I was lucky enough to get the chance to interview Arlene Barclay, the amazing designer behind House of Halos. Arlene is an emerging accessories designer who recently created a ‘Peace’ design necklace for singer/songwriter/musician Emeli Sande. Emeli wore this eye catching design when she performed in their hometown of Aberdeen. House of Halos has been published in Dark Beauty, Imposter, Ellements and more with interviews being covered by Gothic Girl and Imagine Magazines.
House of Halos is currently collaborating with two of Britain’s top photographers, ‘Clare-Louise’ and internationally acclaimed ‘Luke Woodford’. Having just been awarded UK’s number one photographer, Clare-Louise approached Arlene to design accessories for her 2014 calendar campaign in support of ‘MIND UK’. Luke Woodford also approached Arlene to design accessories for his ‘Abandoned Fashion Series’.
House of Halos, in association with Bloggers Love, will be showcasing a selection of couture accessories at The Penthouse London on Tuesday 4th June between 7-9pm. This is a rare opportunity to meet Arlene whose collection will be found on the 8th floor.
Tell me a little about yourself Arlene.
I started crafting jewellery when I was 15. I got engaged at 23 and started to look for my own wedding tiara but was disappointed with the calibre of products and designs on offer. Knowing I could do a better job “Angel’s Halos” established in 1998 where I designed and hand crafted wedding tiaras for 15 years. My designs were featured in all major Scottish Wedding Magazines and NE of Scotland Wedding Exhibitions and Catwalks. I decided to close the door on “Angel’s Halos” to write a new chapter in my life and formed “House of Halos” in March 2012.
What inspired you to start up the brand?
After 15years of designing Bridal accessories I wanted to experiment. I always dreamt of creating a successful couture global accessories “brand” and having my work featured in prestigious magazines and for A-List celebrities to wear my work. I’m praying this is the start of it!
Have you always been interested in designing?
Yes, since I was 14, (25 years of dreaming) but my dreams were shattered at 14 years when my art teacher told me I wasn’t good enough to choose art as a subject or study it any further at Academy, it didn’t stop me, the opposite, only made me more determined.
How would you describe your style?
I have numerous styles which are dependent on my creation mood, anything from edgy, romantic, dark or on-trend fashion. It can also depend on the “mood boards” presented to me.
If I brought you an outfit would you be able to design jewellery that would co-ordinate?
Completely thrive on that, that’s truly unique design work that would be produced there.
What materials do you like to use?
I’m a Leo so we have expensive taste, haha! Nothing but the best…. Swarovski Crystals, Freshwater Pearls, Gold or Silver plated wire etc.
How did it feel to have the opportunity to create your amazing ‘Peace’ necklace for musician/singer/songwriter Emeli Sande?
I approached Emeli’s Producer the morning of the concert, so it was completely in the hands of the gods if she would accept and wear the necklace to our hometown’s concert. She stepped out on stage and started performing my favourite track of hers; “Heaven”. I didn’t notice her wearing it initially as I was completely in awe at seeing her perform live. She is an unbelievably gifted vocalist. My friends noticed before myself and I just burst out crying, it was and still is a very emotional moment, still to this day feels surreal. I am and will be eternally grateful to Emeli.
How are preparations for your fashion showcase coming along?
Using every spare minute of time for creations for the fashion show. Stressful!
What are you most looking forward to at the event?
To see if I can entice an Investor with a strong knowledge of the fashion industry who can guide and take the label into the direction of the visions I have in my head. To meeting new contacts and people I’ve collaborated with over the past year but never had the opportunity to meet in person. I’m very nervous about the event.
What’s next for House of Halos?
I’ve applied for 2 fashion awards so it’s a waiting game to see if I’ve impressed the judging panels enough to make the short lists.
If House of Halos achieves the right Investor the vision is to instigate the mass production process of the jewellery design lines, which stores like Selfridges and Harvey Nics would stock. Then hair piece collections would launch. The Investor would have their percentage of the Company to do as they choose but with a percentage of my profit margins I’d like to help charities globally. I.e. House of Halos “Peace” design line would help charities like “War Child”, “UNICEF” etc. The bigger picture is for me to establish “House of Hope” as there is too much personal greed; I strive to achieve a new type and direction of a fashion label brand. Again all these visions are in my head, I can only pray someday I’ll get to put these visions into practise.
I wish Arlene and House of Halos the best of luck. She truly deserves to find an investor who, like me, completely believes in her brand.