Creative Director of Studio M
CURRICULUM VITAE - the ‘courses of life’ that have shaped me into who I am today.
1960′s - NO CARES … NO WORRIES
I discovered I had a talent for drawing, inherited from my father, and a talent for needlecraft inherited from my mother. I also inherited her sense of rhythm and expressive energy and spent hours in the front room, practising my dance steps with my brother and sister. Our life in Midlands suburbia was punctuated by long summers spent with the extended family in lovely remote West coast Ireland.
1970′s - EXPLORING AND DEVELOPING MY INTERESTS
Significantly I was bought a sewing machine age 12 and proceeded to use my family as dummies for my 70′s designs. My inspiration? Jackie magazine and a range of TV sitcoms, from The Monkeys to Love Story. I made them wear some seriously bad creations; my catwalk was Mass on a Sunday walking up for Holy Communion.
I became aware that I was leading a double life. One the one hand I was the eldest daughter of Irish immigrant parents from a tight-knit community holding onto our heritage with Ceilidh dances and folk evenings, on the other hand I was beginning to get a taste for British Youth Culture. Punk music entered my world.
On the advice of my Art teacher, Mrs Bradley, I applied to Art School and it changed my life. For the first time I was surrounded by kindred spirits. I knew myself for the first time and what I wanted to do.
1980′s - MAKING IT HAPPEN … A LITTLE SCARY
I did well in my in Fashion and Textiles degree. I also met Stephen, my man. Working as an illustrator and then a designer, we began Studio M (our shared initial), moving into an old warehouse in London’s East End.
Living and working merged; we lived together; we worked together; we travelled the globe together, visiting cloth mills and clothes factories. Maybe because our lives merged so closely, I still kept my group of girlfriends: our cocktail clubs.
Towards the end of the decade we settled like pioneers in a beautiful vicarage on upcoming London Fields. To top off the decade our son Luke was born in 1989, our greatest joint achievement so far.
1990′s - ALL ABOUT FAMILY … JUGGLING
Laura was born in 1992, the joy of her birth contrasted sharply with the loss of my father who died that same year. Work life balance had to be addressed so I took a step back and began to work 3 days a week – with the help our lovely nanny, Madge. Our very own Mary Poppins, she was key to keeping it all together.
2000′s - ALL GROWN UP
We brought in the new century on the roof of our Studio at London Bridge and in a new family home just North of the river. My work was becoming more focused with time to create a new venture in the Studio, developing a bespoke colour textile service, MLab working with Design graduates.
Just when I started to feel my Mama role was getting fine tuned, life moved on again. Luke left home for University in 2008. I thought my heart would break as we said goodbye and left him in the Halls of Residence. It had all gone by too quickly.
2010′s - NEW DIRECTIONS
Now in my early 50s, secure in my relationship, in finance, in style and getting used to my independence again . . . but somehow missing the mayhem and exuberance of an earlier life. What is next? Making plans and looking to the future. Watch this space.
Music for the Morning - Bill Callahan the American singer songwriter and Francios Hardy especially Le temps de l’amour from the beach dancing scene in Moonrise Kingdom.
Coat - from a vintage market in Paris
Dress - a vintage slip from an amazing shop La French in Florida situated between a cigar stand and tattoo parlour.
Shoes – Pierre Hardy at Dover Street Market
Good for the Soul - Water. Its clarity, capacity for reflection and sense of infinity.
Good for the Body - Fish oils! I’m well oiled, I’ve got no creaks!
Good for the Heart - As a family, organising and planning our annual party. We throw open our doors and hopefully also each year our hearts to old friends and new.