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Nina Naustdal – “Normal Is Boring”

by laurie
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In May this year, Nina Naustdal opened her first shop in London, Nina Naustdal Couture, a beautiful gem in itself located in the heart of Chelsea. Nina’s first collection was all about evening wear with amazing cocktail dresses and long Italian silk dresses embellished with gems and Swarovski crystals.

A few months on, we were keen on learning more about the designer behind the label as well as discovering the new collections! We met the exquisite Nina Naustdal in her shop, and more precisely in the white boudoir on the first floor where she receives her customers for couture.

First Steps in Fashion
The designer started in the fashion industry as a model before taking the extra step of actually designing collections. As she tells us, she has been interested in fashion as far back as she can remember. Nina’s family already worked in fashion with her grandparents owning a shop, and she deeply enjoyed making her own clothes when she was younger. It was only logical she enrolled for fashion studies at ESMOD in Oslo. In parallel, the Norwegian designer was also an athlete and became really fit, so started to look into modelling. Although modelling was a fantastic experience, which allowed her to travel the world and learn a lot about fashion, it never has been an end itself. So even when she put her career on hold for a while, when starting her own family, opening a shop has always been in the back of her creative head. And she did it, just a few weeks after giving birth to her third child.

Collections and New Lines to Come
Whilst eveningwear will always be the heart of Nina’s activity, she has also developed other ranges, such as the Ready to wear line, launched during Paris Fashion Week, alongside the Bridal and Couture Spring/Summer 2012 collection.

For this stunning collection, with amazing bright colours, the designer stayed faithful to her signature element: Swarovski crystals. What’s new is that beside the evening dresses, she also developed separate garments, such as trousers, jackets and tops, creating a fantastic opportunity for her clients to play around with couture, mixing the different pieces and styling them up as they wish. She also promised a very exciting Autumn/Winter 2012 collection, with different textures and fabrics, and we cannot wait to discover it.

You would think all this keeps Nina busy enough… and you couldn’t be more wrong. The energetic designer and mother of three is about to launch additional lines that include jewellery, perfume, shoes, handbags and other leather accessories, as well as – in the longer term – interior design services.

Some jewellery pieces, all designed by Nina herself, are already available. There are more pieces to come though, and the designer wants to wait for the whole range to be ready before organising a big launch. There will be new jewellery pieces each season, in relation to the couture line, but only a few exclusive pieces will be on display at the London store. Nina is currently looking for new opportunities in Dubai, where she wishes to open a second shop dedicated to accessories and, more specifically, designed to house her jewellery range.

The other ranges, notably shoes and handbags, kind of fall in naturally, as clients often want a total look, so Nina is developing a line of evening clutches with Swarovski crystals.

Nina Naustdal Couture or How to Make a Customer’s Dreams Come True
What is great with Nina Naustdal Couture is that customers have a choice. They can buy directly off the hanger if they wish, or book an appointment with Nina for style advice and couture evening gowns.

Nina’s typical customer is a woman with a nice lifestyle, who wants to stand out and wear something unique, so everything is hand-made and hand-stitched in London. Customers can choose fabrics, colours, stones, and Nina will work with each woman, depending on their personality, to determine what shape will suit them best. In fact, as the designer tells us, it’s more about personality than body type.

Timeframe is critical in this line of business, as couture’s clients often order with a specific event in mind. The whole process of making a dress can take up to six weeks, with a special attention brought to the crystal beading work, but Nina adapt to her client’s timelines, and always deliver on time. The fact both the atelier and the showroom are in London is key, as she can pay full attention to the product from the design to the finalised work of art – because there is no doubt about this… This is art!

Nina Naustdal Couture – 176 Walton Street London SW3 2JL – www.nina-naustdal.com

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