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Why I choose friends and not professionals

Coming from a background in fashion – the heady days of the 1980’s working in the London fashion business for high end cat walk designers, taught me one thing – being a model is not a glamorous life. It is a life of self-sacrifice – to keep to the tiny size that is required you don’t see a carb for months and when you do you will likely look in the mirror and feel fat.

Yes, there are models who are naturally thin and don’t have to make the same dietary sacrifices, but in general the ones I saw coming in for fittings didn’t lead the wonderful life that is often portrayed. They were poked and prodded when having fittings and often told to lose weight, some made a great living out of it, but for many it wasn’t an easy life.

Luckily times have really changed and we are now far more likely to see a product photographed on a person we can relate to  than ever before. Instagram has some incredible ‘real’ women accounts, ladies who embrace their curves and their grey hair. Many big brands have also cottoned onto the fact that we want to relate to the person in the image and use a diverse range of models.

So, when it came to photographing our NEW Ladies Stripe Tees, I had no hesitation in asking my girlfriends to model for me on our recent Girls Glamping Trip. They are all ladies over 45, some with grey hair and a few wrinkles, with average body shapes and I think that they all look fabulous. I even got in front of Kerry’s camera for some of the shots.

My friends are all at ease with having the camera pointed in their direction because I do it all the time, and they trust me, they can relax with me and I believe that getting a more natural shot is so much more authentic than professional who is acting under direction, with no connection to the product and is likely to be a size that many of my customers are not.

I am very blessed to have a great team working with me now at Redhound HQ, a team of ladies ranging from size 8 to 18 and they all sport their Stripe Tees with pride. We all have curves and some of us are a mix of sizes, making it even harder to get clothes to fit.

When I designed this new tee I did it with my odd shape in mind – I wanted something that would flatter my body shape and be versatile enough to wear in lots of ways – on it’s own with a pair of shorts on hot days, layered over a long sleeve tee on cold days, worn with or without a scarf and of course, with a cardigan over the top! The Breton Stripe is a design classic and I love this fabric all the more because it is knitted right here in the UK. It even smells lovely when we are cutting and making up with it.

If you think you can’t wear stripes, think again, Andrea my lovely friend and pattern cutter extraordinaire (below) never wears stripe tee shirts and even she was surprised how flattering the red looked on her. AND how comfortable and easy it is to wear – but hey, we have her pattern making skills to thank for it.

Some might say they have a bust that is too large for stripes, a tight striped tee would not work for a large bust but ours has a raglan sleeve that gives plenty of room in the bust and top arm area, and because it is shaped into the waist and gently flared it really works so much better than a fitted straight up and down style.

But – don’t take my word for it, try one for yourself! You can grab yours here for an introductory price until May 21st 2019.

In case you are wondering where this amazing place is, we stayed at Lunsford Farm, managed by Featherdown Farms – it is a fantastic place to get away from it all – we go twice a year! Sadly this one is not dog friendly but some of them are in other locations.

Debbie x