Lavish Alice - meet the team behind the designer fashion label
- Credit: Archant
Fashion designers and Cheshire socialites, Lee Bloor and Matthew Newton, are the couple behind occasionwear label Lavish Alice
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and how you set up the company?
My fiancé, Matthew, and I are both from Manchester but met at university, where he was studying advertising and fashion, and my course was fashion PR. We’ve been together personally and professionally for 12 years this September. Since meeting we’ve been inseparable; we wake up together, spend the day at work together and socialise together with our mutual family, friends and colleagues.
We’re both very similar and perfectionists – to avoid stepping on each other’s toes, we try to have very different responsibilities at Lavish Alice to avoid overlap. I lead and oversee the retail website LavishAlice.com – driving brand awareness, traffic and ultimately sales through PR, marketing and digital efforts. Matthew nurtures our wholesale department and longstanding customers such as ASOS, Very and our portfolio of independent boutiques, some of which are located across Cheshire. It’s the perfect partnership.
What inspires your designs?
We have developed a very clear design handwriting and brand DNA. Lavish Alice is a contemporary label moving at the speed of the high-street while maintaining luxurious quality and craftsmanship.
Creating ready-to-wear pieces from a new perspective and price-point, Lavish Alice offers a fresh and unique mix of femininity with a modern edge.
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What do you hope women get out of wearing your clothes?
Our customers love to style and share their pieces on social media – it’s an open and honest, collaborative, two-way relationship. We get a window into their lives, how they wear our styles and it inspires us with new collection ideas and details. Last year, a customer wore our signature silver sequin midi dress and had it altered in to a mini dress – we loved it so much that it has launched part of this year’s Christmas collection.
Seeing all the tagged pictures of women feeling empowered, confident, sophisticated, classy and sassy wearing our designs is one of our favourite feelings that we love to share with them.
Who wears them?
From Cheshire to Hollywood; Lavish Alice is an internationally renowned, contemporary womenswear label loved by A-list superstars Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Ashley Graham, Jessica Biel, Eva Longoria, Olivia Munn and Nicole Richie along with the Real Housewives of Cheshire stars Dawn Ward, Nermina Pieters-Mecik, Rachel Lugo, Lauren Simon, Darby and Taylor Ward and Christine McGuiness.
As a designer herself, it was a huge accolade when Nicole Richie wore Lavish Alice. Similarly, Eva Longoria’s wedding gown was designed by Victoria Beckham so it was a special moment when she wore Lavish Alice.
Describe your personal style?
In the office we’re more casual and often wear Yeezy inspired loungewear as you never know what each day entails – from delivering a dress for RHOC filming to attending shoots, we always have to dress comfortably and be ready for anything.
For dinner and drinks we usually wear skinny jeans, Gucci Ace trainers and a shirt or designer top. We also love wearing a statement trophy jacket or blazer teamed with a tee to dress down the look – pairing with trainers gives it more of current vibe, which counteracts and compliments at the same time.
When attending black-tie events, we try to creatively interpret the formal dress code and mix it up. For Dawn Ward’s birthday, I wore a lemon suit – it couldn’t have been further away from black, however it was still formal and appropriate for the special occasion.
Who is your personal style inspiration?
In a professional context, we both adore and admire Meghan Markle’s style, she personifies our brand perfectly. We love her sartorial essence of combining classic and contemporary pieces. Often wearing clean lines, off-the-shoulder cuts and sharp tailoring, the Duchess gracefully brings a fresh approach to royal fashion.
In terms of our own style icons, Balmain’s statement suiting is a staple in our wardrobe as well as Gucci and Givenchy for more street style looks.
What do you love about fashion?
The blue sweater scene in The Devil Wears Prada sums up our feelings towards fashion perfectly. A blue sweater is not just a blue sweater, but the result of many different people working very hard to give you something exciting. Every garment has a story and enables the wearer to express themselves in their own way.
You are in the public eye. Has this changed the way you dress?
In the age of social media, almost everyone is in the public eye and scrutinised for their style choices. Instagram especially, is a way of showcasing the best version of ourselves and like everybody else, we try not to repeat outfits. What’s right for one event, might not be right for another.
We are coming up to the party season, do you have any tips for men wanting to dress up a bit?
Jewel colour suiting, such as burgundy or deep green are classic festive tones and can be dressed down with trainers and a tee. For our Christmas party, we’ll be taking the team to Piccolino in Alderley Edge and will both be rocking this look!
What is the most you’ve ever spent on a garment?
We’ve both got a bit of a thing for leather jackets including a Saint Laurent one with fringing that we bought from Selfridges Oxford Street a couple of years ago as well as a Belstaff jacket covered in badges from Selfridges Trafford Centre. They’re both investment pieces that will keep their value, plus Matt and I are the same height and size so often share clothing – winning!
What do you love most in your wardrobe at the moment?
We have a collection of designer sweaters – Givenchy, Kenzo, Gucci, Saint Laurent – that are super easy to wear, throw and go!