Guernsey-born designer Claire Gaudion launched her luxury accessories label in 2012, after graduating from the London College of Fashion and working for several years in the capital's fashion industry.
"My home island of Guernsey is my inspiration. I'm drawn to the colours, patterns and textures - the dramatic coastline of granite reefs, sandy beaches, fishing bays and rocky coves. My design work is usually a mix of hand-weaving and digital experimentation to achieve the layers of form and colour, and a sense of movement in my designs," explains Claire.
She launched her spring/summer 2013 collection in September. Titled Land, Island & Sea, this collection continues to explore the ever-changing coastline of Guernsey and its neighbouring Channel Islands.
It's a striking and expressive mix of patterned printed scarves which feature interlaced circles in bronzed yellows or bright greens softened with pinks, an impression of the swirling waters at the foot of the island's cliffs at La Jaonnet and La Bette Bays. Zigzags and stripes weave together in greens or red and yellow tones, echoing the tides in the Gouliot caves of Sark, while abstract geometric layered-coloured prints tell stories of the island's changeable seas at Gull Rock and the Casquettes.
These bold, graphic patterns sit alongside the beautifully painted All Scarves, illustrated by Claire's brother and artist Tim Gaudion, featuring Guernsey's coastline at Vazon Bay, Portinfer and L'Eree. Made in Britain and hand-finished, this individual collection of scarves, neckerchiefs and classic squares is offered in luxury silks, silk wool and silk modal blends.
Claire is selling her collections internationally and is stocked in independent fashion boutiques as well as online fashion stores and art centres. She also has a line of notebooks, which is continuing to grow, and has a number of new product designs on the horizon, but as a new label she wants to focus on her scarf collections and create a really strong brand identity.
This summer's favourite design has been Albecq, with Vazon and Oyster Point following closely. All of Claire's designs have been popular, with the mix of colours making them very wearable and offering choice to suit individual preferences.
Next year's spring/summer collection is much bigger with more than 20 designs across different scarf shapes and fabrics. "I'm really excited to see which will become the new best-sellers!" enthuses Claire. You can visit Claire at Top Drawer in London this September, and she has also been invited to show with Spotted Plus, curated by Charlotte Abrahams. "This gives me the opportunity to show my collections to an international audience, within a featured area of hand-picked new design talent."
Claire won the Best New Fashion Product Award at Top Drawer in January. "This was a great surprise and honour. I had been invited to exhibit in the Spotted arena at the show, which was a great Launchpad for my first collection, and to win Best New Fashion Product was fantastic. It drew a lot of attention to my accessories label, and generated additional press for my scarves."
Claire's first year has been very eventful, with some great stockists and good press coverage including being featured in The Times, Elle Decoration, Eurowoman DK and Neverunderdressed.com. "I will continue to work hard at growing my business and finding new exciting stockists," says Claire.
To find out more, visit www.clairegaudion.com