Exclusive Interview with Scottish Fashion Designer Gemma (Splashing in Puddles)

Gemma  Branningan is a highly talented Scottish based designer and founder of Splashing in Puddles. Quirky, exciting and appealing to your inner child, Splashing in Puddles embraces the use of colour, showing that it is not something to be feared. A recent fashion graduate who is providing a fun alternative to high street fashion. We recently caught up with Gemma in an interview where she talks about her past, her designs and her general thoughts on fashion and design in the UK.
splashing in puddles
splashing in puddles

splashing in puddles

Model: Katherine@model team
Hair and Make-up: Siân Lidgate – Makeup Artist
Clothing: Splashing in Puddles  Photographer: Anette Schive Photography

*Tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your educational background? What are your general professional and non-professional interests?

I’m originally from  a place called Bellshill, which is just outside Glasgow, I still only live about 10 minutes from here. I studied HND Display Design at college, before progressing to the Heriot Watt School of Textiles, where I gained an Honours degree in Fashion Design. Apart from my obvious love of fashion, art and design, I love to dance, my favourite Styles being Ballet, Lyrical and Musical Theatre, however I also take part in Tap, Freestyle, Jazz and Street. I think part of my love of fashion is down to the many costumes I have had over the years.

splashing in puddlessplashing in puddles

*Tell me about Splashing in Puddles- When it was formed, goals, style, etc.

Splashing in Puddles is something I came up with the summer before my Honours year, when I really started to think about what I wanted to do with my degree. I decided that I didn’t really want to design under someone else’s name, designing garments that I didn’t feel came from my true style. The style I strive to achieve, is girly and a little bit quirky,  embracing the use of colour.

*What does fashion mean to you?

Fashion to me is something that shouldn’t be taken seriously, it is something that you can experiment with. You should never be scared to try something new.

*How would you define your city’s fashion?

Glasgow as a city, has a wide range of different styles, some good, some bad. I think it is unfortunate that it is so brand driven, as it stops people from trying to find their own personal style.

*When did you realise you wanted to become a fashion designer?

From about the age of 9 I enjoyed designing, pretending that I had a fashion studio, but I went through many ideas over the years (mostly in the creative industries). It wasn’t  a decision that I was completely sure about until I was in my second year of college and had to decide my next path.

*What was the first article of clothing you ever designed?

My first design ever would have been something horrendous I’m sure when I was about 9, however the first piece I am truly proud of , was my Little Black Dress in first year at Heriot Watt,  which had a dropped waist, pleated skirt , sequin bodice detailing and a ribbon bow.

*How long does it usually take you to construct a piece?

It all depends what I’m making , if I take into consideration pattern drafting, fabric cutting and the sewing of something fairly simple I could have it all done in a day.

*Describe the general process you go through to design and realise a piece of clothing.

It depends what I’m designing: with a collection I choose a theme to start with and do extensive research which usually leads me somewhere new, then I play about with ideas, using shapes related to the theme, it’s after this that I’ll start to think about colour and fabric, developing over and over each design until I’m truly happy with what I see on the paper in front of me.

splashing in puddles

*What are some of your accomplishments as a designer?

Being approached to take part in some great fashion shows , having people ask me to design something for them because they like my previous work, just having people compliment your work make you feel like you are achieving something.

*Who are some of your favourite designers?

Some designers who I really love are Sass and Bide, See by Chloe , Christopher Kane and Jeremy Scott. I also of course admire Alexander McQueen and Chanel.

*What do you believe makes a quality article of clothing?

Something that has a good cut, fits well and has good quality fabric.

*What do you like best about designing clothes?

I love that I can create something beautiful and unique, it is a way of expressing myself and interpreting things that I see every day.

*What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?

Work hard and be committed, also make sure you really love it, as it can’t really be about making money.

*How would you define your personal style?

I would say that I have an eclectic and quirky style. I hate to stick with one style, or religiously follow trends.

*How would you define the style your line exemplifies?

Feminine, quirky and fun.

*What are some of your fashion goals?

My goal for the next couple of months is to have made the collection that I am currently designing and start doing more photo shoots. I would also like to add some more people to the Splashing in Puddles business and have found some more stockists.


*What are your favourite colours  to work with and why?

I love using bright colours (as you can probably see), sounding like a stereotypical girl, I love pink, but even more so when I am clashing/matching it with other bright colours.

*What are your favourite  fabrics to work with and why?

One of favourite fabrics is silk chiffon, however not to work, it is really difficult to cut and sew. A fabric that sits well and is easy to work with is crepe, definitely one of my favourites.

*Where can readers buy your clothes? 

At present, readers can purchase garments from me is contact me via my Facebook Page.


Photographer: Martin Melecis, Make-up: Illusion Controlled, Model: Nicola

*Where can readers find out more about you and your work?

You can keep up to date with what I am up to through my Facebook  and my blog    


About Numba Pinkerton

Personal Stylist/ Image Consultant / Makeover Specialist/ Personal/Life Coach

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