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Latest Anna Scholz News & Plus Size Fashion Trends

December 2009
 

The festive season started well with Alison Moyet’s concert in the Royal Festival Hall.
I have known and dressed Alison for a long time. Her voice is amazing and her music really touches me.
I always love seeing her perform!

 

We’ve been very busy at the studio this month.  We had a lot of patterns and samples to finish and to send off to China before the holidays, as they don’t close over X-mas and we needed to use this vital time to get our sample collection for Autumn-Winter 2010 ready. There are only 5 weeks left after X-mas to finish the whole collection before our trade shows in February. Time is getting tight!

The girls in the office like to put ghastly tinsel all over the office and wear stupid X-mas hats-- simply to annoy me, I suspect, as it is just so unstylish. Ha!
But I do like our Secret Santa tradition (even though it’s never much of a secret).

 

 

 

 

 

For our office X-mas party this year we went to a burlesque nightclub called Volupte.
Drinks, Dinner (with the show) and Disco! What a fun night we had!
I think it is time to introduce my team properly....

 

 

 

 

I had to dash of to Verona to visit one of my dearest friends in hospital, which wasn’t very nice; but Verona is such a beautiful city and was especially pretty with all the X-mas lights up.

 

 

 

After all the partying, far too much eating (no drinking for me ), shopping and wrapping of presents, I managed to get a flight out of snowy London to spend X-mas in Germany with my family.
I always think of X-mas as a really long big break, yet it surprises me every year that everything is over so very quickly. But it was festive, cosy and lovely.
I spent most of my time with my mum and my two brothers, Tim and Jonas with his lovely girlfriend Corinna and gorgeous daughters Hazel, Sophie and Nora.
      

 

 

 

 

And we wish you a merry X-mas!!

 

This past year wasn’t my easiest one (probably an understatement – see my previous blogs); too much drama!
Hence, I am happy 2009 has come to an end and I can start 2010 with new energy.

 

 

 

November 2009

 

November has been a fairly quiet month—but it has had its busy moments as well.
We all had our heads down getting on with production for the Spring-Summer 2010 season and developing new prints/ fabrics and styles for autumn winter 2010.
Here’s a tiny preview to get you all excited.

 

 

 

 


As you know, I also design a diffusion line called annascholz for Simply Be. We finished our presentation boards for Simply Be the other week and met with them in Manchester. They loved our new pages and sampling is storming ahead.
We have taken on a new Irish agent:  Welcome to the team, John Mohan!

I have started a life drawing class again, which is something I really enjoyed during my college years. It is lovely to draw and focus on a model again-- even if somehow I am out of practice.

I went up to Scotland at the beginning of the month to see an art exhibition by one of my very dearest friends. His work was very clever and inspiring.  I am always taken aback by the beauty of Glasgow. I mean, we went to Edinburgh as well and everyone knows that Edinburgh is fantastic; but somehow I feel Glasgow gets forgotten. It’s well worth a trip.
 

 

 

 

Then I met up with Susanne Froehlich, Germany’s famous and vivacious author and TV host! She interviewed me for her new book coming out in the spring of 2010 which deals with issues of size acceptance. We got on like a house on fire (and of course she kitted herself out in some great new outfits)!
 

 

 

 

And then there was our sample sale in our office! Lots of you came and I love watching you all try on our different creations and leave laden with bags. 

Snapshot of a happy customer, Nicola Ringsell, wearing annascholz.

Speaking of happy customers ... I always love it when someone sends us a snapshot of themselves. 
The first prize goes to Penny Kennedy who “shared a moment” with a giraffe in Africa wearing our cotton dot kaftan.  Of course, the kaftan might not be the first thing you notice in this photo!
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 2009


It never stops being busy!
Once one collection is finished, all the sales appointments are done and everything is entered into our production system, fabrics get ordered and production is organized ....... then we start all over again for the next season: viewing new fabric collections, meeting print designers and searching through vintage markets for the ultimate find.

Excitement arrived in the office this month with 2 film crews on the same day! We filmed for one popular English TV programme (sorry, can’t say which one yet. They made me sign a non-disclosure agreement -- very annoying) and then for German Spiegel TV, which aired on the 11th of October.
The German program was made in response to Brigitte magazine’s (one of Germany’s most popular women’s magazines) decision not to use skinny models anymore, starting in 2010... this is a huge step and a reaction to their readers complaining about their increasingly emaciated-looking models and unrealistic images of women. Whereas most magazines retouch models to make them look even thinner and trimmer, Brigitte had to Photoshop their models to look curvier and healthier!
I am still surprised about the huge press reaction Mark Fast got when he used three size 12-14 models at his London Fashion Week catwalk this season. As if “bigger” models had never strutted their stuff before!

