Yesterday we went to meet Claire Richards to talk about her new venture as the face of Fashion World… and scoff cupcakes of course.
She’s hand-picked her favourite items for their Spring/Summer collection, but she wanted to talk more about the range she designed herself which will debut next season. It turns out Claire’s a bit of a design diva….
Tell us about the S/S range you picked…
I was probably more involved than they would have wanted me to be! I’m like “I’ll have this, this and this”. I think I knew exactly what I wanted. I’ve gone on areas that I feel I struggle with when I buy clothes and the areas I feel more comfortable accentuating or disguising. I feel comfortable with things a certain length, things with sleeves and nothing with a high neck because it just makes me feel bigger.
Do you struggle finding the right clothes on the high street?
I feel that there’s a bit of stigma [with being bigger] and the clothes are always shapeless. I struggled when I was pregnant (with daughter Daisy) to find maternity wear and it’s the same for a bigger woman. I don’t want to get my arms out and I don’t want to wear a cardigan all the time but I do want to look nice.
The thing about Fashion World is, instead of just showing you [the clothes] they put an outfit together and show you how to wear it instead, which I think people like. It’s OK to wear something that’s a bit tighter-fitting if you’re bigger. Baggy is not always the way to go. It’s not just about just hiding bits, it’s about looking good
Are you comfortable with your style now?
I’m really into 50s, Hollywood glam. Very fitted, very Marilyn Monroe and that’s what I love and I feel like I can carry that off.
How did you begin designing your range?
Fashion World actually invited me on the buying trip. At first I was like, do I have to? But it turned out to be the best thing because I could be like “I like that but longer” and “I want to swap those buttons” so it’s been fantastic! I love it. I feel like I’m just making clothes for me [laughs] that hopefully everyone else will like!
Which celebs would you love to see in your clothes?
I don’t know. There aren’t many big girls these days. Dawn French maybe? It actually starts at a size 12 so I guess anyone could wear it.
You wore some of your clothes on Celebrity Big Brother, how was the whole experience?
It was great. It feels like it never happened now. It was a bit of a whirlwind.
Being filmed 24/7 means that you probably got to see yourself in a totally different way. What was that like?
I actually haven’t watched any of it back. I don’t know if I will. My husband’s taped them all but I haven’t watched it back. What I will say is that you can’t trust the mirrors in that house because they are all two-way. I did make a conscious effort with what I packed though, to make sure I looked good. If I was at home I’d probably just wear pyjamas all day!
You did wear your dressing gown a lot though….
Everyone did! Razor and Rylan wore theirs a lot more than me!
Would you ever go further and design nightwear or even lingerie?
Oooh, maybe I’d design a onesie. I’m very interested in shapewear, I’m a big fan of it so we’ll see. The main thing is I want bigger women to be able to look at the things I design, to see that they are fashionable, to enjoy it, to say “ I can wear that” to know that it’s not mumsy and you can still look great.
And with our time up we grabbed our cupcake and we were off. To see Claire’s picks go to Fashionworld.co.uk and look out for own range later this year.