Former Made in Chelsea star Caggie Dunlop has admitted that she left the show because it was "overwhelming" and "became quite awkward" due to drama.
The gorgeous blonde talks Spencer Matthews and what she has been up to since leaving the reality show in an exclusive interview with told HELLO! Online.
As her fashion line ISWAI prepares to launch its Spring/Summer 2014 collection, Caggie shares why she looks up to Sienna Miller and her go-to First Lady outfit.
Caggie Dunlop has entered the world of fashion
You’ve been so busy working in music and fashion - would you ever be tempted to return to Made in Chelsea?
I definitely want to go back to television, but I don’t know if it will be Made in Chelsea. Before the show I was in drama school, so acting is definitely something I’d like to try. I’ve been doing a lot of music, but I don’t know if it that’s what I want to pursue because I find performing really nerve-wracking!
Have you ever regretted leaving the show?
Sometimes I miss being on the show, but at the time I really needed to leave. I felt like if I stayed, it would become inescapable, and I didn’t want to be tied to a reality show. The show brought a lot of media attention, and I found it overwhelming when people suddenly took an interest in my personal life. It started off as very fun, but then people started wanting drama and things to go wrong, so shooting became really awkward. I found it exhausting.
Caggie and Made In Chelsea's Spencer
Do you still talk to any of the cast members?
I still talk to Jamie, Proudlock and Spencer. I bumped into Francis the other day, but I didn’t recognise him because he had a beard! When I was on the show, we would come off the set and talk about everything that had happened. Now, because I’m not on the show, it can be a bit annoying when they’re talking about it. I don’t watch it – I’d rather hear what’s happening through them. Although Spencer and I are close, we never talk about his relationships – I don’t really know what happened there!
Have you always known you wanted to go into fashion?
Not really. I don’t like to overthink fashion too much, I prefer to put comfort first. When I was on Made in Chelsea, everything I wore was scrutinised so inevitably my interest in fashion grew.
What made you decide to launch ISWAI?
It would have been a lot easier to do a collection with an established brand, but I’m not a designer. I didn’t want to pretend I’d designed loads of clothes when in reality I’d had no creative input. Made in Chelsea had made my name recognisable so I thought it would be nice to use that and give young designers a real platform to showcase their talent, in my own label.
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How do you choose the designers you take on for the label?
At the beginning it was like a school project: we gave out themes and designers sent in their T-shirt designs. There wasn’t a scrutiny process, we just went with people who inspired us and were really interested. Sometimes we go out and find people online or through style blogs, other times it’s simply from speaking to someone! We recently ran a social media competition for three followers to come and model the collection – we just want to give everyone a chance.
Do you have any style blogs you particularly love?
I’m not really up-to-date with fashion blogs. The blogs that interest me tend to be more art-focused. I do like to get inspired by anything and everything though. I’m very creative, which is weird because my parents aren’t at all.
Working with these young designers, do you get inspiration from them?
I love seeing what they come up with. The design process takes a while though and I’m quite impatient so it’s so satisfying when you finally see the finished product. Plus for the designers it’s great for them to see their ideas come to life. One of our designers now works for Balenciaga! And one of our first designers, Cameron, launched his own line which is doing well. It’s nice to see them do well!
What inspired the SS14 collection?
We wanted to up our game – as I grow up, I want the brand to grow up with me. There’s a lot of double denim, sticking to my love of denim. We wanted to do pieces that were unique but wearable, like the denim-printed shirt and matching skirt. It’s one of my favourite pieces, along with the rose gold jacket and skirt which I joke is my ‘First Lady’ outfit, because it’s so sophisticated.
How would you describe your style?
I go for what I call ‘dishevelled chic’. I like to mix and match, so I don’t really plan my outfits. Sienna Miller and Erin Wasson are my fashion icons because of their bohemian, effortless style. The Kooples, Maje and Sandro are some of my favourite brands. The Kooples do amazing suits. On the high street, I always head to Mango – their clothes are so well-fitted.
The Spring / Summer ISWAI collection is available now, visit: www.iswai.co.uk
Follow ISWAI on twitter at @ISWAI1.