We certainly saw many new beautiful “plus size” models this month as we were casting for our spring summer 2010 photo shoot.
We picked Laura for the upcoming launch of our Black Label diffusion collection (more on this later).  We chose Vanessa and Andrea for our White Label photo shoot.
Have a glimpse behind the scenes...

 

 

We try to make our office a fun place to be (and we work incredibly hard, of course) and one thing we all have in common is a love for fashion. Strong opinions and different views enhance diversity, but sometimes we are just very much in unison.

 

 

  



Frida turned 1 this month and got a few new treats and toys. Not all of them enjoyed a long life...

 

 

 

 

I am rather excited as I bought a new house in London which is just about ½ a mile from our office. This will be an ongoing project as it needs complete gutting and redesigning.
I am hoping to move in spring but, for now, it’s back to the drawing board...

 

I went to see an interesting exhibition called MuTATE Britain (‘One Foot in the Grove’) -- Ladbroke Grove, that is, in Portobello. I’d like to share it with you as it was very cool.
Check out their website:
http://mutatebritain.wordpress.com/2009/09/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 2009


After all the illness ridden weeks in August I wanted to take a deep breath of fresh English sea air so I went for another week to Camber Sands.

I just love waking up by the sea, listening to the seagulls and going for long walks.

 

 


September is appointment time and our showroom was busy throughout the whole month.

Darren our sales manager went to set up our NY showroom for a week and met up with our US customers. I felt quite jealous that I couldn't go this time, but he took some pictures for all of us.

 


 

 

Darren with Laura from Lola & Gigi (Laura looks fab in our silk satin shirred dress!)
Laura and Giovanni from Lola & Gigi were sad I wasn’t there 
Liz from Fresh Ayer in her mosaic wrap dress


And then Darren went to my favourite foodie delight in New York (just to annoy me even more)
From Rice to Riches in Nolita. Rice Pudding in all varieties.....yum yum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then it is already time to  look at prints and fabrics for autumn winter 2010 .
There are lots of beautiful bits out there and it will be hard to choose where to go for the new collection, but this is a fun time and I love setting the mood for yet another season.

 

August 2009

 

August was a month I would like to forget/ delete/erase personally.
I spent 3 weeks in hospital with pancreatitis and had my gallbladder removed.
It was hideous and painful, boring and dull -- and very un-inspirational (although I did consider providing them with prettier hospital gowns!).
Just wanted to say a big thank you to all the lovely nurses at the Princess Grace Hospital who made me smile when I didn’t feel like it.
And also special thanks to my ever so frequent visitors: Mum, Bailey, Cliff, Lucille and Flora.
It took me another 3 weeks to recuperate which was slightly better as I was at home.  Being disconnected from drips and feeds was just so much nicer.
PPHHWWHH!
6 weeks out of the office and the world is still turning.
My lovely team looked after everything efficiently (another BIG THANKS!) and now I am back.

 

Darren took our lovely new collection to Copenhagen to exhibit at CIFF which turned out to be a good start into the Scandinavian market.

 

 

 

 

Our London showroom was fully booked with appointments for the Spring-Summer 2010 collection.  Our colourful print-laden collection is being very well received.
We have introduced our WONDERLAND Autumn-Winter 09 collection to the online shop.
So, girls, are you ready to shop?

 

 

July 2009  

 

The biggest event of July was the wedding of my dear friend Cliff to the beautiful Sharon. Cliff is not only one of my oldest friends, he is also my business partner. Sharon looked gorgeous and the whole day was perfect and so romantic!

 

 

As you can see the whole annascholz team and all our friends were there looking really fab and wonderful, dressed in annascholz designs new and old.

 

 

 

Cliff's and Sharon's mothers were sporting outfits by yours truly and looked amazing also Cliff's daughter the lovely Layla was wearing one of my favourite pieces from the Spring-Summer collection.

 

It was a really wonderful day ... so special that I threw a few shapes on the dance floor! However, I have destroyed all photographic evidence of this...

 

Everyone was super excited all month with the final preparations of the Spring-Summer 2010 collection for the first big trade show of the season. The studio was buzzing and a bit hectic. It's a very busy and stressful time but the upcoming collection is looking great!

