Friday, January 8, 2010


Rachel and Christine Linton are sisters who are blazing a trail for 2010 in FASHION. The siblings are from Manchester and are set to create the new fashion sensation for 2010 with their label Molasis, which has and already been creating a buzz in the industry.

Written by Maxine Myers

“Molasis is a means to being able to execute our creativity in a united effort, producing beautiful clothes that we ourselves would like to wear,” Christine explains.

Although the label has been in operation for four years, the pair’s love of fashion began much earlier when their parents impressed them with their creative talents.

“Our mother would take us with her to buy patterns and fabrics and make dresses,” Christine says. “She was also very much into cake decorating as well as upholstered furniture. She produced curtains, covered chairs and other upholstery projects in and around the home. All of this creative influence took effect and has filtered through to our work.”

Rachel added: “During my days at school, I would customise my own clothes and always seek to alter a garment to represent my own style.”

Determined to make a mark in the industry, Rachel studied ladieswear fashion at the prestigious Central St Martins college, where one of her classmates was designer Christopher Kane who now collaborates for high street store Topshop.

“It was a life changing experience that opened my eyes to so many design influences,” Rachel says. “Having the opportunity to work within a design school that has produced several well-known creative people… it was overwhelming and a lot of hard work but I learnt so much and am grateful that I had the experience.”

The hard work paid off as Rachel secured an internship in New York to work with legendary designer Diane Von Furstenberg (DVF).

“I interned at DVF in 2004, then returned to work for Nathan Jenden [the creative director at DVF] on his own debut line. I gained first hand experience of the amount of hard work and passion that goes into producing garments of a high standard, in both style and production.”

Christine attended the London College of Communication (LCC) to study the industry and also interned in New York.

“I interned at Trace magazine and gained some of the best experiences I could have ever hoped for, working with writers, photographers, music and art editors, all influenced and inspired by different styles and ideas. It was so inspiring to work in a city so rich in diverse culture. It was a hive for any aspiring creative person.”

After returning from the Big Apple, the pair were determined to get their label off the ground, but they faced obstacles.

“We faced difficulties trade-marking and establishing Molasis as a brand,” Christine recalls. “This was a long and drawn out process for the US trademark in particular. Finance, as with any project from any industry, was also an obstacle but as we are still building the Molasis label and we are getting there with a lot of good advice from those willing to help.”

As young black designers in a white-dominated industry, Christine argued that supporting other black designers is crucial.

“Your work should speak for you as a designer, regardless of your background. However, I think existing designers of colour should support one another as there are more and more young black designers being accepted to schools like St Martins and LCC everyday. Every industry is hard to get into, particularly one with such influence on everyday lifestyle such as fashion. But I think with a stronger support network, we will see more and more designers of black origin getting into the industry.”

Luckily, the pair have not let any potential obstacles deter them from their path and have been working hard on their new collection.

“Our Spring/Summer 2010 collection is a quest for ‘blue skies,’” Rachel reveals. “The inspiration was the recession all around the world and we wanted to create optimism and hope for happier times ahead. We were influenced by post-War women’s style, as well as equality, fervour and freedom and technicolour prints.”

The latest designs went down a storm at October’s Fashion Diversity show during London Fashion week and the pair were pleased with the response they received.

“I think people like it because everyone is looking for blue skies to appear out of the current financial climate and I think this came across in our collection,” Christine says. “I think we both feel all the more encouraged to continue in our pursuit to produce beautiful clothes for women from all walks of life.”

The girls, who define a Molasis woman as “comfortable and confident in her own style” say they hope that they can one day dress the likes of singer Kelly Rowland and model Naomi Campbell.

“I want to make her a dress for her 40th birthday next year,” Rachel says of Campbell. “That would be a amazing because she’s a British icon,”

Of their future plans, Rachel added: “We are doing a charity event in February for breast cancer research and we will also be showcasing at Caribbean Fashion Week in May. We also want to launch a t-shirt and an eco bag line. It’s going to be a busy year.”

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