Sue Greenstreet - designer from Sale welcoming the return of Hollywood glamour
A designer from Sale is welcoming the return of Hollywood glamour and 1950s style<br/>Words by Rachael Hogg Photography by Kirsty Thompson
The print version of this article appeared in the November 2011 issue of Cheshire Life
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Textiles and fashion have run like a thread through Sue Greenstreet’s life. She learned to sew as a young child and that set the pattern for a lifetime spent designing and creating stunning, stylish clothes.
Sue grew up with fashion and textiles – her grandma was an Irish tailor and her mother started as a designer too – and she has been designing individual creations from her home in Sale for a number of years.
Sue’s passion lies in high-end fashion, textiles and decoration and when she studied fashion at university, she found her upbringing had been the perfect preparation, ensuring she had the skills necessary to succeed.
She studied art and drama, specialising in fine art and textiles, and theatre design and although she went on to teach drama at a Manchester school, art and fashion were never far away and Sue often found herself being drafted in for art and textile lessons.
She finally gravitated back to fashion full-time after the birth of her son Christian who is now 20, and she now designs everything, including jewellery and accessories to complement her clothes, but she is most renowned for her beautiful wedding dresses.
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Every one of her pieces is unique and Sue believes that the process of getting to know her clients is almost as important as the clothes themselves. The technique is obviously working as some of Sue’s clients have almost their entire wardrobes constructed only by her.
Tailoring is Sue’s passion and she has noticed a shift in attitudes in recent years. ‘With the influence of television programmes such as Mad Men and The Hour, people seem to be gravitating back to tailoring and looking smart and stylish for work. ‘I am very excited about the return of Hollywood glamour to the catwalk. I learned to draft patterns using a system my Gran used and the books are full of original 40s and 50s styles. When I show the books to my clients they are blown away.’
Sue, 52, also finds inspiration in more traditional places. ‘Art is my life,’ she said. ‘If I’m not producing textiles, I’ll be photographing or visiting an art gallery.
‘I aim to create a strong visual identity for my clients and I find that inspiration can come from everywhere – holidays, the natural world, anywhere at all.’
But Sue is also quick to point out that the fashion industry is not all glamour. ‘Fashion is a very hard slog whether you are your own designer, working for a fashion house, or for the high street. There are a lot of hours and it can be difficult to get your name out there in the fashion world.’
Her own creations are showcased on the website Made by Hands of Britain, which provides a forum for British craftspeople of all disciplines.