All woman: Joanne Hynes collection
When I speak to Joanne Hynes it is two days before her wedding to Kamaljeet Singh Chana. She is completely calm, untouched by pre-wedding stress.
This happiness in her personal life is reflected in her collection for spring/summer 2010. It's mature, wearable, bursting with colour, full of gorgeous details, still with a quirky edge and, most importantly, eminently woman-friendly.
This is a designer who has come of age, is happy with her own aesthetic, and knows what her customer wants.
Joanne's hourglass dresses have developed a cult following among women with an eye for a garment that will flatter the figure at a fraction of the price of most designer dresses. They can be worn by a sophisticated twenty-something, or a glamorous 40-year-old.
"The dresses are cut for the female body," Joanne says. "It has taken a few years to get that. It happened over time, with feedback. I suppose when I started off it was more about the mood of the collection. And now, there's that, but I've really dug in deeper in terms of the way the garments are cut. When you get into them, it feels right. I like the idea of the dresses doing what they're supposed to."
In years past, Joanne's collections could change dramatically from season to season. Her look has changed radically over the years. "It has," she acknowledges, "and I think that's really healthy, and I'm very comfortable with that now. It's like growing up."
While there is a lot of newness in this collection, there is also clear evolution of some of her great pieces from last season into something stronger and better. "If it's not working, get rid of it," she says.
Some things will always have a place. "The little black dress is iconic," she says, "and at some stage I'd love to do a whole collection just based on that."
Her leathers are also developing a following. "I love leather as a material. I like the idea of doing things you're not supposed to with it," she says. In fact, Joanne wore one of her own leather dresses on her wedding day.
"I'm very complete as a designer," she says. "I kind of think about that whole character. Then it's up to people; they can take elements of it, and make it work for themselves. But with a collection, I like to offer that total look." On this note, she has designed a range of jewelled nails to go with each style. Next winter, leather nails will be added to the collection.
"It's the little details that make up the whole thing," she concludes.