Claire Craig talks to Belfast designer, Chloe Dougan about rubbing shoulders with fashion royalty and her plans for the future
In the four years since she graduated designer Chloe Dougan has been named as an artist to watch, nominated as a young entrepreneur of the year and rubbed shoulders with fashion royalty.
Studying Textiles at the Ulster University gave her the foundation and skills she needed to start her business but it was gaining a residency at the Duncairn Centre for Arts and Culture on the Antrim Road that really allowed her to launch her brand.
“I took inspiration from the Japanese art of Kintsugi which is the ancient practice of repairing a piece of pottery or ceramic with gold. Rather than being seen as damaged the piece is then viewed as more special because it has been repaired with these golden seams.
“I loved that idea of something being broken but put back together more beautiful than it was before and used different coloured embroidered leather to portray what anxiety was to me.
“I couldn’t have planned to squeeze so much into this year
so who knows what the next twelve months will bring.”
“The project seemed to get a great response and it helped launch me as a textile artist rather than just a designer.”
Describing her own personal style as “glam-grunge” and her designs as “feminine with an edge” Chloe is at her happiest when she is creating work for others.
“People always ask me what I’d like to do next and honestly I struggle to answer,” she laughs. “I just plan to make the most of whatever opportunities come my way. The long term goal is to keep doing fashion shows and driving the business forward.