Lucie Goulet

A bilingual (French-English) fashion editor, writer and translator living in London.

Currently: Brand copy coordinator at Burberry, branding and media strategist at start up Wandering Minds

Previously worked at Drapers magazine, on the fashion and features desk, at Delightful Media, launching its social media strategy, in the Asia department of the British Museum and in the marketing department of Walker Books. I studied international relations and history at the London School of Economics.

ourwanderingminds:

By Lucie Goulet, Wandering Minds guest blogger and wise strategy advisor

What would you wear to meet the Kennedys? Holidaying in the Hyannis Port family compound with boyfriend Conor Kennedy (that’s Robert Kennedy’s grandson, JFK’s grand-nephew, and he’s got the family hair and look), Taylor Swift went for florals, polka dots and more florals with a few stripes thrown-in. Now we may not be fan of her music, but we’ve got to admit that we liked her youthful and vibrant wardrobe choices, perfect to meet the first American family and all the paps following them around. Cue to vintage-feel swimwear and dresses you could dance in. Think, since you can’t evoke the Kennedys without name dropping her, early Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, an American student at La Sorbonne, visiting Europe with her sister, winning a Vogue writer competition… Jackie with the dreams, the possibilities and none of the drama or heartbreak.

A contract publishing, celebrity style blog post about Taylor Swift’s summer wardrobe for London fashion start up Wandering Minds.

Aim: To increase customer engagement with the brand, keep the blog updated and interesting so they come back and increase SEO ranking

Posted at 3:57pm and tagged with: Wandering Minds, Celebrity, contract publishing,.

agent2magazine beautiful soul

ETHICAL FASHION ENTREPRENEUR NICOLA WOODS GAVE UP A SUCCESSFUL CAREER IN INSURANCE TO FOLLOW HER DREAM OF BECOMING A DESIGNER. HER BEAUTIFUL SOUL BRAND, SHOWN AT LONDON FASHION WEEK’S ESTETHICA, HAS BEEN WORN BY LILY COLE AND GABBY YOUNG.

Nicola Woods has just moved her ethical womenswear label, Beautiful Soul, to a studio off Portobello Road. Her shelves are filled with copies of Vogues, « great for inspiration », and the backbone of her company: original Japanese kimonos.

Woods’ interest in kimonos came during the trip to Japan that kick-started her fashion career. For 11 years, she worked as an insurance broker. One morning, whilst sitting under a cherry blossom tree in Tokyo, she realised she needed to pursue her dream of becoming a fashion designer.

Woods enrolled at the London College of Fashion, class of 2008. A pattern-cutting student, she struggled with drawing, instead directly draping her clothes on dummies. During her last year of college, while researching Vivienne Westwood, she discovered that the Dame created most of her collections directly on small-scale dummies. Woods’ graduate collection, Smallprint, was entirely done on such dummies before being produced for the catwalk. It paid tribute to Japan with coats and dresses with highly detailed, exaggerated collars and silhouettes.

In the following seasons, Woods refined the concept. She now takes the kimonos apart to give them a new life. Working with kimonos can be limiting because of the width of each panel of fabric. Since each kimono is unique, each Beautiful Soul garment is a one-off piece. For lining, Woods uses vintage saris and peace silk. She also creates coats in British wool sourced from Izzy Lane.

Woods’ clothes will stand the test of time. For fastening, she favours ties made with kimono chutes, meaning that even if the customer puts on weight, she’ll still be able to wear her outfit in 20 years time. Multi functionality plays a key role and pieces can be worn in a multitude of ways.

For summer 2010, Woods was inspired by Puccini’s Madam Butterfly. The Miss Butterfly collection includes jackets which can be turned into skirts and light, short coats in vibrant colours. The winter 2010 collection, No. 3 is a tribute to Japanese fashion legend Yohji Yamamoto. Heavy coats and dresses will be available in a palette of red, black and white.

Thanks to her new studio, Woods has just launched a bespoke service, Beautiful Soul Bespoke. Customers can visit by appointment and be involved in every step of the garment making, including choosing the vintage kimono personally.

