Chit Chat Tuesday: Princess and the Frock

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Good morning Chit Chat Tuesday readers! I don’t know about you but I am in need of some warm weather. I am currently sitting here with a hot water bottle and a portable heater! This may be a bit over the top but I am a complete sucker for the cold. However, I shouldn’t be complaining as we haven’t got snow…yet!!

Today on the show I have a very admirable lady called Claire from Princess and the Frock joining me. On Saturday, Claire launched a new collection called Matilda Mae in memory of a little girl called Matilda Mae who died of SIDS last year.  Claire talks to us today about the new Matilda Mae collection and her inspiration behind the pieces.

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Thank you so much for joining me today Claire on CCT! Can you start off by telling us a little bit about yourself…

Thank you so much for having me on CCT! I was born in Brighton where my Great Grandmother made dresses and costumes for the famous Drury Lane Theatre. My Great Auntie was also a dressmaker, so it seemed a natural choice for me! I’m now based in Rossendale and live with my beautiful daughter Belle and husband Mark. Marks a professional drummer so he’s out gigging most nights leaving me plenty of time to design and make dresses!

Where did the name Princess and the Frock come from?

It’s a play on the classic Fairy Tale ‘The Frog Prince’. I wanted to choose a whimsical magical name and I felt that Princess and the Frock fit perfectly.

What made you decide to go in to childrenswear?

I started out designing vintage costumes for a 1940s band. Mostly wiggle and swing dresses! After my daughter was born, I made a few dresses just for her. I soon learnt how much I loved it and decided to focus on childrenswear. I love designing items you won’t find on the high street as it gives Mums and Dads something different and unique but still at an affordable price.

On Saturday you launched a new collection called Matilda Mae – Congratulations!  Can you tell us about the collection?

On February 2nd last year, Matilda Mae passed away to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). I ‘met’ Matilda Mae’s Mum Jennie, via Twitter and when I heard the devastating news, I knew I wanted to do something to try and help raise funds and awareness. I came up with the idea of a special dress in honour of Matilda Mae, with 20% of all profits going to Matilda Mae’s Bliss charity fund.

The collection has since developed and we now have a waistcoat for boys called ‘When You Wish’ and also a Day Dress named ‘Tilda’s Star’.

You can read Matilda Mae’s story here on Jennie’s blog http://www.edspire.co.uk/year_2013/02/04/dear-matilda-mae-the-night-we-found-you-sleeping/

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What a lovely thing to do! Where did your inspiration for the Matilda Mae designs come from?

Matilda’s mother Jennie was designing a special garden in memory of Matilda and pinks and purples were her colours of choice. I thought a pink flower design would be appropriate. I found the perfect fabric and coincidentally it was part of the ‘Tilda’ range by Tone Finnanger. I contacted Tone Finnanger and asked for her permission to use her fabric commercially, explaining the reason behind it. She was lovely and of course and granted me permission. As Matilda Mae is now a star in the sky, Jennie loves stars and so the dress is fully lined with a pale pink star fabric.

The new dress, ‘Tilda’s Star’ is a vibrant pink star design with purple star lining.

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How can individuals purchase the dresses?

All dresses can be purchased online via our website.

I understand that you offer a bespoke unique service. Can you tell us more about this?

Yes we do! As children come in all shapes and sizes, sometimes standard sizes aren’t quite right, too long, too short etc. Customers can email us with their little one’s measurements and we will adjust sizes accordingly.

How do you want individuals to feel when they’re wearing the dresses?

Like a Princess!

It’s so lovely that you’re donating 20% of the profit made from the dresses to Matilda’s charity. Can you tell us about Matilda’s Bliss charity fund?

Matilda’s Bliss charity fund is the link between Matilda and her siblings, Esther and William, who were born prematurely. Every penny donated will help premature babies and their families.

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What can people do to support the charity?

People can donate to Matilda’s fund here https://bliss.tributefunds.com/fund/Matilda+Mae/showFund/

Alongside the bliss fund, we are also supporting The Lullaby Trust. The Lullaby Trust is the new name of FSID, the charity dedicated to saving babies’ lives. They support families shattered by the death of a baby; promote expert advice on safer baby sleep; support research into why babies die suddenly and unexpectedly and campaign to prevent sudden infant death.

Jennie is organising family fun walks for The Lullaby Trust. There is one to be held in Kent and Manchester this year so people can get involved in either of these. Further details will be given soon. http://www.justgiving.com/matildamae

There have been so many other fundraising events, including skydiving!

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I am very honoured to have had Claire from Princess and the Frock on this week’s CCT. I think that it is a fabulous thing which she has done in designing a collection to support Matilda Mae and her Charity. My thoughts go out to Matilda Mae’s family <3

Join me next week for some more chinwagging <3 Kate xox

Follow Claire at:

Post by Kate Hill from Circus London Pr.

Photograph courtesy of Claire

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