 

The website has been updated with wonderful images on our new homepage and we will be introducing pieces from the new collection to the web shop over the coming weeks. If you want to be the first to know when they become available just sign up to our newsletter and we will let you know or keep checking in at www.annascholz.com

 

 

 I hope everyone is having a great summer!

 

June 2009


The cycle of fashion is coming full circle again.  We are designing, fitting and sampling the spring summer 2010 collection. Our studio is in full swing with extra pattern cutters, sample machinists and more interns.
 

Fabrics and samples are arriving and I am constantly questioning already made decisions… it can be a painful process but is also oh-so exciting.

 

 

 

 

It is a nightmare when the creative process keeps getting interrupted by the constant flooding of our lovely office… we are becoming experts at mopping up and I pray we find a solution quick!

 

 


I am happy to announce that I’m going to be an auntie again: my brother’s girlfriend, Corinna, is expecting baby Hazel in August.  Doesn’t she look lovely in our collection pieces? 
 

Corinna is also a very talented graphic designer who designs all of our brochures, letterheads, business cards, flyers etc.
 

‘we are family….’

 


And then…. We are getting ready for the highly anticipated wedding of my darling friend and business partner Cliff … 5th of July! Pictures to follow..

 

 

 

 

Have a look at Julie James (entertainer) in our lovely Peacock coat at the Tony awards in June 2009

 

 

May 2009


I needed to get my creative juices flowing for the new spring-summer 2010 collection; hence, I hired a house in Camber Sands right at the beach with a beautiful view. Penny and Liz joined me for a few days so we could get our heads around the new collection.
 

This is a very lovely way of designing and I am hoping to be able to do a lot more of it.
(and Frida said she would like to move there....)

 

 

The best news this month is that Simply Be have announced that they will be launching in the USA for spring-summer 2010!
We designed for Simply Be all month and finally went up to Manchester to present our new pages to our buyer.  The pieces they selected are great and I feel that we have exciting things in the making for the new season.

We also had a fabulous meeting with Harrods. Even in this dire economy our sales are up by a whopping 72% this season. We have been officially invited to do our first shopfit in Harrods! I am very excited!
Now we have to decide on a concept and pass it by the Harrods board.... it is sooo much fun.
Watch this space, it should be up and running by January.

We have made our print and colour selection for our spring-summer 2010 collection.  With amusement I realized that, so far, I have selected 19 prints for the new season -- this won’t be a quiet one!
We are having lots of fun with prints:  there are ponies galloping over blue fields; and the 70s are still here with orange clashing with purple… and royal blue with magenta....
Don’t worry, there will be some more toned down pieces too!
Oh, before I forget:  if some of you would like to mail us ([email protected]) with requests of pieces you are always looking for and can never find... we are open to suggestions.

 

April 2009


Some of our lovely pieces were shown on Gok’s Fashion Fix.
Lisa looked great, Gok was his usual enthusiastic self and our website visitor and sales numbers went through the roof!

The power of TV!

Anna Scholz Plus Size Clothes on Gok's Fashion Fix

 

My friend the photographer Candice Farmer has photographed the model Sophie Anderton underwater in our beautiful tropical print silk dress! What a great picture!
Candice has photographed many celebrities under water for her brilliant charity, fresh2O.

Sophie Anderton submerging for fresh2o campaign, www.fresh2o.org
Photo by Candice shot on location at the Hyatt Regency Dubai
4 children die every minute because of dirty water.  fresh2o's mission is to provide clean water for drinking and sanitation purposes globally.

Plus Size Clothing on TV


Meanwhile…

OK I had to face it… I turned 40 in April.
To mark this rather frightening occasion I invited my closest friends to spend Easter weekend in Shropshire in the beautiful Soulton Hall hotel. I never had a chance to feel miserable. We had tons of fun, great food, and glorious sunshine on top of it all.

 

Frida is growing up and already 6 months old.

This month she graduated from her dog behaviour class at ‘My Ideal Puppy.’ It was so much fun.

Now is the time to start thinking about the Spring/Summer 2010 collection and all month we have been looking at fabrics, buttons, trims, vintage clothing etc.
May I be inspired.....

 

March 2009


March was the month that our new website finally launched. We’ve all been writing for it and testing it over and over.  We’re really pleased with how it’s turned out.
We have attracted a lot of attention with our new website going live and had many blogs and reviews everywhere. It’s fantastic -- thanks to all the bloggers everywhere!