Beautiful Soul’s e-store, Ascension, Junky Styling and the Victoria & Albert museum currently stock the brand. Beautiful Soul has proved popular with V&A visitors, who like seeing historical kimonos in the Asia galleries before buying Woods’ garments in the gift shop. She is looking into new stockists, mostly high-end boutiques and department stores.

For her summer 11 collection, Woods plans to launch a menswear range made of navy blazers. Womenswear will include shades of purple, a recurrent colour in Beautiful Soul clothing, and some vibrant orange.

beautiful-soul.co.uk

Words Lucie Goulet

Written for AGENT2

Posted at 11:18am and tagged with: AGENT2, green fashion, interview,.


Colours fascinated Elsa Schiaparelli. Her autobiography, Shocking Life, is paved by her colour discoveries, from the blue and red uniforms she designed during the First World War to the oranges and turquoises of Kremlin treasures.

In the first third of her book, however, the colour pink only comes up only to describe her new-born daughter, Gogo. Schiaparelli’s early career was, much like her contemporary Coco Chanel’s, defined by black and white. The first garment she created, in 1927, was a jumper with “a white bow against a white background.” Her first evening dress was, again, monochromatic.

The shocking-pink came thanks to Schiaparelli’s first foray into fragrances. In 1937, while struggling to name her upcoming perfume, she remembered a pink Tête de Bélier Cartier diamond owned by her friend, client and Paris editor for Harper’s Bazaar, Daisy Fellowes. In her autobiography, Schiap (as she nicknamed herself) describes the jewel colour as “bright, impossible, impudent, becoming, life-giving, like all the light and the birds and the fish in the world but together, a color of China and Peru but not of the West – a shocking colour, pure and undiluted.” She asked Surrealist designer Leonor Fini to create a perfume bottle imitating Mae West curves in that very shade. The perfume was named “Shocking”.

Though the colour wasn’t an immediate hit with her friends or business partners, customers loved the perfume’s colour as much as its smell. Thanks to its success, Schiap discovered how perfume sales can keep a fashion house afloat. The color was extended to blush and lipstick. A make-up advert dubbed the Place Vendôme, where Schiap had her flagship store, “la zone rose.” Schiap quickly adopted the shocking-pink as a house staple, using it in her Surrealist creations. Her first shoe-hat, designed for her autumn 1937 collection, had a shocking-pink heel. Dali loved the color so much he used it for one of his own oeuvres d’art, “an enormous stuffed bear with drawers in its stomach,” dyed in shocking-pink.

The RGB composition of shocking pink is generally seen as 252, 15, 192, a variation of magenta pink sitting somewhere between ultra pink and fuchsia. It has also been called neon pink, or hot pink in America.

Contrary to her couture house, Schiaparelli’s shocking-pink outlived her. Yves Saint Laurent described it as “the nerve of red… an aggressive, brawling, warrior pink” he used in many collections, including his F/W 1980 “Collection Shakespeare” tribute to the Surrealists. John Galliano used similar pinks in his last two Dior Haute Couture collections. Would the master have approved? Christian Dior’s definition of pink, “the sweetest of all colors”, “the color of happiness and of femininity” was more sweet than vibrant.

- Lucie Goulet

Written for WORN Fashion Journal

Posted at 11:10am and tagged with: worn fashion journal, fashion history,.

Behind every successful designer, there is a great CEO: Yves Saint Laurent’s right hand man was Pierre Bergé; Valentino Garavani looks to Giancarlo Giammetti and Marc Jacobs’ working partner is Robert Duffy. The designer takes care of dressing women, while their second-in-command looks after the business aspect of the fashion brand.

Matthew Williamson and Joseph Velosa are one such duo. They have been working together since the day Williamson launched his company. “By virtue of starting a company together, there is already a strong relationship that forms just from the journey you go on when you start a company and all the trials and tribulations” says Velosa.

Velosa, “one of the unsung heroes of British fashion” met Williamson in Manchester 20 years ago. At the time, they were both studying in London, one philosophy at King’s College and the other fashion design and printed textiles at Central Saint Martins. Velosa’s fashion involvement wasn’t a given: “I had no intention of going into that world” he says.

