One of my favorite go-to items on those “I have nothing to wear” days is a dress. Dresses have the sort of femininity and ease that I adore. When I discovered the label Dotty, I fell in love. The beauty and style of the dresses immediately captured my attention and I had to learn more about the designer and the brand. I asked designer Heather Wilson a few questions to get to know more about her and Dotty:
Heather: As a child, I was always sketching dresses that I wanted to make. My Mom taught me how to sew as a teenager, and bought me my first sewing machine at age 17. After completing a 4 year university degree, I attended fashion college for another 2 years. I decided to enroll in a Fashion Business Diploma program, rather than Fashion Design, so I could learn the business of fashion before attempting to design. I recognized that many people think they can design, but don’t know anything about running a successful business. After graduating fashion college, I was hired by the New York designer, Ellen Tracy, where I worked as an account sales executive for over 3 years. I then decided to leave Ellen Tracy to open my own wholesale agency, where I represented over 14 brands over the course of 12 years. It was there, at my own wholesale agency, that I decided to start designing Dotty. I had so many retailers asking me where they could buy day dresses with sleeves, that I decided to make some. And Dotty was born.
Heather: My favorite dress is the charcoal pinstriped sheath dress with polka dot chiffon yoke. I love this dress, because it has mixed prints, and mixed fabrics, and yet looks sophisticated and flirty at the same time. By changing shoes and accessories, this dress can look trendy or business-meeting worthy.
Me: What inspires you as a designer?
Heather: Fabrics inspire me. The compositions of fabrics, the colors, the drape and feel – they all inspire me. I usually look at fabrics before having any idea what silhouettes I’m going to use and include in a collection. My favorite place to be is in a fabric store, or sitting in my office sorting through fabric swatches with one of my fabric suppliers. The ideas start to flow after touching a fabric…only after falling in love with a fabric can I begin to design a dress.
One of my favorite pieces from her Fall 2012 Collection is this black dress. I love the shine it has; its a great piece to dress up or down:
Here are a few more pieces from the Fall 2012 Collection: