Few designers start out the way Grace Hudson-Evans did. In fact, she says herself she fell into the job by accident. Having been searching for a pair of wide-leg trousers and never finding anything that worked she thought, well, I should just design them myself. The rest as they say is history, albeit with a lot of hard work, talent and passion for thoughtful, fun fashion thrown in too.
Today Grace designs under the label Grace Wears, focusing on beautiful cocktail dresses, whimsical feather-trimmed co-ords, statement-making costume jewellery and those palazzo pants that started it all. Sustainability also sits at the heart of the brand, ensuring fabrics are sourced responsibly and that Grace is designing pieces for customers of all ages, creating wardrobe heroes that are built to last and that you’ll forever fall in love with.
We sat down with the designer to talk all things vintage, nosy in on her current reading list, and find out the fashion pieces she’s dreaming of this summer…
Where do you get your design inspiration from?
It comes from everywhere…books, films, paintings, and a lot of it comes from childhood memories. My frilly Party Bags were inspired by a Roxy Music album cover; my Feather Shirts by an old picture in Vogue; and my Daughter Dress was based on an actual dress my mother once had.
I also do a lot of thinking and imagining in the bath! I sometimes see a colour or a shape and want to do something with it, or it can be as simply as an instinct of what I want to wear and what I think other people will feel like wearing.
Have you always been sustainably conscious of sustainable fashion or was there a ‘lightbulb’ moment that made you want to start your brand?
I think I might have been an advocate of sustainable fashion by accident! I’ve always loved buying second hand – I remember shopping in Camden Lock and charity shops with my best friend in my early teens. But my lightbulb moment came after a somewhat gloomy Sunday-night-in-the-car conversation with my (now) husband, that turned into something much cheerier. He suggested I design a pair of the palazzos I had been looking for but couldn’t find and the rest is history!
What tips can you share on shopping more sustainably?
Only buy things you absolutely love. If they are good quality then it helps, as they will last if you take care of them. I have pieces I bought in my teens that I still wear.
Buy second hand where possible. Also renting clothes is a really good option, if you don’t have a big budget but want to wear different outfits. We have recently added Grace Wears to By Rotation and it’s such a good way of becoming part of that important circular economy.
Which brands, apart from your own, do you love?
I love Ganni. I love Taller Mano, Shrimps, Simone Rocha and Marni. But I love vintage and a charity shop bargain above all else!
What’s your favourite go-to evening look?
It always depends on the temperature – I hate being cold! Most of the time it’s one of my feather sets with a pair of glittery shoes – the Feather Camisole and matching Palazzos or the Hammered Silk set. They both have the feel of relaxed glamour and essentially are very comfortable, which is now a prerequisite for a good evening. I also have a collection of vintage kaftans which are my go-to if I want to look a bit floatier! I wear them with my glitter resin Cocktail Jewellery from my collection and in my head I pretend I’m in Palm Springs.
How would I describe my style? Classic with a twist... Plus frills and diamantés.
Is there one piece you’re most proud of from any of your collections?
I am still really proud of the Palazzo Pants which still sit at the heart of the brand. I think they have stood the test of time and are my wardrobe staple…which makes me feel like I hopefully got them right!
Where do you shop for vintage?
Portobello Market on a Friday morning. Etsy and eBay. Lime Green Bow. Pimlico Car Boot Sale. Charity shops can still be treasure troves, but you have to be in the mood and have both hands free. Don’t buy anything with a moth hole or a suspicious stain and remember you can always get things altered or zips and buttons replaced.
What was the last thing you bought?
Honestly? Baby weaning spoons for my son! But fashion-wise? Some Fabrizio Vitti Daisy sandals in the sale and (another!) vintage kaftan.
Let’s talk beauty… which brands and products do you love?
Biologique Recherge Lotion P50
Tan Luxe Illuminating Self-Tan Drops
Floris Rose Geranium Bath Essence,
The Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lip Pencil and Caudalie Beauty Elixir are the items I buy again and again and again.
Shop Grace’s Beauty Heroes Below…
Which books are on your summer reading list?
Lots! Whether I get through them will be another matter! You Made A Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi; I Fear For This Boy by Theo Fennell; Rooted by Sarah Langford and The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki. I really want to start reading more David Sedaris books this year.
Shop Grace’s Summer Reading List Below…
Do you have any travel plans for the summer?
I am so excited to be going to the South of France with my whole family in July and then staying with friends in Tuscany in August – I hope to do a day trip to Florence on the way back. I lived there for a bit in my twenties with my best friend – I want to try and find the shop we used to go to where we filled carrier bags of vintage clothes for 5 Euros each! We got such good stuff and I wonder if it’s still there. I’m planning a trip to New York in the Autumn for Grace Wears – which is exciting!
Shop Grace’s Summer Edit Below…
For more information on Grace’s brand, Grace Wears, visit
Or follow her on Instagram @gracewears
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