However, Williamson’s decision to start making his own dresses after a trip to India on behalf of Monsoon changed his life plans. Velosa partially attributes his success to “intrinsically knowing the business, intrinsically knowing Matthew and the creative process”. As CEO of Matthew Williamson, he has demonstrated a natural flair for business. The company now owns stand-alone shops in London, New York and Dubai, and corners in the most prestigious department stores. It totals an impressive £11 millions in revenue.

After his popular collaboration with H&M last year, Williamson has diversified his range further, designing a capsule collection for men. His first foray into high-end menswear got the seal of approval from Harrods’ fashion and beauty director Marigay McKee, no less.

It hasn’t always been plain sailing though. Even though the company has always been in profit, nine years after the company launch, they decided to take on investments. Velosa describes the process of due diligence as “quite boring”, advising up-and-coming designers to “really wait as long as you can for investments” and “be prepared for the extra-transparency required.”

The opening of their first London store in Mayfair meant that Williamson and Velosa had to re-mortgage their homes. Thankfully, the Butterfly diffusion line for Debenhams came around the same time. Opening a store in New York soon after was a way to prove that the brand “could carry itself internationally”. Expansion plans towards the Far East, particularly Singapore, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur have been slowed down by the recession.

The recession however couldn’t entirely stop the Matthew Williamson growth, even though Velosa reckons that in a better financial climate, they would have profited from the H&M publicity a lot more.

The H&M collections were pure Williamson: high-voltage Ibiza glamour. For Velosa, keeping the Matthew Williamson DNA clear is as important as making profits, which has lead the brand to “evolve carefully”. He has been choosy with the names with which Matthew Williamson is associated, favouring jeweller Bulgari for an exclusive line of accessories because “it is often much more powerful to connect with a partner when you launch something new.”

Matthew Williamson also has a strong online presence. However, they have stopped short of Twitter and Facebook “because we are not sure it’s right for the brand.” Transactional website MatthewWilliamson.com is updated every other day or so, and it is here that customers can read about the latest products or see pictures of Williamson with one of the celebrities who loves wearing his clothes. Velosa explains the success of the company’s celebrity endorsement by the “genuine connection and friendship” between the stars involved and the designer.

What does the future hold for Matthew Williamson? At the moment, the duo are looking into fragrances and homeware: two deals which would require a license and have been slowed down because, again, of the recession.

Joseph Velosa was interviewed by Imran Amed, editor and founder of The Business of Fashion, during a meeting of the Fashion Business Club.

Written for Running in Heels

Posted at 11:09am and tagged with: Running in Heels,.

The Beaver newspaper, London School of Economics

A day in the life of my hat

Posted at 6:09pm and tagged with: First person, comedy, The Beaver,.

The Beaver newspaper, London School of Economics
A day in the life of my hat

Diana Christensen, the fictional head of programming for the also fictional Union Broadcasting System (UBS) in Network is one of the strongest lead female characters in 1970s cinema. As the neurotic, power-hungry Christensen, Faye Dunaway won an Academy Award for best actress in a leading role.

In retrospect, Christensen’s satirical obsession with ratings, reality TV, and angry shows was prophetic. The first show we see her sell is based on a lefty revolutionary group. Her argument? People are angry, and we need to mirror their anger on TV: “I want counterculture, I want anti-establishment.”

The story takes place a decade after Mad Men, and women have moved from being secretaries to running the place. Even though no other woman has reached her level of responsibility at UBS, Christensen is not apologetic for her gender, neither does she consider it an impediment. In her own words: “I seem to be inept at everything, except my work. I’m good at my work.” As a manager, Christensen doesn’t hesitate to ruthlessly play all the cards at her disposal. She can be harsh when necessary, never hesitating to threaten to fire people who don’t share her vision, or sweet if it’s the best strategy. Time and time over, she is compared, either inadvertently, or by herself, to men, even when it comes to her sexual encounters. Her idea of romanticism and foreplay includes telling her lover, former news director Max Schumacher, about network numbers and legal issues.

