We're very excited to announce the anniversaries of two great fashion brands this August. Butler & Wilson are celebrating 17 years of fashion jewellery and 12 years of their World of Accessories collections.
Also George Simonton celebrates seven years of stunning fashion on QVC. We chatted with Simon Wilson and George Simonton about fashion and more…
Tell us how it all began?
I started as an antique dealer in 1968 specialising in Art Deco jewellery, which is a period from 1925 until 1933. It was way ahead of its time and still my favourite style of jewellery.
When the great pieces started to dry up I decided to produce our own line, it was the late 70s and people either wore a solitaire diamond or plastic beads from a department store! I decided it was time to do a huge Swarovski crystal collection in oversized chokers, earrings and bracelets and that worked perfectly with the power dressing of the early 80s.
What were some memorable moments from the past years at QVC?
I guess my funniest moment on QVC would have to be with Julia Roberts! We have a great rapport with each other and we never can tell how crazy a show is going to be. A journalist said to me just yesterday that we should have our own television show!
What inspires your designs?
The thing that inspires me the most has to be my time covering antique markets all over the world! That was like my university – I saw amazing jewellery, paintings and ceramics etc. and I always think back to some of the amazing things I saw and bought!
A beautiful Art Deco-style necklace, inspired by the forthcoming movie 'The Great Gatsby', starring Leonardo Di Caprio and based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel set in the 20s. Plus a crocodile necklace and earring set that I know from past experience you're going to love!!!
In B&W World, a line exclusive to QVC, we have made really gorgeous chiffon tops using a brand new technique – they are just simply beautiful! There are also some amazing new bags and tops. And remember, these are not made in large quantities so when you see something you love, please move quickly!!!
What trends are you loving this season?
I never really follow trends and I don't do seasonal collections, it's about making beautiful designs that are timeless and you can wear any time. For example I love seeing people coming into the store wearing something that can be 30 years old and thinking, 'that still looks great'!
See more from the Butler & Wilson range
Tell us how you got into fashion?
My love of fashion began with my mother; she has always been my inspiration. When I was a boy growing up we did not have a lot of money, but somehow my mother always managed to look beautiful without spending a fortune.
When I reached high school I was very good in art, painting, sketching etc. and was encouraged by my teachers to apply to FIT – The Fashion Institute of Technology, where I have now been a tenured professor for the last 25 years.
It was my love of watching glamorous Hollywood movies that further influenced my passion for clothing and the desire to make women look beautiful. I specialize in accentuating a women’s figure and bringing attention to her face.
My philosophies throughout my career have always been “modern glamour”, “casual elegance”, “table-top dressing”, “sexy in a refined, relaxed way” – this is reflected in all my lines from the top tier American department stores to my exclusive QVC line – Simonton Says by George Simonton.
What have been some memorable moments from the past few years?
Over the past several years I have been thrilled to receive many awards, such as the Rising Star Award from QVC USA. I have been a member of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America), and have just celebrated my anniversary of 47 years on 7th Avenue and 10 years with QVC.
Which is your favourite piece from your collection this season?
We are working on building five easy pieces for a woman’s wardrobe – easy to wear, casually elegant and comfortable using one of my key knit fabrications called crystal knit. We have a beautiful top with shoulder gusset detail, a cascade vest and also a new pull-on trouser with an inverted pleat.
These will tie your wardrobe together and make it easy to dress without having to put a lot of thought into it. I like to make a woman’s life easy when all else is hectic.
What trends do you love this season?
The only trend I follow is making women look beautiful! I am not about following the trends. I like longevity in fashion, I like to be classic with a twist, and always strive for great quality and fit.
Check out more from George Simonton