#whyirent with Rosanna Falconer

We dive into the romantic & maximalist wardrobe of one of our favourite HURR girls and fashion powerhouse Rosanna Falconer.

“Don’t feel that you have to buy something new. Delve into your wardrobe and see if you can find something special. It’s amazing what you can do with a hair accessory or strong statement earrings, even a statement lip.”

As part of our In HURR Wardrobe series we are thrilled to dive into the wardrobe of one of our favourite #HURRGirls, Rosanna Falconer. Rosanna is a powerhouse in London’s fashion industry, having begun her career at the beginning of the digital revolution. She is a brand consultant and the co-founder of FashMash, plus she is a contributor to one of our favourite sustainable platforms, Eco-Age. Rosanna has been a huge champion of the rental revolution we’re building at HURR so it felt natural to ask her to star in our first ever series instalment, especially since her wardrobe is full of ultra glam and enviable bespoke and designer pieces.

From sequinned party numbers, to vintage Laura Ashley, to dreamy Gucci and Matthew Williamson dresses we’re all obsessed with Rosanna’s maximal personal style. She is unafraid of mixing patterns and fun textures, and she is mastermind of bright colour combinations. While visiting her home in Victoria, we spoke to Rosanna about her style and career, why she rents, sustainability and style, plus how we all need to be thinking about the future of fashion. Keep scrolling to read our full interview and go In HURR Wardrobe.

 
Tell us a bit about yourself!
 
I’m a brand consultant, co-founder of FashMash and lover of all things colourful. I’ve worked in fashion for over a decade: during those pivotal years of the digital revolution I was on the front line at brands like the British Fashion Council and Matthew Williamson. In recent years, I have become increasingly passionate about the urgent need for the industry to change its ways; as part of this I am a regular contributor to Eco-Age, where I examine sustainability in designer fashion and luxury retail. My love of joyful colour and prints doesn’t stop at fashion, as my Instagram attests: I love to host and entertain—where dressing the table is as important as dressing yourself!
 
 
Describe your style in three words? 

Maximal, romantic and bohemian.

 
Style motto you live by?

More, more, more!


For those who aren’t familiar, tell us a little about FashMash.
 
FashMash is a global community which unites individuals in the fashion, digital and technology space. It has expanded from a networking group (founded 2012) to a monthly speaker series. Recent speakers have included Nick Knight OBE, Caroline Rush CBE and the CEO of Browns Fashion, Holli Rogers. Coming up this month we have Livia Firth!
 
 
What’s the biggest career lesson that you’ve learned from a mistake over the years?

Success in fashion relies on the balance of being both a work horse and a show pony. At the start of my career, I was chained to my desk, determined to be ‘top of the class’ and forgot that the industry is equally reliant on networking, experience and observation. Whether it’s a catwalk show, a networking breakfast or a studio visit, these serve to inspire your mind and are just as important as a clear inbox.


You’ve had an incredible career so far. Can you pinpoint something or a moment you are most proud of?

Awards are funny things; I don’t think at any point in your career you feel deserving of them (particularly if you’re a modest Brit!). That said, they do make you stop for a moment and feel proud.

I was part of The Drum’s inaugural ‘Digerati’ Top 100 alongside Natalie Massenet and James Hart – a list of 100 individuals setting the digital agenda. I was young but had the privileged responsibility of the British Fashion Council’s first digital strategy, so it was in recognition for that. It was exciting. I was also picked out for Drapers’ ‘30 under 30′. This year, I won ‘Innovator of the Year’ at the Cosmopolitan Magazine Influencer Awards. I remember sitting at the awards dinner opposite my husband, applauding all of the highly-deserving winners. When my award came up, I’m pretty sure I was eating pudding, I expected to have to go on stage so little! My face was priceless when I won! Interestingly, all of the winners said the same “I never expected to win,” but they were all the ones I would have bet on at the start of the night. This particular award felt like a great recognition of my work on FashMash and the multi-hyphenate work my career now takes.
 

