In conversation with: LV Made in England

LV Made In England | Making of a bow tie


LV Made in England

Est. 2014 - Staffordshire, UK

"Don’t be afraid to play with the rules a little, and mix things up. Colour, texture and pattern are all great ways of testing the water without feeling too self conscious. A well-dressed man will never go out of style, but if you go a step further and inject a little of your personality into the mix, you’ll stand out and people will remember you for it."
- Lauren Vickers


Founder Lauren Vickers speaks to Jeya Narrative about her label LV Made in England and how it came to be. She also talks dapper style, how men can make a sartorial impact, and gives us the best advice her dad ever gave her.

Jeya Narrative: You started your eponymous label in 2014. What brought you to start your own business (a brand of men’s accessories more specifically), how did it begin and how has it evolved since?

Lauren Vickers: LV Made in England started life as a few bowties handmade for my husband one Christmas, after feeling underwhelmed at the lack of exciting, yet sophisticated bowties on the market. I handmade several pieces for his stocking fillers, and after some research we decided that there was something we could bring to the handmade accessories market!

 

What is the most quintessentially stylish accessory every gentleman should have in their wardrobe?

Every gent will find his own style staple, but a pocket square will always add panache to an outfit, without being tied down to tie or bow tie styling. Just throw a pocket square in your top pocket and you’re good to go!

 

You position your brand mainly as the perfect accessory for wedding days and special occasions - do you see a revival of the everyday bow tie too?

Absolutely! There’s been a huge revival in men opting for dapper and sophisticated clothing, and bow ties have started to make their way back into mainstream style as a more casual alternative to a traditional tie.

 Lauren Vickers | Making of a bow tie

Have you always been creative and interested in designing handmade accessories?

I’ve always loved working with my hands, and textiles has been a constant reoccurrence throughout my creative life. I used to spend a lot of time creating one-off accessories by hand folding scraps of fabric into Japanese inspired floral jewellery, and almost went down that route with my business. Yet creating bow ties has taught me so much about the menswear industry, and challenged me to be creative under a new set of guidelines to address; I wouldn’t ever change it for womenswear now!

 

What do you enjoy the most in being a designer?

I find the process of being able to tailor a piece down to the finest details to be so rewarding, and opens up limitless possibilities as a designer. It can be frustrating at times, and no job comes without its drawbacks, but when that piece is completed and packaged up, it feels incredibly satisfying on a level no other job I’ve had has achieved.

 

Where do you look for and select new fabrics? What are your favourite fabrics to work with, and why?

Liberty of London is my go-to for swooning over new prints! They have a perfect balance of quality and quirkiness, that compliments our accessories style perfectly. I also love working with supersoft cotton flannel, and Harris Tweed for more richly textured accessories. Of course it becomes an addiction – I can’t go into a fabric shop without imagining the possibilities, and it’s a rare thing coming out empty-handed! The beauty of these finds is they often end up as one-off pieces.

 Lauren Vickers | Making of a bow tie

What are the processes involved in making a bow tie?

The process of making a bow tie actually varies quite drastically depending on whether it’s pre-tied, or self-tie, and whether it has an adjustable strap or is made-to-measure, as the pattern pieces are very different. However, they all involve pattern cutting, interfacing, a mixture of hand- and machine-sewing, and finally a light steam press before being quality-checked and packaged into boxes. Everything is done by hand in our studio, incorporating as many traditional methods as possible to achieve a superior quality bow tie.  

 

How would you describe your personal style? And who has had the biggest influence on your style?

I’m one of those creatives who has been through endless personal styles as I grew up and learned more about myself, and came out the other side knowing what I love, but not quite knowing what genre it fits into! Most studio days are all about comfort, so I live in T shirt dresses and long cardigans. On a more stylish day I love long layers like kimonos, gold accessories and the luxury of having my hair out of its work bun! I’m quite low maintenance with my style, so when something works, I tend to go back to it often. I wouldn’t say I have a single style icon, It’s more about who and what is inspiring me in that given moment. I’m a big believer in looking at my wardrobe and saying ‘who do I want to be today?

 

What advice would you give a man who tries to be discerning in his style?

Don’t be afraid to play with the rules a little, and mix things up. Colour, texture and pattern are all great ways of testing the water without feeling too self conscious. A well-dressed man will never go out of style, but if you go a step further and inject a little of your personality into the mix, you’ll stand out and people will remember you for it.

   


Lastly…

Place you call home: I just bought my first home with my husband, and we adopted a rescue puppy this week too. Home is wherever they are.
A colour: Grey. It sounds boring, but I find it so sophisticated and calming, and it layers beautifully with other deeper colours!
A movie or book: Book – I just finished To Kill A Mockingbird and loved the perspective of seeing the world through the eyes of a child. Movie – The Hobbit trilogy
A sound: Lorde’s ‘Royals’ Postmodern Jukebox cover on repeat.
A place: My best friend’s kitchen, my home away from home.

Go-to accessory to dress to impress: A floor length, black chiffon kimono with oversized floral print. Instant drama and can be thrown over anything!
Most coveted item in your wardrobe: My wedding dress. I’m an old-fashioned girl at heart!
Favourite tool to work with: I have these little tools that turn long, skinny lengths of fabric inside out and I couldn’t work without them! It used to take me more time than everything else put together fiddling with the straps, and now it takes 5 seconds.
Favourite inspirational quote, or best piece of advice anybody ever gave you: I can get very anxious, and my Dad drilled into me ‘You die if you worry, you die if you don’t. So why worry?’ It really helps put things in perspective.
Why Jeya Narrative? With a strong ethos of quality, craftsmanship, and timeless style, Jeya Narrative felt like the perfect match for LV Made in England. We are dedicated to quality and attention to detail, and it is fantastic to have more brands like Jeya Narrative championing this.




LV Made in England | Harris tweed dark green bow tie
LV Made in England | Heritage mustard yellow bow tie

 


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