She belongs to a new generation of British women designers who have consolidated after many collections and who have gained strength in an overwhelmingly male design scene. She's showed that there is much more than suits and ties in a men's garment. Dalton makes it clear to us that the secret of her permanence is due to her desire to stand out and to create a new style for contemporary men.
How would you describe what you have achieved so far in the fashion industry? Tell us about your beginnings and how that passion for designing clothes for men was born in you.
There have been many peaks and troughs over the years. I never expected anything different, I was always very open minded about a life in fashion where there would be moments of great achievement and moments of dire straits. The biggest achievement to date is learning to know how to deal with it all and how to survive regardless. I left school at 16 to work as an apprentice to a tailor in my home town of Shropshire. Pardie Clothing made shooting attire for the local gentry along with Purdey and Sons in Mount St London. My introduction to Menswear was formal, traditional sportswear, Womenswear was never an option as it was something I wasn’t exposed to at that time, so therefore something I wasn’t interested in and haven’t been to date.
How do you take the pressure of being a designer in the current era where fashion is going at a vertiginous pace and much faster than before? Where do you think is the key to stand out and be recognized among so many different options in the market?
With such uncertainty economically in the market and on a global level, there seems such an air of panic buying and the want for something new constantly, with little brand loyalty. It’s of no surprise, designers constantly look to changing their aesthetics to try and fit in, to be bought. It's key to hold our nerve, be true to who we are and what we believe in. To be relevant, yes, you must move with the times, but it's important that in doing so you hold onto your integrity.
Finally a tip for those who are reading us and are thinking about starting a career in fashion as you did one day. What would be your advice?
Upon graduating, try and work for as long as possible within the industry, gain as much industry experience as possible. Fashion is not for the light hearted and isn’t just about putting on a good show. It's mentally draining at the best of times and quite often being creative is very much the last on the list of priorities.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE RUTHLESS TO BE SUCCESSFUL, YOU CAN BE NICE
Discover the complete Lou Dalton's interview in the Fall Winter 2018 - Issue 1. Get your copy here.
Words by Andy Durán.
Photographs by Clark Franklyn.