When it comes to sustainable fashion, who are you favourite designers or brands?
 
It’s so hard to choose! At the high end, there’s Ronald Van Der Kemp who I had the privilege to interview at his couture show in Paris this year. His clothes are stop-in-your-tracks, heart flipping, intriguing fashion. He is a man with a mission and his manifesto is his effort to find another way from the unsustainable treadmill of ready-to-wear fashion. Mother of Pearl’s vibrant prints on peace silk are so distinctive, and creative director Amy Powney has such an approachable, inspiring attitude not just to the industry but to an ethical way of living. For sparkle and party pieces, I love Swiss designer Kévin Germanier who upcycles unwanted materials from the fashion industry creating glorious beaded and shimmering designs. For a day-to-night pieces, Beulah London has my heart. Its social practices, including its anti-slavery work, are exemplary. There are many inspiring female founders in the space too! For me, Gabriela Hearst, Mara Hoffman and Eileen Fisher lead the way. I seek out podcasts and interviews with them—their words are motivational calls to action!
 
 
And who are your favourite Instagrammers?
 
@TeatumJones: a brilliant British design duo who are exemplary in their approach to sustainability. Their feed is fascinating – they give a real insight into their studio, their design process and how they achieve their ethical goals.
@OliviaRubin: for a feed that makes your heart sing with joy as much as her clothes. Her approach to Instagram is impressive and sets a precedent for young brands: she replies to all DMs herself, shares her daily life in real time and even has sample sales via Stories. Plus the top influencers flock to her fun designs so her feed is gorgeous!
 
 
What advice would you give 18-year-old Rosanna?

Embrace and enjoy the fear and risk of putting yourself out there. From applying to be fashion editor of the Cambridge University newspaper to proposing pay rises, these are all steps where I was terrified of failure but have always been surprised by the response.

We need to stamp out female imposter syndrome. It pleases me to see the self-motivation and belief of the Gen-Z women who I have managed and employed. We will get there.


We love to see you wear HURR! Why did you choose these pieces?

HURR is my ultimate wardrobe to dive into, whether for event dressing, accessories or unique day wear. It brings all the thrill of the new but you can return it after the weekend. Plus I can try new designers and styles, ones that I might not be ready to invest in just yet. Most of all, I love the circular fashion economy behind it. Since putting a selection of my own wardrobe on the site it’s been so special to see it jetting around the world on HURR women. I’m convinced my clothes all get sad just hanging in the wardrobe!

My favourite piece so far is one of my earliest rentals, a blue sequin dress by Halpern, a British designer I love. I wore it to party in London during London Pride and just felt like Belle of the Ball. It’s got long, flared sleeves and a high neck which contrast with the mini length. It shakes, it shimmies… as soon as you put it on you know you’re going to have the most brilliant night!
 
 
Tips for party-dressing season? 

Don’t feel that you have to buy something new. Delve into your wardrobe and see if you can find something special. It’s amazing what you can do with a hair accessory or strong statement earrings, even a statement lip.

Next, don’t be afraid to try something out of your comfort zone. I love seeing friends who normally wear black turn up to a party in gold sequins; it gives them a whole new attitude and set of dance moves!

Finally, embrace colour. Party season is tied to black, metallics and scarlet but consider rich jewel and gemstone colours. Colour isn’t just for the summer!
 

What’s your party trick?
 
I host monthly dinner parties for 14, bringing together diverse groups of friends and squeezing them round our table. As host, I think my party trick has to be strong espresso martinis to get everyone else showcasing their party tricks! If that fails, I’ve been known to initiate the animal game which I think ends in guests swapping an item of clothing… Though the less said on that the better!
 
 
Finally, what’s next?
 
We are already planning 2020 FashMash speakers with some big names and targets. I’m moving house soon too… So expect even bigger dinner parties and more fantastical tablescapes!

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