Unable to find the perfect skirt, Siobhan Thomas decided to set up her own brand to cater for all styles and shapes. She talks to Stephanie Smith.
Skirts reign supreme on the catwalks and red carpets for spring/summer 2019, a trend that has flowed through to the high street with force, bringing mini skirts, midi skirts, maxi skirts, asymmetric skirts, fluid skirts, pencil skirts, A-line skirts and denim, printed, plain, tailored, floaty skirts. A lot of skirts.
This focus is reminding many of us exactly what has been missing from our wardrobe – a great skirt, one that’s flattering, wearable, works with everything and looks smart and sassy even with trainers and walking boots.
It was a love of all kinds of skirt that prompted Siobhan Thomas last year to create her own brand, What’s Your Skirt? In particular, she adores the sort of skirts that can be mistaken for a dress, that give an outfit a pulled-together look, whether or not they are an exact match for the top they are paired with.
Siobhan, 31, from Leeds, is a graduate of the University of Huddersfield with a degree in Fashion with Marketing, Manufacturing and Promotion.
“I have always loved fashion but I found myself being disappointed when I went shopping as I struggled to find clothes that would fit me well and suited my personality,” she says.
Her new collection of skirts is called Empowered Woman, and it will be launched at the Simply Ladies gala dinner and awards event in Leeds on Friday. Siobhan has been nominated for the Best Bespoke Designer, Rising Star, One to Watch, Women in Business and Inspirational Women awards.
“It’s about being empowered in yourself, being who you are born to be, because I feel like sometimes women feel they have to conform to a kind of way, of living or look, whether it’s body image or beauty,” says Siobhan.
The collection features bold urban prints and glamorous red carpet skirts. All are designed and made by Siobhan herself using fabrics sourced locally, many using prints she also designs herself. The brand’s signature skirts celebrate and flatter curves using a classic A-Line silhouette and nipped-in waist.
Siobhan, who also works as a marketing executive in Leeds, says: “It’s all about women being confident and expressing their individuality through style.”
Many people don’t realise quite how versatile skirts can be, she says, and also how they can work well for women of all shapes, sizes and lifestyles.
“People say, I feel very sexy and very feminine, but also I feel very modest, which is quite important at this time, because on the high street, there’s not an awful lot of modest clothing,” she says. “I am a Christian, but for me, I always feel it’s hard to find clothing on the high street that fits you and feels nice immediately. That’s always been a struggle as far as I can remember, and for friends. Not that I’ve got anything against clothing that is more revealing, but I quite like the fact that there is a modesty element to my brand.”
As a result, customers are diverse in all ways, including age, she says. Customers can go to Cutout Dolls in Leeds Market to see the skirts or go on the Whatsyourskirt.com website. They can send Siobhan their measurements and she will make them a bespoke skirt that fits perfectly. “They love the fact that it’s unique to them,” she says.
All skirts available to order at www.whatsyourskirt.com. The Simply Ladies Award Gala Dinner is at the Centenary Pavilions at Elland Road Stadium on Friday. See www.eventbrite.co.uk and SimplyLadiesInc.com. Wake and Drunk in Love Couture will also take part in the catwalk show.