Silk, frills and all those little intimates that make a girl’s heart tremble – who hides behind them, how does she make these little pieces come to life? Read along as we talk about a new independent nightwear label, Penny Face and the mastermind behind it – Frances Taylor.
What is your label like and what is it that you design?
Penny Face is a women’s nightwear and intimates label. I like bright, bold colours and girly touches. I want my garments to be wearable and affordable, whilst still being special, a bit sexy or even cute.
What was the hardest part of establishing your own brand?
The lack of confidence, for sure. When I first started the label I was really shy in telling people about it, but I’ve had some really lovely feedback which helped a lot!
Where does your inspiration usually come from?
I people watch a lot, and I find that when I see really lovely outerwear, I’ll want to incorporate them into my designs. I like window displays and browsing online magazines too, they give me a lot of ideas to riff on. Other times, I’ll see some material and I’ll have an idea of a finished garment. I came across some wool samples at my day job and now I can’t wait for winter to roll around so I can make nightshirts.
A lot of your garments seem to be named after certain parts of London, what is the story behind that?
I moved to London last year and it took me a really long time to settle in. I’d go for long walks by myself and naming some of my garments after neighbourhoods or tube stations I visited was a way of trying to engage myself with the city to make it feel less alien and more like a home. London has been a very important place for me, so it’s a tribute to that.
How do you usually create a new piece?
I begin with sketches and any fabric samples that I have. I like to make a mock-up too, to check the hang of sleeves, finalise dart placements and the general fit of the garment. I tend to change my mind a lot, so I like to give myself enough time to get everything right. Sometimes it’s fun to just jump in though!
What are your plans for the future?
I’m a bit tentative with plans for the future at the moment. My primary plan is expanding the range and just having a good time creating new designs and testing the waters, seeing what people like or don’t like. There’s a Twin Peaks inspired photo shoot in the pipeline too, which I’m really excited about!
- Elina Lukas