Dawn O’Porter is pretty much one of the coolest and most stylish ladies on telly, so when she invited me to create some exclusive prints for her new womenswear collection, I obviously agreed in a heartbeat! Here’s the story of how it all happened…

Dawn pretty much represents what we are all about at Karen Mabon – celebrating and embracing your own individuality. The first time we chatted was via Skype which felt a bit like the telly was talking back to me which I found very fun. Dawn was bursting with ideas for her clothing line and it was obvious that this was something she’d wanted to do forever. She showed me vintage pieces she’d collected over the years at vintage fairs, car boot sales, garage sales and flea markets. Each piece was weird and wonderful and totally one of a kind; one skirt had Egyptian Pharaohs parading along the bottom hem and another depicted the solar system. I told her a friend of mine from London called Sophie had an amazing vintage skirt with a cafe scene printed along the bottom and every time she wore it we all felt sick because it was so bloody great and strange. We both knew we were on the same wavelength.

Dawn divides her time between the UK and LA so we did a lot of the work via e-mail and good oldPinterest. We emailed pictures back and forth of things we liked. Dawn had a very clear idea of what she wanted the prints to be about and had decided on the 50s circle skirt. The circle shape lends itself especially well to print as when opened out, the skirt provides a flat surface on which to print a whimsical narrative!

Given the concepts, I gathered research and sketched out rough ideas of how the ideas could work. Geese above buildings?! Geese over a map?! 

Once Dawn chose her favourite ideas and gave me an idea of how she’d like the composition of the print, I drew up a more finalised version and we met in 3D to chat through the specifics of the print and any other elements we could throw in. The meeting was pretty much just us chatting excitedly over each other and trying to remember as many random objects from nineties schooldays as possible.

And here they are!! Four beautiful and fun skirts, full of personality and hidden surprises! Shop the skirts here, and don’t forget to check out the rest of the BOB by Dawn O’Porter collection!


Karen x