Edie Mac launches 2014 resort fashion collection

Sarah McColl

Sarah McColl - Credit: Archant

Feel the sunshine...a new resort collection by Alderley Edge’s Sarah McColl puts us in holiday mood

Sarah McColl with Sheila Brindle (Sample Machinist) and Catherine Gaskell (Pattern Cutter)

Sarah McColl with Sheila Brindle (Sample Machinist) and Catherine Gaskell (Pattern Cutter) - Credit: Archant

The majority of us go on an exotic holiday and return with a souvenir - a bottle of wine maybe or a painting perhaps. But a couple of years ago Sarah McColl went abroad and returned with the idea for her first ever range of effortlessly wearable resort clothing.

Sarah McColl

Sarah McColl - Credit: Archant

It’s a gorgeous fashion-forward collection designed to make you dream of cocktails on luxury yachts and walking barefoot on white sand. It’s already getting attention from the style cognoscenti.

Like many girls, Stockport-born Sarah had long harboured a desire to become a designer but knew that there was a big difference between dreams and reality.

‘I always wanted to do it but it really is no good just wanting to do something. I had to learn about the business first,’ says the 31-year-old former Stockport Grammar School pupil.

‘It really takes a while to get to a position where you are ready for it and I didn’t come to it easily. In the past I’ve been a stylist, visual merchandiser and I did a graduate programme in buying and merchandising at Leeds University. All these things gave me an overview into how to buy stock and fabrics and into all the mathematical side of things which is vital for any fashion business to succeed.’

However, it was invitations to two weddings overseas in the same year that became the catalyst for Sarah’s new business.

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‘One was in Dubai and the other in Morocco but I was struggling to find something to wear that was fashionable and yet affordable,’ she explains.

‘The kind of cruise collections I was thinking about were very high-end and overdesigned or at the other end of the spectrum, cheap man-made fabrics so I really felt there was a gap in the market for fashion- led premium summerwear.’

The result is her fabulous contemporary debut collection for Edie Mac, a label named after her grandmother Edith and the Mac part of the family name McColl. At the moment the range is only available online but this year she will be planning to make it available in exclusive outlets worldwide.

Again, she had done her groundwork and had already had an online vintage business before deciding she wanted a more creative input. Now she has unveiled a collection of 13 fabulous silk pieces that are simply cut with a Scandinavian aesthetic.

‘I realised that I didn’t want to do mass produced pieces made in China - that wasn’t my thing at all,’ she reveals.

‘So it was important everything was made in the UK and created using beautiful natural fabrics. I wanted them to be the sort of pieces you could wear for an overseas wedding, on a yacht or to beach parties but also as transitional pieces, layered up with a tee or a sweater.’

The trip to Morocco was a major influence on the debut collection as Sarah explains: ‘It’s all silks, natural fabrics and the cut is really sophisticated. The fabric designs themselves were influenced by Morocco. I just loved the colours and the tiles and mosaics. I’ve got a really good friend called Oliver Goddard who did all the prints for me. I’d send him the concept and he would work it into a design.’

Although she never actually trained as a dress designer when she was at university in Leeds she has learned on the job, creating her collection by keeping it local with the help of a pattern cutting, design and sampling team and fabric suppliers RA Smart in Macclesfield.

‘It’s all made in Britain and as far away from the “fast fashion” on the high street as you can get,’ says Sarah who now splits her time between London and the family home in Alderley Edge.

‘Your order comes in a beautiful box and it feels really special. I want the customer to appreciate all that.’

So what’s next for the 31-year-old designer? Fans who have already snapped up the dresses for weddings and pool parties abroad can now look forward to a high summer collection of beautiful prints followed by an Autumn/Winter range.

Says Sarah: ‘This will still be a holiday collection but with a slightly darker colour palette and will probably go online some time in August.’

Edie Mac is currently available exclusively from the Edie Mac website www.ediemac.com with prices ranging from £120 to £490.

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