I never in a million years thought I would be a fashion designer or would even find myself sniffing around the edges of design, but there is that saying that if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. In the course of my fashion career, I have made myself into a business owner, buyer, and now designer. It's happened organically as I have learnt the industry, the very specific denim market, what the Donna Ida customer wants and now as I grow the IDA brand, what the IDA girl wants. The very thought that I would be looking at the IDA collection two seasons ahead, pinpointing holes in the collection, communicating what I want to wear in a year's time and having the confidence to believe that the customer will also want to wear it would have been unthinkable to me even a few years ago.
Getting excited about what to wear during the coming season is part of what makes fashion so much fun. As winter lifts and we enjoy crisp cold days with that huge gift during January and February - a bright blue sky - I start plotting my new season wardrobe, thinking about exposed arms and legs, wearing colour, bearing my pedicure in mind lest it clashes with my outfit (oh the fashion problems) and taking the plunge that first brave day you wear white jeans or denim shorts for the season. The IDA SS14 collection is about as high summer as you can get. During the vicious cold of the 2013 winter which seemed to go on and on in all its relentless, bitter, snow and icy glory, we were designing the IDA collection which is just about to land in stores. All I could think about was the East Coast of America, bright fresh mornings and hot afternoons, days at the beach and clean uncomplicated white washed summer houses with shells by the back stairs and sand trailing up onto the back veranda.
A big part of the collection is our new key denim shape, a high waisted ankle skinny called Rizzo. Named after Rizzo in Grease, it's the cute chic look that I love on bright spring days and the whole way through summer. Nipped firmly in at the waist Rizzo will hug your curves and finish neatly at the ankle, making her the easily style to wear. I know I'll live in it during spring when there's still a chill in the air but I want to be wearing new season, I'll turn it up at the ankle showing a little flash of skin with a low cut ankle boot. For days when I need to be much quicker on my feet I'll team them with thick soled skate shoes, and on the first day the temperature hits 18 degrees (my cue that summer is here) I'll wear them with high heeled sandals. I love Rizzo so much she's occupying quite a bit of space in the look book. She's in grey denim (Foggy London), soft mint cord (Corded Mint), lavender cord (Corded Lavender), white (Milk) and a great light weight mid blue denim (Lazy Dayz).
The other new style we're introducing is the Parklife Dazzler. Our slouchy mid-rise denim shorts in THE perfect blue, called Vintage Sunshine. They arrive late February and will be on every stylish bum in London not longer after. On warmer days in summer I love something looser fitting and this summer I'll bring out my IDA Bobby Dazzler in Fifties Monroe which was a huge hit when we launched it last season, but I'll be twinning it with Bobby Dazzler in Milk. Who doesn't want a white boyfriend jean? So chic, and great if you want to wear white jeans but aren't super confident in skinnies so tight you could crack a flea on them.
As I wait for the first deliveries of IDA SS14 to touch down I'm mildly surprised but kind of loving that our collaboration with my friend Simeon Farrar is the first to arrive at the party. Simeon, the gorgeous artist who plays at being louche but is actually very organised has brought slogan tees, vests and sweats to life for me in IDA. Knowing me as well as he does his first collection features Chic for Brains, Never Knowingly Underdressed and Chihuahua Power. Of course!
Since we launched IDA I've been glued to the beautiful soft cashmere sweaters and I can't wait for the spring delivery to arrive. Summer in the City is going to feature heavily in my spring look as will the can't-go-wrong Weekend in Paris Breton cashmere knit. IDA is all about the classics with clean modern lines and a fresh new colour palette.
See more of Donna's Diary entries here.