Leanne Campbell explains why Aintree dropping its dress code inspired her first fashion collection
2 months ago
Presenter Leanne Campbell has just launched her first fashion collection and says it was inspired by Aintree Racecourse’s decision to drop its dress code.
The races are famous for their full-on Scouse glamour, so Leanne says she wanted to create dresses which proudly represent that as well as flattering all ages and sizes.
She explains: “I know the girls behind The Buyers Club Clothing and I’m a fan of their brand, so we were already having discussions about doing something together.
“Then Aintree announced it was dropping the dress code for Ladies Day and we were laughing about it because I know there’s not a chance that anyone in Liverpool is doing that.
“It was like a red rag to a bull so I said to them, ‘let’s do a red dress that is the epitome of glamour’ because I can see it strutting across the main road from the train station with a big hat or a fascinator. That’s the Athena, it’s a gorgeous very theatrical one-shoulder maxi dress and I think it’s a winner for Aintree.”
For Leanne, this debut collection reflects her own personal love of fashion, plus there are lots of references to her past too.
“When we were sitting down to create the first three designs, in my head I was dressing me, my mum, my sister, my friends – we’re all different shapes and sizes but we all love to feel glamorous.
“The floral Aphrodite is ruched at the front, you can put it in your suitcase if you’re going to a holiday wedding and it’ll still look fabulous on. And it’s really flattering so if you’ve gained half a stone by the day of the wedding you don’t have to worry about the zip not going up!
“For me, the blue off-the-shoulder Ophelia midi dress is the most daring because it’s a different length to what I’d usually wear, it’s like the Victoria Beckham length, but it’s very simple and classy. It’s also the colour of my mum’s bridesmaids’ dresses so there are little nods to my life and things that get me going when it comes to fashion.”
The range was also influenced by tricks and tips she’s learned with age.
“I was talking to the girls from Buyers Club Clothing about how a lot of the boutiques on Instagram tend to sell clothes in fabric that’s just not that flattering, especially if you’re busty or you’ve got a bit of a mum tum.
“You become a bit wiser as you get older, especially if you’ve had kids, and you realise there are certain things you can’t wear, certain fabrics, certain shapes you just don’t feel comfortable in. You get to know what to wear to flatter yourself and then when you look around you see how little of it is available.”
The first collection is already on sale, a second one which is floral focused has been designed and a third with bright Miami-style colours is underway.
“I’ve never spent a lot on my clothes, I’ve never bought designer stuff, so I wanted to do something that looks and feels high-end but is really affordable,” says Leanne. “There’s only a limited number of each dress made so it’s not like the high street where you’ll walk around and see loads of them, you feel like you’ve got something special.
“I modelled one of the dresses when I was hosting a charity event just to trial it to see if the sizing was right, and I got so many people messaging me saying, where did you get your dress? Where can I buy that dress from? I had to post on Instagram and say, ‘it’s actually one of mine but they’re not ready yet.’
“Now we’ve launched and sold more 14-plusses than any of the smaller sizes which proves my point. Just because you’re a certain size, you don’t want to wear black and sit in a corner, those days are gone. Scousers are daring, they’ll take any excuse to dress up and they definitely don’t mind standing out in a crowd.”
Find her range here.