Our QVC Brand Ambassador Ruth Langsford is back with her Fashion Edit shows – but what we’re even more excited about is, that this time, Ruth is launching some of her very own fashion range. Look out for her looks of the week, showcasing some of her classic and wearable designs, plus her pick of the fashion brands she loves here at QVC. We chatted to Ruth about her upcoming designs to find out more…
Can you tell us a little bit about your inspiration for the range?
The inspiration for my range came from my daily life. I wanted to design the kind of clothes that I always wished I had in my wardrobe, a capsule collection with some good-quality classic basics; a good jean, trouser, a top to wear under a jacket with your jeans, and so on. Like most people I need to be pushed out of my comfort zone a little bit, so we added some colour and print. It’s very easy to create your own uniform that you feel comfortable in and I think most women would probably open their cupboard and see an awful lot of black! Particularly women of my age – I’m 57 now so I always think, ‘Oh black hides a multitude of sins!’ and actually sometimes you need to be pushed into colour, which can be really flattering.
All the stylists I’ve ever worked with have had to push me into a colour or a print as I’m normally very reluctant. I think it’s nice to have something in your wardrobe for when you’re having one of those days where you are feeling confident or a bit cheeky – and then you can add that animal print jacket, a brightly coloured jumper or silk shirt and sometimes it just lightens your mood. So really it’s a classic capsule wardrobe, with a bit of a twist.
What was the process?
At first I was a little bit reticent to think of myself as a designer… but as the process has gone along, I’ve started to think – well I am a designer. I might not be drawing everything – I can’t draw at all, but I do scribble things down for the QVC design team. I say for example… ‘I’m looking for this kind of sleeve, or this kind of leg…’ so I suppose in my head I am designing things, I know the look and shape that I want but I have no idea about fabrics and what they’re called, so when I say, I want this to not crease, and I want this to have a certain heaviness or certain weight, they then guide me towards the right fabric.
There’s a lot of to-ing and fro-ing and prototypes being made up. They then are shown to me and I’ll say ‘That’s not quite what I meant – I wanted it longer.’ Then they come back with the same thing only longer, so it’s really a fascinating process for me to see how something goes from being an idea in my head to being for sale on my Edit show on QVC. I’m thoroughly enjoying every second of the process. I couldn’t in any way do it on my own, the QVC design team are the brains behind everything, I just tell them what I like to wear, how I like to look, things I’d like to try and they make it happen.
Who would you say were your own fashion influencers?
I’m probably drawn to women who are quite classic, but again with a twist. So people like Catherine Deneuve – I’ve always thought of her as a classic beauty with her chinos and crisp white shirts that never seem to crease. I’ve never quite pulled off that look, but I love that idea of effortless dressing. I haven’t got hundreds and hundreds of pieces in my wardrobe, but I’ve got some good quality pieces that all kind of mix and match.
Audrey Hepburn’s is another look I love – the beautiful, classic black cocktail dress that you can add to. Helen Mirren I think is fantastic – she’s the twist that I would like, she’s got the cheekiness. I love her because I thinks she’s a beautiful woman, who doesn’t pretend to be an age she’s not, and yet you’ll suddenly see her with purple hair or a bright red dress, which radiates confidence.
Who do you see wearing your designs?
I like to think it will be women who are of a similar age to me, who like fashion but don’t want to be in frumpy dresses and looking older, but are slightly concerned about looking – ridiculous! So it’s trying to find that middle ground of staying on-trend, being fashion conscious, trying things and not being worried about your age.
I don’t really like using the expression ‘age-appropriate’ – what does that mean? If you’ve got fantastic legs and you want to wear a skirt that’s thigh-length and you look amazing even if you’re 70 – I think do it! However, a lot of us are losing a bit of that body confidence and want to cover bits up, and that’s fine too. Either way, you shouldn’t be pushed to wearing things you aren’t comfortable with. But I’m trying to create a range that is interesting and doesn’t frighten the mature woman who still wants to stay fashion conscious without looking outrageous.
Confidence with a small c and fashion with a small f
I’m really thinking of trying to make women more confident with their fashion. But for me it’s fashion with a small ‘f’ because I’m not a fashionista and never have been. Even when I was younger I was fairly conservative in my dress and I still am really. I don’t like plunging necklines and thigh splits – I’ve never been that confident of showing off my shape.
I think women should be confident in wearing colour and maybe trying shapes that they haven’t tried before, and again being pushed out of their comfort zones just a little bit. It’s very easy to fall back on shapes you know, covering yourself up a bit, resorting to black because its classic and thinking oh I’ll just dress it up with a bit of jewellery, which of course you can. I will be doing a little black dress in my range of course – but I think it’s nice to say to people… ‘Well have you thought of green, or purple?’
That’s why I love QVC – with the models, you see everything being worn and you can hear us talking about it. If you’re looking at a picture in a magazine, and you think it looks nice, when you get it home you often end up thinking it doesn’t look at all how you thought it would! At QVC, it’s like try before you buy, and because we use models of all shapes and sizes and all age groups, it relates to women watching at home.
Although I’m aiming at women in my age range, I’ll be really flattered if younger women like the styles too and would wear them. We have had younger models in the shows, and we just style them differently. So mums and daughters might be watching and they may like the same top – but will just wear it very differently. That’s happening a lot now I think. Whereas before girls wouldn’t be caught dead wearing their mother’s clothes, it’s the opposite now, they’re borrowing their mother’s clothes, and vice versa! I think that’s fantastic, the age divide lines are blurring a lot, which is great.
We couldn’t agree more Ruth! Take a look at more from Ruth Langsford Fashion.