Flashing lights and paparazzi calls marked the entrance to the catwalk show for Fearne Cotton's Spring Summer 2014 Very Collection - her 12th(!) with the label. The Radio 1 host and TV presenter, who rose to fame hosting popular programmes the likes of Top Of The Pops back when these things still existed is in the midst of her fifth year of designing her collection for the UK brand. All this whilst becoming mum to her first child. How's that for impressive? Grazia Daily sat down with the inimitable lady to find out more about the forthcoming collection and if designing whilst pregnant had an impact on the final product.
You've been designing for Very for quite a few years now. What was it that made you want to get into designing?
When I first started working with Very five years ago it was just a dream I'd had, ever since i was a kid. Doesn't every little girl want to do that? Then, when I got the opportunity I was like 'is this really happening!?' and still now every collection I'm just like 'I can't quite believe that I'm getting to do it again'. This will be my 12th collection which is just mind boggling. I grew up with a lot of art in my house - my dads a graphic designer and a sign writer - so he taught me to paint and draw from a young age; getting to combine that into my actual career is really special for me.
What's the inspiration behind your latest collection? Is it things you yourself would want to wear?
Definitely! I always design things that I feel are missing in my wardrobe, selfishly. I've got a lot of really lovely prints in this collection, it's a real eclectic mix of prints and textures and all different shapes and sizes for different women; everyone's got things they love and hate about their body so hopefully I've kind of kept all of that in mind when designing this collection, it's what I always try and start with.
You designed this latest collection whilst pregnant, did that have any impact on the final result?
It did in some respects because I was quite uncomfortable so I really wanted to make things that were good for people who don't want to show off certain parts of their body. I loved being pregnant and I embraced my new body but you do feel different about parts of your body. Like, I had big boobs and I've never had big boobs so I was like 'what do I do with these? Do I show them off? Do i hide them?' so it did actually make me think of necklines more. I also had hips for the first time so i was like, 'right, I want to show these off.' It was definitely a process of working out which shapes felt good with my new body and I'm still kind of doing that now, it was actually a really handy exercise while designing.
What style advice would you give pregnant women?
Don't wear maternity wear! I wore maybe two maternity skirts that were big like elastic tube things, but generally I got a lot of dresses that were just in a size or two above, that were maybe smock shape, or they could have been tight but they were just a bit bigger and I think they then fit the rest of your body better, because the rest of your body doesn't have to change that much. My arms and legs got a bit bigger but not dramatically, so I felt like I could still dress like me and I didn't have to wear something that was like a wrap dress or something that had poppers on it or whatever.
You recently got back to work post baby. Are you finding it a challenge to balance your work with being a mum?
I think any working mum out there will feel it... you have a panic every day at some point where you're like 'aww, I miss them! I wanna be with them! Why am I not at home!?' Then you have moments where you're like 'I'm really enjoying being creative again and I really missed doing this thing that I forgot I love.' Like at radio it's like 'This is what I do! I know how to do this, I know how to talk in between these songs' and I felt really lucky when I went back, same with doing this [designing for Very] it's like… I feel really grateful that I get to do this and then I go home and I feel really grateful I've got a son. It's just made everything bigger and better, really.
Kim Kardashian and Kate Middleton had quite a lot of furor surrounding their changed body shapes. Did you feel any pressure to get back into shape after giving birth?
No! I loved pigging out and eating so much food when I was pregnant and I loved watching my body do this crazy thing. Everything is different and it's a real miracle; I loved it. Getting back to how I am now I've just done it slowly and been healthy; just been eating really well, doing a bit of yoga, nothing drastic. I didn't want to put any pressure on myself, I didn't go back to work until Rex was six months so I didn't have any pressure there.
Well you look great! So summer is over! What are your wardrobe staples for this in-between period?
You need a good jacket that's not a winter jacket and not a cardigan. In my Autumn/Winter Very collection I do this jacket... it's this really gorgeous green parka - but it's really thin so you can have a cardigan or a jumper under it - and it's got massive, big, amazing pockets and it's quite long, it's got sort of faux leather patches on the arms and I've worn it literally every day since it started to get crap. You just need that in-between jacket and they're always quite hard to find so I always try and do one for Autumn/Winter.
Which pieces in the new Spring/Summer 2014 collection are you most excited by?
There's a great dress that's a maxi with short sleeves which is a really good transitional dress because, again, our Spring/Summer is so unpredictable you can't go straight in hard with a maxi strapless dress when it comes out so early in the year, so this dress is something you can definitely wear in Autumn/Winter as an evening dress, or you can wear it in the day in the summer. It's got a red top and it fades into black detail... it's a classic dress, I can see myself wearing it forever, so that's one that I really love. Then we've just done these beautiful smock dresses again that we do every season in different prints with just a bit of flesh; I know I'll wear them to death as well.
Go behind the scenes on Fearne's Very shoot in the video below...