10 Questions With…
Gill Harvey took on our 10 Questions, read on for the chance to find out a bit more about the latest Gill Harvey Collection and the designer behind the elegant pieces.
Why did you get into the fashion industry?
I grew up wanting to be either a dancer or a fashion designer – the designer won!
My mother told me that Eliza Jane Howell was established in 1890. My maternal grandmother started her eponymous business which was described as “wool merchant & stockings knitted to order” with her aunt. My mother joined her in the business and they sold the knitwear from Swansea and Neath markets. They gained a loyal clientele including several football teams. This was in the age before tech fabrics became the clothing for sport. I grew up with these knitting machines in the front parlour of my mother’s terraced house in Swansea. My mother was also a good seamstress and fashion was in my blood.
When I started in the fashion business, my first collections were Italian knitwear with a strong bias towards occasion wear. These were perfect for the mother of the bride or glamorous guest at a smart wedding. Several of my outfits were seen at Charles and Diana’s wedding. The collection became known as ‘Medici by Gill Harvey’ and rapidly grew to include cocktail and evening gowns in European fabrics.
Who’s your design inspiration?
I’ve always loved watching old black and white movies. Hollywood in its heyday is pure escapism and glamour. The costumes of Edith Head are a continual inspiration.
Tell us about your latest collection.
We have called our Gill Harvey 2019 collection- The Grosvenor collection.
Our design emphasis has always been about an elegant dress in Exquisite fabrics with hand embellishment – a look that the High Street can’t copy. The Grosvenor collection will showcase gowns in longer lengths and sharper tones alongside the ever popular neutral palette.
What’s your favourite item in your wardrobe right now?
A couple of vintage cocktail dresses from the late 1950s taken from my mother’s wardrobe. The elegance and style of these could not be replicated today.
What colour do you think will be big next season?
For mother of the bride, neutrals will always be popular, but we will be showcasing some stronger colours including coral and emerald for next season.
Which trends do you want to see next season?
Longer dress lengths for more elegance.
Are there any trends you want to see make a comeback?
1950s’ Cocktail dresses!
Did you visit or exhibit at the previous Harrogate fashion exhibition?
Yes, we always showcased our Italian knitwear collection, Medici, with great success.
What are you looking forward to about Harrogate fashion week?
We are hoping it will be the start of putting Harrogate Fashion Week back on the fashion calendar with a bang.
What’s your top tip for exhibiting or visiting HFW?
Come with an open mind and comfortable shoes.