Monday, April 26, 2010

The Vessel by Lois Samuels

Sean Kiely talks school day inspiration with Lois Samuels

For twelve years of my life, I hated my school uniform. Now, some mornings I wake up and wish for nothing else but to have it back. I used to have so much more free time before I had to start thinking about what I was going to wear to an event a week before hand. Honestly, it can be exhausting. There is nothing worse that the feeling you get when you stand in front of your closet full of clothes and come to the realization that you have nothing to wear. However, The Vessel by Lois Samuels could be the clever solution to my reoccurring problem.

While the uniform versus individuality debate continues to brew, Lois Samuels has created a line of women’s clothing that is inspired by structured uniforms and menswear. What could have been a rack full of box dresses and suits without any shape is actually a brilliant collection, full of ease and simplicity, which fits strikingly on any woman’s body. This feat would not have been possible without Samuel’s distinct atheistic and unwavering point of view.

“I love structure and I sort of grew up in a society that the uniform was so important. Growing up, you go to prep school, you wear a uniform, and every weekend you have the same routine. When it comes to clothing, I love simplicity because it’s so chaotic in the real world that you want to go to the closet and pull something out and you don’t think too hard about it. I don’t like to think too hard about getting dressed.”

Those are strange words coming from a former model. A native of Jamaica, Samuels used her fond memories of preparatory school as inspiration for her first clothing line. A few seasons later, while still a novice in the fashion design industry, it seems as though she has found her niche.

Taking cues from the structure of menswear then infusing a uniform core—using imported wools, light weight cottons, cashmere blends—Samuels has ventured into clothing that is undoubtedly classic, yet remarkably fashion forward. Creating garments that are wearable, comfortable, beautiful and completely uncomplicated has put her on the map as the go-to-gal for the outfit to wear on any day, to anywhere.

Yet, even with all the masculine qualities of her clothing, Samuels still remains that young girl who grew up to become a sophisticated lady, and her clothing shows it.

“Even though most times when you think of women’s wear that is a bit men’s wear inspired, you think of all this androgyny and this butch look, but I don’t see that in my pieces because when I wear the clothes I feel very feminine. It’s not like I’m trying to project this sort of masculinity that is hidden in me that I had to express in clothing. I just feel like clothing gives us some sort of strength and you feel powerful in some things.”

And power forward, she will. Relentless against the struggling economic climate, Samuels is determined to make The Vessel a brand everyone will want to own a piece of.

“I think at the end of the day people want to go back to basics. You want to invest in something that’s not a fad. I feel what I’m attracted to is timeless.” For Samuels, women’s clothing is just the beginning. Hopes to venture further into menswear (I’m dying for one of her jumpers!), robes, aprons and hotel and restaurant uniforms are clearly within grasp. In the words of the designer herself, “It’s all with time, blessings and luck.”

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