Interview: Chouchou
photo by Chris Park

Interview: Chouchou

The Glasgow fashion scene is bursting at the seams with creative talent, so it's no surprise that Italian-born designer Silvia Pellegrino decided to start up her own label here. Chouchou creates unique hoods with a couture feel which appeal to the city's fashion-forward, individual style. Unsurprisingly, Pellegrino's range of Hollyhoods have attracted quite the following, and GUM were lucky enough to feature one of her striking pieces in our latest issue. Flick to page 20 of our ‘Blackout’ feature to see the Hollyhood Rose in action. We caught up with the designer again to talk hoods, hoods, hoods! [caption id="attachment_2947" align="aligncenter" width="584"] photo by Chris Park[/caption] How did Chouchou get started? It started when I was an intern for a company called Kucoon in LA in 2007, that was one of the best experiences of my life, I met so many talented designers. I find in California there are a lot of inspirational people, so working for Kucoon was the best thing that could have happened at the time, and when the internship was over the designer Andrea Spratt asked me: “do you want to stay?” and I was really tempted to just say yes. At the time I was so determined to start something of my own so I went back to Italy and invested my savings into the creation of our first S/S collection, and this collection for one reason or another was going to be shown here in Glasgow. So, at some point I decided it would be a great idea to move to Scotland altogether because I always had great connections here. I moved here in 2009 and started the company here in 2010 and it just grew from there How did you come up with the name? What does the name Chouchou mean? The name came  from another trip that I did in South Africa, passing through Paris. The word Chouchou came out and my French friend explained that it's a term used with a person you love. Chouchou means loved one. Once I was doing a market in Italy and this now famous photographer came up to me and said: “What’s your company name?”, and I said Chouchou and he said to me, “Wow that’s so much fun”, because in Naples when you see a hot girl on the street and you know her name you simply go: “sciu'sciu'!”. (read as Chouchou)

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Bold Souls: Pop-Up Fashion at it’s Best

It's November. Which can only mean one thing in the shopping world: sharpen your elbows, you're going to need them. Yes, Christmas fever is almost upon us. But what if we told you that this year there's no need to sweat it out on the high street, fighting over mass-produced items and spending hours in seemingly endless queus? Bold Souls Stardust has come to save us all. Bold Souls is a fashion Pop-Up, created two years ago by Glasgow-based designer Silvia Pellegrino and blogger Jonathan Pryce of Les Garçons de Glasgow and Another Garçon. Offering a unique shopping experience the event brings a plethora of local designers together under one roof, and give shoppers the chance to buy one-off items and personalised pieces. GUM spoke to organiser Silvia to find out how Bold Souls was conceived: "What we wanted to do was to promote local talent and expand the community, meet more people that we could work with, meet more customers. We wanted to have a very seamless, open and fresh place where people could go to find unique fashion instead of buying high street and mass made fashion, that we find a lot of the time doesn't really have spirit". It is this community aspect which gives Bold Souls it's buzzing atmosphere, uniting designers, creatives and customers alike over canapes and complimentary Kopparberg. One year on from the last Bold Souls, Stardust promises to be bigger, better - and yes - bolder than before. Thursday 22nd November 2012 will see Flat 0/1 and Lucky 7 packed out with more than 20 stalls, where you can pick up one-off pieces from a host of local designers, both up-and-coming and established.  As Pellegrino explains: "We try to keep it colourful and diverse, everybody’s got their own style, we're trying to have different tastes; the taste of our customers." With such a variety of designers offering up everything from womenswear and menswear to accessories and jewellery, there really is something for everyone. Plus each item is beautifully crafted, high-quality and totally unique: this is a chance to see independent fashion at it's best.”

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