CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE COLLECTION?
I’ve always loved Needle & Thread’s ethereal aesthetic, embroidery and embellishments, so I knew I wanted to expand on that, creating a sustainable collection inspired by my love of colour and anything eye-catching. We decided very early on that the collection was to be inspired by my passion for the Indian philosophy of Ayurveda as well as incorporating a few personal touches such as my Dad’s favourite bird the Kingfisher, my fascination with astrology and nature. We’d stay true to Needle & Thread’s expertise in signature embroidery and embellishments — the real journey would be in bringing their existing designs into the sustainable arena in terms of the materials used.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE COLLABORATION PROCESS?
I worked really closely with the Needle & Thread team across every design stage of the collection. We started with inspiration boards which were then translated into fabric designs. It was when I got to see the fabric samples that the collection really started coming to life. We had committed early on to using eco sequins, recycled tulle with embroidery and quickly learnt that by using new materials everything behaved a little differently — so it was really interesting to see which of our designs had worked at all and which worked better than we could have hoped for! It was in this same meeting that we shortlisted our favourite fabric samples and applied them to the dress shapes we had already agreed on. We had some idea of which fabrics would work for different shapes, e.g. the Rainbow Sequin Chakra Dress worked exactly how we imagined, and on others we didn’t hold back on exploring playfully, from thread colours to bring out certain details like the flowers and the shooting stars to different styles of embellishments to catch the light. I was definitely working with a pro team at Needle & Thread HQ, and the most exciting part for me was knowing that this was something new for all us — together we were able to overcome creative challenges and reach all of the sustainability goals we had set for the collection.
YOU’VE BEEN WEARING NEEDLE & THREAD FOR MANY YEARS. WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE BRAND THAT YOU LOVE?
I’ve always loved Needle & Thread, the British brand’s intricately detailed embroidered and embellished pieces, which are special to look at, wear and own. I’ve worn the brand many a time over the past few years, so when the opportunity came to collaborate (and collaborate on a more responsibly sourced collection), I jumped at the chance. Like me, they truly believe in a sustainable future for fashion, so I loved working with them on developing a completely ethical collection as part of their ongoing mission to be kind to the planet and our communities. Their diligence around social economics and then their hunt to create the right eco sequin and tulle pushed our collection back a season whilst demonstrating their integrity.
IF YOU HAD TO CHOOSE JUST ONE FAVOURITE PIECE FROM THE COLLECTION, WHICH WOULD IT BE?
The Chakra Sequin Long Sleeve Gown has to be the standout of the collection for me and the one I felt really carried my stamp. But over time the dress that I’ve reached for the most is the Harmony Embellished Ballerina Gown, with its long sleeves and flattering length, it works for all seasons as well as for both evening and daytime dressing. Having said that, whenever I see a picture of anyone wearing something from the collection, I fall in love with that piece all over again!
HOW ARE YOU FINDING JOY DURING THESE CHALLENGING TIMES?
I try to focus on practising gratitude for all the good things I have in my life and feel the most balanced when I make the time to schedule in moments of quiet, and time away from my laptop! My #LunchBreakSoundscapes, daily sound baths on Instagram Live (almost!) every lunchtime since lockdown, have been such a saving grace for me, allowing me to find a routine, practice mindfulness and help others do the same. I’ve also been getting down and dirty in my veg garden, which has felt like a real outlet over the past few months — there’s nothing quite like eating something that was in the ground 20 minutes earlier.
WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER ONE TIP FOR SELF-CARE?
Meditation is a constant in my daily life — I practise Vedic meditation so do it once or twice a day for 20 minutes, or longer if I’m feeling it. It keeps me calm, centred, grounded, grateful, mindful, empathetic, focused and more importantly efficient… the benefits are endless. My sound baths act as an extra meditation practice and I invite anyone to join in if they’re not sure how to get started meditating, or just want to add a moment of mindfulness to their day. They’re on my Instagram @jasminehemsley every weekday at 12:15pm.
YOU'VE RECENTLY ANNOUNCED YOUR WONDERFUL NEWS THAT YOU’RE EXPECTING YOUR FIRST BABY! HOW ARE YOU FEELING ABOUT BECOMING A NEW MUM?
Excited to say the least! The first month or so felt quite slow, especially keeping it quiet, and suddenly it’s racing by. It’s definitely made this year even more memorable than it already is!!