Another cold, miserable day but I’m trying to beat the winter blues thinking of spring: sunshine, flowers, beautiful colours everywhere and lots and lots of socialising, especially when our brand new kitchen and adjoining extension are finished and we can finally organise some dinner parties, like we used to do in our previous home!
With that aim in mind, I have been revisiting my spring/summer wardrobe and found that very little in it actually fits me, following my recent 'affair' with Dr. Dukan (see Back in shape… for good!). I’ve gone down three sizes and last summer’s clothes can now be easily mistaken by my old maternity clothes! So I have decided to treat myself to a new spring/summer wardrobe.
Searching amongst various boutiques and fashion directories online (between my little one and Caradiaz I don't actually get much time to go shopping!), I recently came across a talented young woman called Victoria Rangayah (a.k.a. z-mode), a South African mother of two who lives in Cheshire and designs some truly exquisite dresses – see for yourselves.
So having fallen totally in love with z-mode (and of course wanting to share my find with you!), I approached Victoria to learn more about the woman behind these beautiful dresses. Here’s what she told me.
What made you become a fashion designer?
I always loved art and see fashion as an art form, it is so unpredictable, exciting and very rewarding.
When did you set up z-mode and why?
After studying fashion at the London School of Fashion South Africa, I worked for a manufacturing company as denim wear designer. But, as much as I enjoyed my job, I had always wanted to have something of my own, where I could express my creativity more freely. So whilst still living in South Africa, I started doing bridal and evening wear for private clients and entered few national bridal wear competitions where I received numerous awards. But after relocating to the UK three years ago and having had my second child, I decided that the time was right to do something that I had wanted to do for so long.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style depends on what role I’m playing on that particular day. I love to dress up smart and elegant when I’m in meetings, mixing lace and feminine details with sharp silhouettes. My favourite wardrobe staple for this occasion would be a pencil skirt or pencil knee length dress. However, when I’m around my kids, my style changes into something extremely comfy, usually jeans, flat boots and t-shirt and a jacket.
I love chunky statement jewellery but can’t be bothered with earrings so much, scared that my baby will pull them out! I absolutely adore shoes, even if I don't wear all of them all the time, its just nice to know I have them in my wardrobe!
Do you have any fashion icons?
Something between Victoria Beckham, Nicole Scherzinger and Audrey Hepburn, always mixed with your own touch of style.
Who would be your dream customer?
I would love to dress Nicole Scherzinger, as I believe z-mode designs would suite her style and personality very well.
How do you relax?
Well, that was a long time ago so I don’t even remember how it feels to relax anymore!!! If I could, I would spend a day reading, watching chick flick movies and sleeping till late.
Are you an advice-giver or an advice-taker?
I’m a bit of both. I can take advice well and always look back where I could improve. I also can give advice but this usually involves a bit of motivational speaking rather than advice. I am a strong believer in positive thinking and self believe. Perhaps that’s why I often find myself preaching about not giving up, sometimes is even to myself when I’m absolutely feeling down.
What does 2011 have in store for z-mode?
I’m currently working with sock specialist Tabio and incorporating re-cycled stockings as a main material for my collection. Attire Bridal magazine has already expressed an interest to feature my stocking wedding dress, which should be completed sometime in March.
I really really love Victoria's dresses and I am certainly going to keep a close eye on her collections - you never know when you are going to need a dress for a special event!
A big thank you to Victoria for letting us into the world of z-mode.