Designer Frances Lowe from LOCLAIRE. Images supplied.
Frances Lowe is the designer and founder of new womenswear label LOCLAIRE whose debut collection launched recently. Frances has been working in fashion for the past eight years for the likes of RUBY and H&M, but it was a stint in China that changed her perception on fashion and inspired her to start LOCLAIRE. The label itself is all about modern yet timeless womenswear that is responsibly and ethically produced in line with the brand’s values. Frances wants to educate and inspire through clothing, encouraging others to live in a more conscious way, with the least impact on our people and our planet.
We caught up with Frances to find out more about her brand, what inspires her and what you would never catch her wearing!
Tell us about your latest collection?
This is my debut collection. LOCLAIRE is grounded in strong ethical values and I really wanted our beautiful fabrics to be the heroes. We have a luxurious mix including organic cottons, silks, tencels and wool blends. They materialise in relaxed tailoring and elegant silhouettes with sporty streetwear details here and there.
I really want to persuade people to fall in love with their clothes again. To do this, a lot of our pieces subtly encourage engagement or interaction. They might look classic at a glance, but upon getting to know the piece better they will reveal little details that make it quite special. For example, our Solar Powered T-shirt has a UV reactant LOCLAIRE logo that in the shade is translucent, but under sunlight it reacts and becomes a bright purple. The idea of this is to encourage the wearer to spend time outdoors and appreciate mother nature.
What made you become a designer?
This was always the dream, however I never wanted to just start up another clothing brand for the sake of it. It was only when my boyfriend and I moved to Shanghai a few years ago that I started to realize a bigger purpose. Living in a city of 26 million was a massive lifestyle and mindset shift, so different to anything we’ve ever known – thinking about things like consumption and waste and pollution at this sort of scale was hard to comprehend at first. It started as a lifestyle adjustment and then naturally started informing my clothing choices. The more I learned about ethics and sustainability in the fashion industry the more I felt I had the responsibility to implement change across the entire clothing lifecycle. We moved back at the end of last year and started up LOCLAIRE. Now I’m just really keen to keep educating myself around this space, and then also to share this knowledge with others – it is so important and the only way forward.
What inspires you?
People – anyone involved in mindfulness, ethics and sustainability (not just in fashion), and planet – our earth is truly incredible and resilient, and we need to remember this every day we’re on it.
Looks from LOCLAIRE’s debut collection.
Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
Most days I find myself wearing relaxed masculine tailoring mixed in with streetwear elements like my favourite sneakers or a hoodie. I love exploring different colour and texture combinations to pull together an outfit. My style is synonymous with how and what I design.
What is your all-time favourite purchase?
I’m a sucker for shoes. I must have bought my Acne Studios glitter platform loafers at least 6 years ago, but they remain a strong favourite and have lasted so well.
What wardrobe item should everyone invest in?
The humble shirt.
Do you have a style rule you always obey?
Be comfortable! I honestly think being comfortably dressed really shows through in your presence and personality to others – as a more confident and authentic self.
Look from LOCLAIRE’s debut collection.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
What can’t you live without?
Friends and good food.
Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…