Christensen sees her personal life the way she approaches her work: “which sort of script can we make out of this?” From the beginning of her affair with Schumacher to her ending it by a now mythical “I don’t like the way this script of ours has turned out. It’s turning into a seedy little drama,” she’s the heroine of her own life. The break-up scene is the only moment where Christensen shows some vulnerability: for once, she looks like she’d rather not follow the script, though she doesn’t consider it an option.

From her first appearance in the movie, Christensen only wears neutral, honey-like colours. Beiges, browns, and whites make up most of her wardrobe palette. Christensen’s outfits are a lesson in corporate chic, before women started to dress “like a woman thinks a man would dress if he was a woman.” She mostly wears separates, below-the-knee skirts and trousers, and often has a lavallière or scarf around her neck. Her only dress is a rather striking, asymmetrical, backless, white number worn to announce to shareholders, “next year we’ll be number one”. A comment on how married to her job she is? The dress might be virginal, but it is the tipping point where Christensen really becomes ready to do anything in the name of her job, even becoming a psychopath. The closer she gets to ordering murder, the whiter her clothes become, in a display of irony from costume designer Theoni V. Aldredge.

- Lucie Goulet

WORN Fashion Journal, April 5 2010

Posted at 4:53pm and tagged with: WORN fashion journal, fashion, cinema,.

Brianna Karp is probably the most famous homeless person in the United States. The Girl’s Guide to Homelessness blog author went from being a successful executive assistant to being homeless in a very short period of time in 2008.

Never one to accept defeat, she embraced new media and founded one of the first homeless blogs on the Internet. Two years on, she is writing a book about her story and interns with US ELLE’s advice columnist E. Jean Carroll. On a trip to London, she met Running in Heels over coffee to discuss her views on homelessness in the UK and the US, how she thinks the situation could be improved and her desire to set up a trading vintage clothing website.

How did you become homeless?

In July 2008, I was laid off with just under half of the company. I went to stay with my family for a bit because I couldn’t afford rent anymore. I had to leave rather quickly as things got violent. I inherited a trailer when my biological father killed himself and I went to live in a Walmart parking lot because I was unable to find a job. Walmart has this policy where travellers can stop and stay in their parking lot. There were lots of homeless people staying on the car park. We kept to ourselves and shopped at Walmart when we could afford it.

I was able to blog because I had a laptop. At Starbucks you can get unlimited Internet access for a month. You have to top up a card with $5 every month but you can stay for as long as you want. I could blog and look for work.

A book and a movie about your story are in progress. Do you fear your life story will be taken away from you?

Not at all. I’m personally writing the book and it’s my story, the story of me and my family and the economic downturn in the US right now. It’s not as if there is much to glamourise. The movie is still in talk.

What have you thought of Europe so far?

I find things intriguing and refreshing. The attitude and the priorities here are very different from the US, especially from Southern California. People are a lot more into politics and social issues. They are not as ignorant as a lot of people can be in the US. I also like the presence of culture and arts.

What would you advise a recently homeless person to do?

Use all the available resources you do have wisely. Event the smallest thing can be beneficial to you.

Right now, there is an increasing number of people being laid off and then becoming homeless. These people still have cars, laptops and cell phones. These are important things to hold on to.

Of course, try to keep as positive an attitude as you can because it is so easy to become depressed when you find yourself in that situation.

Is the face and definition of homelessness changing?

There is that stereotype of a homeless person being mentally ill, on drugs… Those people need help as much as anybody. However, I’ve read a study which says that only 15% of homeless people as far as they can tell are either into drugs or have a mental illness.

Increasingly, homeless people are individuals being laid off, young people. I think in the UK you don’t understand how bad it is in the US right now because your interest rates are still pretty low. In the US interest rates are skyrocketing and foreclosures are through the roof. People are losing their houses and jobs. Unemployment rates are really high, especially in states like California and Michigan.

Why do you think people hold on to this idea of homeless people being sick or substance abusers?

People don’t want to believe it can happen to them. They see someone like me and it is a shock to them. I could be their daughter, wife or sister. No one wants to go through that. In the US, we don’t have social housing like you do. The few that exist have long waiting lists. As of  December 2009, I read that over three million Americans were one pay check away from being homeless.

