The Norwich designer putting the city on the fashion map
PUBLISHED: 19:30 02 March 2020
She’s designed silk scarves for art galleries including Tate Modern and the Sainsbury Centre, now Norwich-based printmaker Bella Singleton is launching her first ready to wear fashion collection. She gives us a sneak preview.
In the last few years her brightly patterned silk scarves have been the go-to accessory for fashionistas in the know - now Norwich-based designer Bella Singleton is about to take the next big step in her fashion career by launching her first ready to wear collection.
The first two pieces in her capsule collection - a relaxed shirt and a shirt dress in a range of botanical prints - launch on her website for pre-order later this week and a T-shirt will follow later in the season.
Bella, who lives in Norwich's Golden Triangle and has a studio at a co-working space on King Street in one of the city's growing creative quarters, says that the idea to expand into ready to wear has been on her radar for the last two years.
"Without realising I had started to collect imagery and save things I saw on Instagram and Pinterest," she says.
Nature and colour have always been two of Bella's biggest inspirations and her prints combine her love of florals with geometrics and unusual shapes and pops of bright colour.
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The styles of the shirt and dress are based on the sort of versatile garments which she likes to wear herself and she tested out potential prints on her wrist scarves.
"For the shirt, I came up with a relaxed fit," she says. "It was the sort of garment which I could see a woman wearing both to work and on holiday, with a fun and playful feel to it. And with the shirt dresses, again they can be worn in different ways - worn over jeans is a cute look or you can dress them up in the evening with a belt."
In addition to the T-shirts, which are coming soon, in future seasons expect wrap dresses and other styles of blouses. She also continues to create new scarf patterns. Recent projects include a collaboration with the charity Friends of the Earth - a monochrome design featuring astrological and botanical motifs.
Bella studied printed textiles at Leeds College of Art "where I got to draw pretty prints for three years," she smiles. Following graduation she got a job in London, but made the decision that she would prefer to work for herself.
She launched her first scarves at the Top Drawer trade show in London in 2015 and got a large order from Tate Modern who wanted to stock her designs in their gallery shop. Since then she has been adding to her range and building up her online customer base. In Norwich she has worked with art galleries including the Fairhurst Gallery in Bedford Street and the Sainsbury Centre on the UEA campus. She also takes her scarves to trade shows and events such as the Suffolk Show and the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
"As a child I was always drawing fashion designs," says Bella, who grew up in Suffolk. "I was just always drawn to print or pattern, but I didn't know it was a field I could work in until I left school. My mum's a garden designer and my dad an antiques dealer, so there was always a lot of creativity growing up. My mum's work has definitely influenced me. I go back to her garden and pick various flowers and sit down and draw them."
See more of Bella's work online at bellasingleton.com