Lou Dungate is an eponymous label based in London, England and founded in 2016. The brand is focusing on luxury knitwear, craftsmanship and ethical production. All items are made in London! Pure and sumptuous cashmere has been sourced and used from Inner Mongolia, spun by a family-run mill in Italy before being knitted into Lou Dungate pieces.
- How did you come up this brand – loudungate?
Lou Dungate is a reflection of where I find myself, after years working with knitwear and wanting to be part of positive changes in the industry. The label is what’s important to me; sustainability in luxury fashion, beautiful craftsmanship and integrity, and hopefully increasingly important to other people too.
- Was it hard to produce clothing within the UK?
Yes and no. Yes because it’s undoubtedly not the cheapest option, and finances are a big obstacle for young designers like me. However, ultimately no – my supplier is amazing, supportive and I firmly believe that local and honest manufacturing is the future of fashion.
- When you are designing and choosing your cashmere, what are the most important things to you?
That the fibre is completely natural, of the highest possible quality and that the design is timeless, practical and in line with our aesthetic.
- Where do you get the inspiration from?
Natural and man-made forms; and often the relationship between the two. I like how clean lines and geometric shapes can be combined with the fluidity of nature. Knitwear is the construction of stitches, mapped out with methodical and meticulous planning, but taking pleasure from the feel, drape and warmth of the fabric is quite organic and beautifully unmeasurable.
- How can you determine if the cashmere is in good quality?
Cashmere is of the highest quality when the fibre is fine in width, of a good length and when the goat from a herd in Inner Mongolia – where there is a vested interest in ensuring the well-being of the animal and cashmere they product. The best cashmere items are feathery soft to the touch, have a springy quality that retains stretch and, with the correct care, will last a lifetime.
- What interested you the most being a fashion designer?
I fell in to it almost. I hadn’t considered it becoming a career when I was younger, but it’s an incredible form of expression. And now I find that the most rewarding part is the reaction of the wearers. When someone tells you they love wearing something you’ve made, that makes me happy.
- What are your biggest achievements so far?
Starting. Getting my first stockist order from youngbritishdesigners.com Running my own wool shop for 5 years. I still have a lot on my to-do list though!
- What other achievements would you like to achieve for the coming years?
That would be telling, so you will have to wait and see.
- Are you hoping to showcase any of your work during fashion weeks?
Maybe. A friend and I spoke about the democracy of fashion, and how the cyclical nature of fashion weeks might not be so relevant anymore. I also don’t like the idea of scrapping collections and starting again, I think it encourages wastefulness. However, I love the idea of a presentation – cashmere is best seen in person.
- What do you enjoy the most outside the fashion world?
Road-trips with my boyfriend, the cinema, and being with my family and friends.
Photo courtesy of Lou Dungate
Texted by Angel Leung