7 Questions with Creative Director of Wallis

Wallis is a high street fashion label that provides women with stylish and quality outfits. Their Spring/Summer 2016 collection is sophisticated and embodies hints of ethnic patterns and delicate lace numbers, along with rich colors. Jo Collins is the Design Director of Wallis. She oversees the designs and foresees future trends the label should look out for.

She imparts her insights and fashion knowledge on Wallis, what to look out for SS16 and her must-have pieces.

1. Can you tell us what Wallis is all about for those who aren’t familiar with the brand?

Wallis is a brand that epitomizes style for the woman in her thirties. The Wallis customer is smart and is fashion-conscious without being a slave to trends. She is a busy woman who is feminine and well-groomed. She learns about fashion trends and ideas from magazines and comes to us for the perfect accessible interpretation of these trends. And we show her how to put this together in a way that is appropriate for her lifestyle.

2. Can you describe what you do in your role as Design Director at Wallis?

My title is Design Director and I am responsible for the trend and color directions each season, and ensuring that the collections offer newness and innovation whilst retaining the brand DNA.

3. How did you get into the world of fashion?

I graduated with a BA (Hons.) in textiles and got snapped up by the fashion industry due to my versatile print handwriting and creativity.

I then moved on to a print/CAD/colourist role which was quickly followed by heading trend directions and scene-setting for retail brands.

Next, I moved to creative direction and head of design roles before finally reaching the position of Design Director at Wallis.

4. What’s your favorite fashion season — Spring/Summer or Autumn/Winter?

Autumn/Winter, as I love coats and tailoring. This is why I love working at Wallis — smart outwear is a big part of the Wallis brand heritage so I love that this is still what Wallis is known for and what our customers turn to us for.

5. What are the main trends for SS16 at Wallis?

An explosion of florals

Soft, smart separates — layering, versatile wardrobe essentials that offer effortless style

Khaki and palm print directions

Occasion dressing/collections

6. What’s your favorite piece from the SS16 Collection?

A blush jumpsuit with maxi chiffon over-layer — this was part of our Spring press collection and was delivered as an online and international exclusive — it’s selling out!

7. How do you manage the office to cocktail hour wardrobe transition?

Always have a spare pair of dress-up shoes to slip into!

Pairing separates is key as they can be more versatile and offer that mix-and-match dress-up/dress-down appeal. I like tapered trousers that can be paired with flats for a relaxed look during the day, and then dressed up with heels for going out after work.

In my wardrobe I always have unique tops and layered jackets to complete the look.

I also love a jumpsuit as it offers the complete outfit — the only thing you need to do to dress it up for the evening is put on some lipstick and a pair of heels and you’re ready to go!