Tomorrow sees the launch of an exciting new fashion brand on QVC – Fashion by Ingenue London. We caught up with founder Mena Ryan who tells us more about this gorgeous range…
Tell us about Ingenue London
Ingenue London is all about women – real women. My focus from inception has been to create dresses that worked for women from the ages of 30 to 60. My greatest achievement is seeing my mother and mother-in-law in the dresses, and feeling great about themselves in them.
My friends in their mid-thirties and forties wear them for work, and are also able to wear them for weddings too.
I wanted to create dresses that accentuate the parts of our bodies we love, and help disguise the parts we aren’t so keen on! All our dresses are made in France, we cut a limited amount of styles in prints and so we keep the unique feeling of a boutique brand.
How did you get started?
After working in retail for years, I was always listening to women, friends, my mum, talking about how it was so difficult to find a dress that you would feel glamorous in but also wasn’t high maintenance. Something they could throw on, that was flattering to the curves of life, but could also be thrown in the washing machine.
I listened to the issues of arms, covering knees, needing to wear special bras, and I wanted to create dresses that could work for office, home, weddings and holidays too.
Ingenue London started over two years ago and we are so happy to have women not only throughout the UK and Ireland wearing our dresses but in Dubai, America, and across Europe and recently in China.
What kind of woman do you design for?
There are so many brands out there that cater for women in their 20s, and early 30s, but not many brands who think of the style savvy women in their late 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. These women want something fresh, with a feel for the trends of the season, but they also want timeless style.
I have worked in fashion my entire career, and definitely know what the trends of today are, however that isn’t my focus when putting a collection together. I love when my customers can pull out a dress from past seasons and wear it and it doesn’t look dated. There is a great sense of style and wearability to Ingenue London dresses.
What are your inspirations?
We are London based, and our main inspirations have been English women on the streets of London. I think about our busy lives; we all seem to be running in different directions fulfilling our roles as mothers, wives, girlfriends, and daughters – in our homes, careers.
I know what it’s like, and the last thing I need to think about in the morning is ironing my dress. So my designs are all about easy to wear, no fuss designs that travel incredibly well, don’t crease – and you can fit so many in your suitcase for holidays or business trips and still have space.
Fashion should be fun, enjoyable, and mostly make you feel great about yourself on a daily basis. I have always loved prints and colours, and how prints can be so flattering on the female body, and how colour lifts our mood.
We are working on shapes continuously, and always want to make our best styles even better, by listening to feedback from our customers.
There have been days in London where I’ve seen women wearing my dresses going about their lives – one was running to catch a train at Liverpool station in our Pepita dress, another woman was in the park with her family in one of our maxis.
What are the latest trends and fashions that you love?
I am so happy to see so many high end designers embracing print. At Ingenue London we have always loved print and colour, however this season all the main fashion houses have embraced the power of print and colour, and that is very exciting!
Also it is great to see UK fashion focusing more on wearability – that has been my focus since starting the brand, now more and more UK designers are thinking about this too. And of course the most exciting development, not just in UK fashion but international fashion, has been Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, who is an incredible ambassador for our country!
View the range now or tune in on Friday 11th May at 5pm and 9pm.