. I really love freedom of expression through fashion and look for items to be worn by individuals who relish standing out.
Who’s your style icon?
I think that all of the day to day free fashion thinkers who march to their own beat and rock whatever takes their fancy are all iconic in their own way. No they’re not an international rock star or on the front page of Vogue, but in a way I think they’re far superior to those ‘icons’ in that they aren’t told what to wear by the latest celebrity stylist for a pay check. They wear it because they really want to. They’re truly fashion forward and the bravest people I have ever set eyes on.
However, if I had to choose one, I’d say that a present style icon in the making would obviously be Cara Delevingne. Purely because she’s bringing grunge-chic to life in a world where that’s usually unacceptable. I admire her for pushing the boundaries of regular red carpet attire and wearing whatever she wants. Being able to express yourself and be truly free in an environment where you are constantly scrutinised, I feel is truly something to be commended for. And of course I hope to one day have her as a client of ours.
Have you got any plans for the future of View From The Moon?
Ultimately we’d love to set up a London boutique, but for now we are based online. However, this year we will be frequenting local London craft fairs, fashion markets and even some big music festivals in the summer. In regards to our collections, we’d love to take a step forward from reworked items and begin designing garments from scratch. We will also be exploring more footwear and accessories in the coming months, as well as broadening our vintage range in Spring.
The VFTM SS14 collection will be available online from mid-March. In the meantime, you can keep up to date with View From The Moon on Facebook.