A fashion designer with a penchant for bygone eras of glamour, we speak to Jemima Beulah about fashion and pop-up shops! Think you know the #NextBigThing? Nominate them to appear on The Hot Tub @spabreaks!
What is the idea behind JH Beulah?
My approach to design is reminiscent of the “make-do and mend” movement from the 1940s wartime era, where nothing goes to waste whether it’s restoring a worn out evening dress or recreating an original 1950s jacket from vintage curtains. Every item by JHBeulah has been created with components that hold a history, adding a special quality to each piece. Due to the nature of sourcing vintage materials to create our clothing and accessories, our clients can rest assured that their purchase is unique to them.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I have always been interested in history, particularly pre-1950s. As a fashion student I would begin any fashion brand assignment by fully researching the history of the fashion house – I think it is crucial to understand the roots to calculate where its future lies.
What were you doing before JHBeulah?
For a time I was the Executive Assistant for Kent, Haste & Lachter, a bespoke tailors and shirt makers on Sackville Street. I also carried out my apprenticeship as a bespoke cutter under Terry Haste. This is where I learned the skill of cutting bespoke patterns and gained a great knowledge of luxury cloth.
What’s in store for the brand this year?
Following on from our very successful Christmas pop-up shop, we have acquired our first permanent residence at 186 Bellenden Road in Peckham. Our first year is set to be an exciting one with engaging events and developments happening throughout the seasons. One of our regular events will be film screenings, from period dramas to cult classics where our customers will be invited to dress up, channelling the era and characters in the film.
Do you have a role model?
If you had said icon I would immediately have said Marilyn Monroe; I adore her style, her playful attitude, and her struggling determination to materialise her dreams. My role model has to be Coco Chanel, a true pioneer who broke tradition and made history, not only for women’s fashion but for women’s place in society. Chanel is my role model for so many reasons; she was a female running her own fashion house at a time when it was unheard of, and a strong businesswoman. It is important to me that a fashion house speaks beyond the clothes and that customers buy into a healthy lifestyle, whether that be equality of gender, investment purchases, or sustainable fashion.
Who would play you in a movie?
Jennifer Laurence; she’s on trend, she’s a dedicated professional, and is utterly believable in any role she plays.
What’s your earliest fashion memory?
I have been making clothes since a very young age. Fashion to me is about the making of clothes and so my first fashion memory is making my first skirt which was lightweight cotton linen. It was down to my ankles with layers and a central back panel that came out into a puddle train made from a red floral ditsy print. I was 12 years old and I wore it for my cousin’s wedding.
What’s the biggest lesson you have learned so far?
To trust only yourself, believe in your own talents, and get yourself to where you want to be. Your success must come from your own hard work.
When you’re not working on being the next big thing, what do you do to relax?
I have two West Highland Terriers and I take them for walks in the country, we have a nest in Rye so I take my family there for a few nights’ rest when we get the chance. It’s on the coast and very peaceful.
We encourage everyone to do one thing each week to be kind to themselves. What are you going to do this week to #bekindtoyou?
I think I might treat myself to a manicure and pedicure in readiness for my holiday to Turkey!
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