From someone looking in there is nothing more motivating than having the pleasure of listening to two confident and independent women talking about life, business and more importantly fashion! The Dressing Room had the pleasure of sitting down over a cup of tea with Caroline Jones, the founder of ‘Knickers Models Own’, who started her campaign of wearing charity clothes 24/7 throughout 2015, to raise funds for Cancer Research UK, in memory of her mum. Deryane & Caroline have 2 very different styles, yet have the same passion and enthusiasm for fashion and to make women feel amazing about themselves. We asked Caroline a few questions, so read our mini interview below:
What made you come up with the concept of Knickers Models Own? Last New Years Eve I had an urge to do something to push me out of the fog of my mourning. My mum worked as a volunteer at the Harpenden Cancer Research UK Charity Shop, and so I thought, as I was no marathon runner what else could I do? Then the creation of Knickers Models Own came to me! I only meant it to be a small thing but after 5 days of posting my outfits the BBC contacted me because they loved my idea. Then by Day 8 I had the Mail Online, followed by a number of other publications who supported the concept and made it go viral, making 97,000 people see my outfits…. CRAZY!
Has your style changed since doing this project? My style has not necessarily changed, as I have always liked to play with colour, patterns and textures (I never wear black) but I can definitely say the experience has made me a braver individual and given me the confidence to find myself again since the loss of my mum! Its difficult juggling roles as a mother, worker, wife and still keep and individual style, let alone be confident in my body. Being photographed everyday and having people comment on how you look obviously gives me that push to put my best foot forward and to be self-aware. Through trial and error…. and people’s honesty I know what works for me and what suits my body shape, as well as experimenting and having fun of course – which is what fashion is all about…. self-expression!
What has been your favourite thing about the experience? Out of this experience I wanted to show women of my age that you can be fashion forward, and although the fashion media focus on young girls, I wanted to make it clear that we are also current! It has been lovely to see that the campaign has encouraged more people to shop in charity shops, especially the Harpenden Cancer Research UK shop, who has seen a rise in sales and now have a dedicated rail of my picks.
What has been the hardest thing about the experience? There has been some occasions where I have thought it would be a struggle to style an outfit head to toe in charity clothes – the first being Ascot! Fortunately I have been overwhelmed by the support, including the donation of 2 hats from Love Lupin for Ascot. I was so happy with the outcome.
What has been your star find in a charity shop? My ultimate finds are an Irish Tweed Purple cape and a Vivienne Westwood cardigan with a neon orange belt. I love the reaction I get from these pieces and because they are statement garments in amazing colours!
Have you got any ideas of what your next project will be? I have a number of potential projects, including working with Movember. I would love to focus on fashion and so will be guest of honour at St Albans Fashion Show, even modelling! Then on the 4th November there will be a Cancer Research UK Fashion Show held at the Harpenden Public Hall, with a Q&A with myself and The DR’s Deryane Tadd, as well as selling off my wardrobe for the end of my campaign.