Wowzer, is all we could say when these jaw-dropping shots of Abbey Clancy landed in our inbox. Showcasing her latest Matalan collection (in store and online November 4) Abbey is festive season perfection – just like the pieces themselves. As you’d expect from the leggy model’s signature style, body-con reigns supreme – all the better to show off that amazing post-baby body. Nope, we can’t believe she only gave birth to her second daughter Liberty Rose four months ago, either.
But while the shapes are figure-hugging, hemlines and cuts are demure – think below the knee pencil dresses and skirts that will go from office to party, and an oh-so 70s wide leg jumpsuit. Obligatory sparkle comes in the form of an oversized pailette dress, which, teamed with Abbey’s shaggy cream coat creates a killer texture clash – definitely a new night out formula to try.
Our Fashion News Writer, Hannah managed to catch up with Abbey at the launch of the collection to discover what she’ll be wearing this party season and just how she looks so amazing so soon after giving birth…
How are you feeling now that the collection is on the shelves?
It’s great seeing it all in store. A lot of work has gone into this, a big team so to see it on the shop floor is amazing.
Do you ever sneak into Matalan shops if you’re out and about just to see if anyone’s browsing?
No. [Laughs] I don’t have time to be honest. I’m more of an online shopping girl at the minute.
Which piece would you say you’re most looking forward to wearing?
I love this long black dress I’ve got on, but I also love the black jumpsuit and I think the little leopard wrap dress is really fun and sexy. It’s really cool.
How would you style the jumpsuit for a night out?
I think I’d put a nice belt on it. I thin, you know, there’s an amazing gold studded belt in the Matalan collection, just in the general collection and it looks really cool with it. Yeah, I think with a chunky belt and statement necklace.
Which pieces would you wear for day to night?
I think the leopard wrap dress is a good day to night, the pencil skirt with the little top’s good, the little lurex shift dress is quite cool for day to night.
There’s a great choice because you could wear a lot of these pieces to the office…
Yeah you can. I think coming up to Christmas party season it’s good to look glam for work and go straight out for a few glasses of bubbly and I think this is ideal for that.
How do you approach designing the collection?
Well, I always thought when I have my own range, you know, there’s point in making anything that I wouldn’t wear myself so it’s all influenced by my own personal style. I love 70s shapes, like the bell sleeves and the wide legs. A little bit of drama.
You’re friends with quite a lot of designers. Do you ever go to them for advice or share ideas with them?
When I first started I did, I’d speak to Giles and Jonatahan Saunders to be like ‘Oh I’m thinking of doing my own range’ and they were like ‘good luck, go for it’ you know, but I think it’s more… I’m not saying I’m a full designer, but this is basically a take on my personal style and my wardrobe and what I’d like in my wardrobe as opposed to being a full time designer. Does that make sense?
Absolutely. So aside from your own style, do you ever have anyone else in mind when you’re designing? Will you be sending it to any of your friends?
Yeah, I had all my friends round and my mum and my sisters and would ask ‘would you wear that?’ that kind of thing. I think it’s important to get a bit in for everyone, because my mum is in her 50s and wants to wear the pencil dresses and the jumpsuits which are ideal for her, and then my sister is 17 so she’ll have the little minis on and the sequined party dresses. I think it’s a good range that crosses all ages.
How would you say your style differs from day to night? You always look really glamorous…
Oh God, do you think? See, I’m just a jeans and t-shirt girl of a day but I do like to dress up and I think that’s born and bred into me coming from Liverpool where all the girls are super glam and dress up.
Liverpool is amazing. My friend took me out and I loved how dressed up everyone was. Do you think you can dress up more there than you can in London, for example?
I don’t think you can ever be too dressed up!
What would you say is your signature party look?
Signature look is definitely a little black dress. So in my range, that pencil dress with the leather seams is my go-to. It really sucks you in and you can’t see any lumps or bumps so it’s really good for that.
You’re returning to Britain’s Next Top Model as well…
Yes! It’s been super exciting. We’ve finished filming now and it’s going to be a fantastic series. It’s funny going back, working with all the same team because it’s where I started 10 years ago.
Yes exactly! How does it feel being on the other side of things?
It feels strange , you know I can totally relate to them and know what they’re going through. I’ve been there, and I think being on Britain’s Next Top Model was an amazing platform for me and my career and I just want the girls… I’m tougher than I thought I would be, because I just think I want the girls to take full advantage of this opportunity. It can be a huge platform and it’s basically a huge crash course into modeling and the industry. We are looking for a great ambassador for BNTM so it is tough love, we’re putting them through their paces. That’s out in January on Lifetime, so I’m really excited.
Are there any moments you look back on when you wish you really hadn’t worn something?
Yes, constantly! I think I get that on a daily basis. But I think fashion’s fun and it’s fun to dress up, people grow up and make mistakes and wear ridiculous things or make bad choices but it’s all fun.
What’s the best piece of fashion advice you’ve ever been given?
When in doubt, wear black!
If you were going out and only had five minutes to get ready, what would you do?
Erm, well… I only take ten minutes to get ready. I’m pretty low maintenance, I can’t be bothered. Even when I’m getting my hair and make-up done for shoots I’m like ‘guys, hurry up!’ I can’t sit still for a long period of time. Loads of mascara is always good.
Always. And since we’ve been discussing the party season and Christmas is looming, what’s the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?
The best would have to be… a horse [laughs]. I got a horse a few years ago, and it was a horse I fell in love with when I was doing my dressage lessons and for Christmas Pete gave me a photograph of it wearing antlers. And he’s mine now!
And what’s the worst?
The worst was when I was pregnant and hormonal and didn’t know what sex my baby was and Pete got me a maroon baby bag. And I was like ‘I can’t believe I’m having a baby with a man who doesn’t know me!’ I was completely over reacting and didn’t speak to him for two days. He was so upset, didn’t understand what I was talking about but I was like ‘it’s got to be pink or blue!’ He never forgot that.
I can imagine! You’ve recently had a baby though, and look completely amazing. How do you manage to find time to work out?
I don’t. I think having a four year old and a newborn and I’m working every single day is enough exercise. I’ve got one baby in one arm, the other in the other. I’m always running round and I think any new mum would tell you… by the time you’re up, fed the kids, washed them, dressed them, it’s midday and you haven’t even eaten yourself. It’s always grabbing food on the go when you can.