We don’t have free healthcare. If I got sick right now I’d be screwed. We usually get healthcare from work. If you’re unemployed you either buy your own or you’re out of luck.

There is a section called Homeless News on your blog. Do you see yourself as a spokesperson for homeless people?

I’m one facet of homelessness, one point of view. There are as many reasons for homelessness as there are homeless people. Some people are in worse circumstances. I’m hoping to bring attention to the issue.

I get a lot of emails from people who are homeless and asking for help. If I don’t know where to go, I can ask around. I’ve built a network. There are now a lot more homeless people showing up online who blog like I did.

What do you think of the way the UK deals with homelessness?

The UK seems to care about its people. It picks up people falling and puts them in social housing. I haven’t seen anything comparable to what I see back in America. Most of the people I talk to seem to view homeless people as unfortunate people who need help. Americans are more scared of being attacked. You’re more understanding of circumstances that can put people on the street.

Wearing down the stigma is the most important thing. You need to talk about homelessness, to show people the faces behind it. They see homeless people and make assumptions whereas you don’t know who they are, how they got there… Plenty of people are homeless but no one knows about it because they don’t “look homeless”. They try to blend in, dress nicely, a lot of them still work.

Would you consider going into politics?

I don’t know how good I’d be. I’m pretty shy and I tend to be sceptical of politicians in general. I’m sure a big part of that is because of how US politicians are. Either they’re god or they’re scum. However, I would love to continue with advocacy and bringing attention to social issues.

How does your current internship with E.Jean Carroll relates to your experience?

I work with her on Ask E.Jean.com, her own personal site. I help her give people advice. Working on the book is also considered part of my internship. I have written a few blog entries for US ELLE. When I had to fly up to New York to go on the Today Show, one of their interns took me up shopping. They also talked about me in their December issue.

What’s next for you?

I hope to keep the blog going. I want to continue with the activism and homeless advocacy.

Because I love art, culture and fashion, I’d like to set up my own site to buy and sell vintage clothing. I’d like to come back to Europe to do some buying. I want to go to some flea markets in Paris, buy some stock and bring it back and also start selling US vintage to the UK.

I’d like to set up a charity. I’d like to take a percentage of my vintage site earnings and donate it to homeless charity.

Posted at 7:11pm and tagged with: running in heels, interview, feature,.

Over 30 dresses donated by celebrities are currently on auction on eBay to benefit the Princess Alice Hospice. Lucie Goulet writes.

Among the garments auctioned are a Max Azaria draped cream dress from Shilpa Shetty, an Alberta Ferretti sequined number from Helena Bonham-Carter, a George Chakra jacket from Dame Helen Mirren and a full-length black dress from Hobbs worn by Samantha Cameron.

As well as raising money, the project, named Fit for a Princess, hopes to educate the public about the key role of the Princess Alice Hospice. To that end, each auction page includes detailed information on the charity work and its funding. The Hospice provides specialist end of life and palliative care for people with life-limiting illnesses and their families, both at the Hospice and in their homes in South West London and Surrey.

Each garment will come with authentication, often in the form of signed photographs. Some celebrities further personalised their donation. According to Emma Chenery, the event organiser, “Joanna Lumley has written a delightful letter explaining where she wore the dress, and how when wearing the outfit Roger Moore and Daniel Craig kissed and hugged her. Lynda Bellingham sent a Gok Wan book following a specific request by the charity for the dress she wore on the Fashion Fix show on Channel 4”.

Prior to the start of online bidding, the dresses were exhibited at the Bentall Shopping Centre in Kingston.

Chenery hopes to raise £5000. A reserve has been put on each piece, meaning that they should at least sell for a total of £1700. The Hospice heavily relies on operations like Fit for a Princess. “Yearly costs are in excess of £7 million and 75% of funding must come from community donations and fundraising,” explains Chenery.

The auctions end at 8pm on October 29th.

26 October 2009

Posted at 4:05pm and tagged with: greenmystyle.com, news, charity,.

The Home Office has divided up £5m between 1,000 independent retailers in a bid to fight retail crime.

