Really Wild founder Natalie Lake on her inspiration
PUBLISHED: 12:53 13 May 2019 | UPDATED: 12:59 13 May 2019
We ask Natalie Lake, the Founder of Really Wild, all about her life, loves and her inspiration for the forthcoming season
On the borders of Berkshire, in a small village on the Downs, lives designer and Founder of Really Wild Natalie Lake. She lives with her husband and four dogs ("a substitute for my grown-up children, who live and work in London," she says). And it was here, in one of the most beautiful valleys that Berkshire has to offer, where Really Wild was born in 2002.
After failing to find the kind of country clothes that she wanted to wear, Natalie realised there was a gap in the market for well-tailored, classic garments with a modern twist.
"I actually trained as an interior designer, not in fashion, but this gave me no constraints on designing clothes in the early years, having no knowledge of garment technology," says Natalie. "This perhaps gave me greater freedom although lots of mistakes were made! I think of clothes as a form of art."
Natalie's approach was to create luxury, timeless collections using bespoke tweeds, high-quality leather and hand-crafted boots for women who bridge the gap between city life and countryside pursuits. And soon, a collaboration was formed between herself and the Royal Berkshire Shooting School, where the first shop opened.
Then, in 2004, the future Duchess of Cambridge modelled for the brand at the CLA Game Fair and launched it in the national press. "We will always hold a special place in our hearts for our first ever Game Fair, as the future Duchess of Cambridge at that time came and worked with us," says Natalie.
And since then, the Really Wild name has taken off. It has also become synonymous with the tweed revival. "Over the years, we have developed a close working relationship with some of the oldest Scottish mills, which has personally brought me great joy as my passion is to mix textures and the rich yarn colours synonymous with our British heritage," says Natalie.
"Our offices are just outside Reading where the heart of the business is, administratively and creatively," Natalie says. "And 17 years since we launched, my goal for the company is still the same: to create a niche, boutique brand that is internationally renowned."
Describe your style for the season
"My inspiration for this forthcoming season is taken from the colours of the seascape. Discover Liberty Silk shirts, feminine dresses, tailored tweed coats − all online, or in our shops in Marlow and Sloane Square."
Who or what inspires you?
"Joanna Lumley because of her effortless cool style and her energy. She has a wonderful youthful nature and a lovely way with people − very natural and down to earth."
So is it a good time to work in the fashion industry?
"It is always a good time to work creatively, whether it is fashion, graphics or photography, as all potential designers have to have a passion for what they enjoy. My advice would always be to mix creativity with functionality and commerce. And remember, be kind and enjoy life: what you put in is what you get out."
What's in your handbag right now?
- Oliver Peoples sunglasses
- YSL lipstick
- Smythson diary and LIVE LAUGH LOVE notebook (given to me by my husband!)