If you thought it had been a while since we'd done an Unlikely Style Icon post, it's been even longer since we've done a Studio Visit. Last time was when we checked out Jill Skulina's studio and tried on all her Jack(et)'s. This time I popped into visit Ruby, the ever-colourful designer behind Dreamland and curator of Dreamland Vintage. Kim and I are both big fans of Ruby's bright and bold designs. They've appeared on the blog a number of times, from Styled By posts to our MoveIt lookbook video. The label is based out of Wasps Artists Studios in Dundee and I've been eager to check it out after seeing lots of awesome Instagram pics of the place. I finally stepped inside earlier this week and it was just as I thought it would be - full of 90s nostalgia, over the top inspiration and racks of wonderful vintage finds. Basically, it is my kinda place!
I had so much fun looking through some of the vintage pieces that will be hitting the online shop soon. There are some gorgeous items to come. Hello shearling jacket of dreams! And I got a peek at the new painted Dreamland jackets that the team have been working on. Old bikers and bright colours sure do make for some statement outerwear. Plus, I met two of the Dreamland interns: Molly and Ishy, who were busy working away on packing orders and updating the web shop. The part of my visit that really stole my heart was getting to hang out with Ruby's adorable pups: Mr Pickles, the pug and Hendrix, the chihuahau. Both were exceptionally adorable. A studio with pets is always a happy place! On top of all that, I put some questions to the lady herself and found out a bit more about Ruby and her dreamy designs...
1.) We are huge fans of Dreamland here at Wardrobe Conversations. Tell us a little bit about your background and how the label started.
I'm from Dundee and studied textiles at the local art college. This led me to move to Aberdeen where I studied fashion at Grays School of Art where I was lucky enough to intern in London and Paris. I graduated with a digitally printed, hand embroidered, appliqued collection that set the bar for my design aesthetic. However, I was initially unsure about starting a label fresh out of art school. So, I set off on an adventure to America and explored other design labels, having a bit of fun at the same time! This was the best move I ever made as it gave me the courage and vision to set up Dreamland Clothing.
2.) All the 90s influences are right up our street. What/who are the main sources of inspiration for your collections?
One of the key inspirations for the label is the Memphis design collective. I just love the simplistic colours and shapes, however, I feel that there's far more depth to the aesthetic when you really observe it. This is something that I empathise with in my own design work. Another key inspiration is my childhood nostalgia. From ‘Saved by the Bell’, to any Nickelodeon early 90’s children’s TV shows; I still revisit many of these when researching for new prints and collections.
3.) We hear you have a Kickstarter campaign on the go. Give us all the goss!
This is something I'd considered doing from the very beginning. However, I have to admit I was a little unsure about the whole concept of crowd funding, so I decided to go out and begin the process of the label myself. Dreamland and Dreamland Vintage have been self-funded up until this point. I've worked extremely hard to place myself in the Scottish design industry. Now I feel I can ask for some support, as I have proven the labels success. There's something people can have hold of that they believe in –because I've already done it. Nevertheless, I really do need to meet my target, which is £3000. This will allow me to work with high-end producers to ensure I can create a bigger collection, but most of all, release two seasons next year; Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter. This is something I've never been able to do before. Fortunately, there are some amazing awards to give to anyone that wants to support us:
£5 - A Huge Thank You + Shout Out
£10 - Dreamland Pom Pom Earrings or Dreamland Launch Night Ticket or Dreamland Dimensions A3 Print
£20 - Mentoring Experience with Ruby: 30 mins or Studio Buying Visit
£30 - Mentoring Experience with Ruby: 1 hour or Dreamland Dimensions T-Shirt
£50 -£70 Worth of Dreamland Vintage Garments or Dreamland Studio Design Talk orCustomise Your Clothes
£100 - £150 Worth of Dreamland Vintage Garments or Be a Dreamland Model or Customise a Denim Garment
4.) As a Dundee designer, what are your favourite things about the city?
I absolutely adore my city. First and foremost, the fact that you can be at a scenic beach within twenty minutes or at the top of a hill in the countryside in the same time is amazing! I love to spend my weekends in wellies walking the dogs and getting some fresh air! In more depth, I love the community feel and that the creative scene is quite small but there is something really nice about that. With the city on the rise, places like Gallery 48 in the West Port and of course the DCA enrich our creative scene. One of my most favourite things is Agacan on the Perth Road - my Friday night fix after a long week in the studio! Accompanied with a bottle of local Cairn O’Mohr wine.
5.) What does the future hold for Dreamland? We want all the spoilers!
The biggest thing that I hope to achieve is to release the two collections next year. Furthermore (and this is a top secret one) we will be launching a small homeware collection with previous prints!! More than anything, we just hope to keep carrying on, growing the label, allowing me to have the best job in the world.
If you fancy a look inside the Dreamland studio for yourself it will be open on 5th and 6th November as part of Wasps Open Studios. And, if you want to support the Dreamland Kickstarter campaign you have until 5th November to pledge. I know I've had by eyes on those fluffy pom pom earrings for quite some time, now I'm gonna make them mine!