We are still taking orders for Autumn/Winter 09 and showing our lovely new collection from our new showroom.
Great news: We finally got an order from Saks Fifth Avenue in the US!! That only took us 10 years!

 

Another great development:  Simply Be has launched in Germany !!
Since 2006, I’ve been teamed up with leading catalogue and online fashion retailer Simply Be, for an exclusive mail order collection at affordable prices. The ‘Anna Scholz for Simply Be’diffusion line has grown to include womenswear, swimwear, nightwear, lingerie, shoes and home furnishings.
Lots of our customers’ prayers have been answered, and now our ‘Anna Scholz for Simply Be’ diffusion collection is finally available in mainland Europe. The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.
We did our Simply Be photo shoot this month and used a new girl from Ford models in NY.
Jenny looked great and we are all excited to see the new pictures.

Here’s a little preview:

Frida is growing into a proper dog and is adored by many.   To make her the best dog ever we have started a puppy training class at ‘My ideal Puppy’.  It is very cute!  And of course she is the star of the class and always on her best behaviour!

 

Now it is also time to organize the shoot for our main collection and we have decided on a very vintage 70s feel.  We’ve got our dream team together again:  Yoshi, our super cool hairdresser from Japan; Mia, our make-up guru from Taiwan; and Alfred Bailey, photographer from London.  This time we chose beauty Louise from Excel models in London.

And guess who else loves the camera?—Frida just had to strike a few poses for us!  Um…we’re gonna need a lipstick touch-up over here… 
 

Always in good spirits despite her nasty bites from a Staffordshire bull terrier.  She’s healing nicely and her modeling career shouldn’t be affected.

 

We’re super excited about our upcoming appearance on “Gok’s Fashion Fix”.  Stylists from the program came in and bought lots of clothes from the Spring/ Summer 09 collection for a make-over episode.  The woman who is getting the make-over had to wear a blindfold during the fitting because she’s not meant to see the final results until the show is filmed.

 

 

February 2009


This has been a busy month with lots of trade shows debuting our new Autumn Winter 09 collection to retailers at various exhibitions. First we went to Düsseldorf in Germany and exhibited at CPD. Our stand looked great!

Anna Scholz Staff at Plus Size Clothing Exhibition Germany

The picture above left shows my lovely sales team: Penny (assistant designer), Anna (our new fit model) and Darren (sales manager). We do like to have a bit of fun while we are working.

As I was in Germany already I made a quick dash and visited my grandmother. She is ONE HUNDRED years old!! My brother Tim is also in this photo.

We then showed at Pure London in Kensington Olympia which was a little slow and boring.

Anna Scholz, her granmother and brother

New York was next on our agenda and we found a great new apartment hotel to use as a temporary showroom.

The pictures below show a little preview of our Autumn Winter 09 collection I always love the hustle and bustle of New York and wish I could have stayed a little longer.

Anna Scholz Autumn Winter 09 Collection Preview

We only had half a day to go shopping, but now being a dog owner, a whole new shopping world opened itself up to me. And I realized Americans are CRAZY when it comes to their pets. I found necklaces, hairclips and nail varnishes for dogs. The most ridiculous of all dog wigs!!!

Dog wigs

dog toys

But as I don’t believe in dressing Frida in Hot Chick pink frilly dresses or black PVC overcoats, I just bought her the cutest squeaky toys.

Sorry Mark and Jimmy
The boutique is called Trixie and Peanut in lower Manhattan We went to a really cool music and dance performance in the Chelsea Art Museum where my very talented friend Micaela Leon performed. Check her out on YouTube!

Afterwards we ate at a wonderful Japanese gastro pub called Izakaya Ten.

 

January 2009


We finally moved into bigger, brighter and better premises

Moving was traumatic and getting flooded 4 days after moving in was a nightmare. But now we are here and everything is organized. I love it and feel a little proud.

Welcome to our new office:

Anna Scholz New Studio, Plus Size Designer London
 


I considered getting a dog for ages and we finally picked a puppy from a litter of 11! Frida is half Dalmatian and half Lhasa Apso. (That must have been an interesting courtship!) She is growing rapidly and cavorts around the studio all day. I Iove her!

Our dog, lovely Frida

January is super busy for us as we have to finish the new season’s collection in time for all the shows in February.

So its heads down all month—sampling, fitting, creating and making travel plans. We bring extra machinists into the studio for the month and everyone even works a few Saturdays (I buy lunch, of course!).