13 February 2010

Posted at 4:00pm and tagged with: drapers, indie, news,.

The December issue of British society magazine Tatler offers the usual Christmas trimmings, and a different sort of comfort care of leggy cover girl Eva Green, writes Lucie Goulet.

The usual pre-Christmas wish lists, perfume suggestions and sunny gateways fillTatler’s glossy pages this month, but all this is tempered by a revealing interview with Eva Green. Annabel Rivkin’s profile of the actress is an encouraging tale for shy, self-doubting girls the world round.

Green’s narration of her own life goes as follows: as a teenager, she was “practically mute”; she “was sent to therapy as a teenager” in an attempt to bring her out of herself; salvation came when she enrolled at the American School in Paris and, in an experience which gives credit to all those studies showing that bilingual individuals act differently depending on the language they speak, “went extreme…dyed her hair very black and wore an excentric outfit each day”. James Bond fans and Bertolucci lovers can be thankful for the English language. The accompanying photoshoot by Ricardo Tinelli is the sexy-poised editorial you expect from Tatler. In an Hollywood-glamour-meets-British-manor atmosphere, sexy secretary Green wears a mink coat, satin shirt and silk camisole (if that’s real mink, watch out for PETA at her next premiere!).

The good bits:
- Sarah Brown, wife of the UK PM Gordon Brown, tells of her commitment to Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centers in “Voting for Maggie’s”. The piece shows us a caring woman with convictions. Pity she mostly makes headlines for her sartorial choices.

- With “Mommy Dearest”, Tatler once again features an article on a topic previously written about in Vanity Fair. Charlotte Eagar breaks down the ins and outs of the Brooke Astor case. It raises interesting questions, especially about how devastated the very private Astor would have been to see the most scabrous details of her life thrown to a jury. However, there are only so many pieces on the subject you can read.

- “Jenkins vs Jenkins” is the rags-to-riches tale of Diana Jenkins, the Bosnian refugee who married City mogul Roger and created her own company. Contrary to what the title might suggest, the couple is not at each other’s throat but rather complement each other in both business and personal branding.

The not-so-good bits:
- “The Trouble With Ernst” tells you as little as possible about Princess Caroline’s husband besides the fact that he could be king of England, that his father beat him up as a child and that you really shouldn’t believe what French magazines say about the state of his marriage. UK libel law has a clear imprint on the whole piece.

- Tatler’s Little Black Book lists “this year’s perkiest singles”. Many of them are in long-term relationships, a fact Tatler circumvented by defining single as “unmarried or separated”. The descriptions are corny (“Emma Watson: let the Burberry girl cast that magic spell on you”; “Prince Harry: Good thighs. Your palace or mine?”) and the names impossible to get away with if you’re not British aristocracy of sort, but it makes for a fun read.

Pretty Pages:
- “Finding Narnia”, recreates the beloved children’s book atmosphere with magical jewellery. The lamppost becomes a white-gold and yellow-diamond ring, the White Witch’s Turkish Delights topazes, amethysts and pink sapphires. Jessica Walsh’s editorials are always rather enchanting but this one is Christmas perfection.

- Funny Face and the Sofia Coppola/Tim Walker Miss Dior Chérie campaign have set the bar rather high for fashion shoots with colourful balloons. “Up” doesn’t really surpass either. It’s quite hard to not see Maryna Linchuk as the jumping model carried away by a bunch of balloons.

- “Tender is the Night”, a soft-focus shoot inspired by the Fitzgerald era, shows interesting clothes in a setting that lacks imagination. British countryside and nostalgic estates are the Tatler equivalent of US Vogue’s staid grey backgrounds. Snore.

Glossy stats: December 2009, £3.90
Glossy bosses: Catherine Ostler, Condé Nast
Glossy ads: De Beers, Dior, Tiffany & Co, Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton…
GWAS glossy rating: 3 - Possibly… worth a flick but not your lunch money.

Reviewed by Lucie Goulet @ Girl With a Satchel

23 November 2009

Posted at 3:08pm and tagged with: Tatler, Girl with a Satchel, magazine review,.