Childhood memories and eco sustainability: New Beautiful Soul collection
Nicola Woods gave up an 11-years-long career in corporation and, during a trip in Japan; she decided to fulfil her dream to become a fashion designer. In 2008, after she graduated from London College of Fashion, Woods founded her label Beautiful Soul. Nicola looks for the right balance between fashion and sustainability, using sustainable fabrics. During the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, she participated at the Fashion Enter Heritage display of British Fashion.
How come you made such a drastic change in your career and why fashion?
For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a fashion designer. After working in a fast paced career in corporate insurance for 11 years, I took a sabbatical to travel. Returning to London, I trained at the London College of Fashion in 2008. I launched Beautiful Soul in November of that same year. My graduation collection was dedicated to that life-changing moment, sitting under a cherry blossom tree in the heart of Tokyo and Beautiful Soul’s Kimono collection was built on this premise.
Could you tell us more about the Kimono collection?
Beautiful Soul’s studio boasts one of the largest archives of vintage Japanese kimonos dating back to the 1940’s. Customers are invited to choose their own vintage kimono and to be part of the journey of transforming and up-cycling it into an expertly tailored, one-of-a-kind garment.
Could you explain the concept behind your new Ready-to-wear collection?
Flowers have a lot of personal meanings to me and are found in so many of my memories. Beautiful Soul London’s A/W’13 collection is called I ♥ Ladybirds and takes you on a journey through an English country garden. It explores the eternal appeal of English traditions that are reflected in the unique statement print featuring bouquets of hydrangeas. The flower heads are placed on a delicate lilac, peach or a bolder black background, with dainty ladybirds nestled on the flower petals adding a touch of Beautiful Soul charm.
As a child, I collected ladybirds with my sister. I love them.
Your RTW S/S’13 collection is named after your sister. What’s her role in the concept behind Amanda Marie?
How do you translate mixing fashion and sustainability on a practical level?
I believe taking a responsible approach to the planet is not a trend, it is the only way forward and as a designer it is my responsibility to design a product that has considered the environment and that offers transparency throughout the supply chain. For me, this is common sense.
My objective is to positively promote the brands use of British and sustainable fabrics, UK production, British Craftsmanship and intelligent, innovative design.
How was meeting the Queen?
It was a surreal experience and such a memorable day. I felt honoured to meet the Queen and Prince Philip and be included amongst such talent as Preen, John Rocha and designer and TV presenter Jeff Banks.
What’s the highlight of your career?
Calling myself a fashion designer, after years of dreaming.
Photos: Courtesy of New Beautiful Soul
For further information on the I ♥ Ladybirds collection visit here