The Head Designer of C/MEO Collective, Siham Elmway had a chat with the GC team about all things design – including trends for 2018 and the importance of a hands-on experience to kick start a career in fashion.
What is your background and what ignited your love of fashion?
I guess my love for fashion really started at a young age. It’s in my family, my grandfather on my mother’s side was a painter and my grandmother on my father’s side was a seamstress. My love for fashion stemmed from them as well as just having an eye for fashion and also vintage pieces. I used to alter vintage clothing and sell them at a local market in Adelaide and that led me to meet Melanie Flintoff. I started as the assistant designer and six years on I’m now the head designer.
Image source: cmeocollective.com
What inspires you and your team?
We’re so lucky today with the social media aspect as we have so many different platforms which we can revert to for inspiration. However it’s important that we drive our inspiration through different avenues, such as architecture, art and the team. We all inspire each other here in the office so it’s such a beautiful atmosphere.
How would you describe your personal aesthetic?
I would describe my personal aesthetic or personal style as quite feminine, quiet structured. I do like a little bit of tailoring as well and then I also like to chuck in a few vintage pieces. Also a bit of colour blocking or a few bright colours depending on what’s on for that day.
What are your favourite looks trending for summer?
Some of the trends are bright colours, bold floral prints, a lot of 80’s puffy shoulders are definitely in, as well as cotton shirting or even a fun print. Also a lot of denim and t-shirts.
With 11 collections a year, you must be so busy! What does a typical day look like for you?
There is no real typical day, we work on the 11 to 12 collections at one time in different stages of the design process so there’s no real standard day. I don’t really know what I’m going to walk into or what I’m going to do for the day, often we’re working on fittings, picking out colours or prints, organising photoshoots. We have a lot of the design and creative development in our hands.
Image source: cmeocollective.com
Cameo is a globally recognised and celebrated brand, how have you approached designing for expanding audience?
I guess when designing so many collections we need to ensure we cater to both hemispheres so we do design with different colour palettes. We’re starting to introduce separate styles for the Northern and the Southern hemisphere so that we can ensure we are catering to the market and particular season. Our colour palettes, textures, fabrications and styles are different, that way we can cater to our customers everywhere.
What would be your advice for anyone starting out in the fashion industry?
My advice to anyone starting out in the fashion industry would definitely be: build lots of relationships, get out there and start talking to people, take people out for coffee and just really get to ask as many questions as you can. It’s that information from other people that will help you start out and put your foot in the door. Hands-on experience is something I did straight away and was actually a part of my TAFE curriculum. I did work experience and even though some of it was unpaid, the experience was definitely important. I also think setting goals for yourself is really important as it gives you something to work towards. That way you can start monitoring how much you’re actually doing in a certain amount of time and what you want to achieve.
What opportunities for your brand do you see in working with GlamCorner?
GlamCorner! It’s an amazing opportunity for the brand! I’m all about that feeling you get when you put on a garment. It definitely gives the girl the opportunity to not be limited as to what she wants to wear to an event. Sometimes events are stressful and sometimes you don’t know what you want to wear. I think GlamCorner definitely gives any girl the opportunity to pick a couple of pieces and not have the pressure of actually buying something.
Watch the full interview video now at http://bit.ly/2mzpWUt
For more on our designer series interviews, subscribe to our YouTube channel by following the link https://www.youtube.com/user/GlamCornerTV