Question Everything

By Donna Tweedale

From touring with Iggy Pop, to studying homeopathy... The founder of Question Everything London, Angie Adams is one interesting lady. We wanted to find out more!

Question Everything London girls AW16 collection

The lifestyle we choose to live, our childhoods, teenage years and cultures we experience all contribute to who we are. Influencing our style and tastes from our wardrobe to our attitudes. Angie Adams the founder of label Question Everything takes textures, colours, silhouette and print to create pieces that draw on her experiences. The result, classic shapes, easy to wear fun pieces with a raw edge. Not an easy balance to achieve. We spoke to Angie to dig a little deeper...

 

Angie, There aren't many childrenswear designers who's 'About Me' pages can boast "Toured worldwide with Iggy Pop"... C'mon now, don't be coy. Those days in girl punk band Fluffy must have been incredible!...Do you ever get the chance to go for it on the drums and show the kids that Mama's still got it?

They were amazing! We toured the world for two years and played with many of our heroes. I lived the rock and roll dream and I'm so grateful to have had that experience. I don't play much now but my kids do! My son Jake is in a band already with an EP out on itunes and my daughter is also a singer. I figured it was time to hand it over to the kids! It makes me happy to see how they are flourishing as musicians themselves.

Angie Adams, founder of Question Everything London

Angie Adams, founder of Question Everything London

And then came family life and your children, It must have been so fun creating clothes for your children, drawing on your study at London College of Fashion. It's no wonder seeing your collections now that you'd often receive compliments on your hand made pieces they would wear, was this your light bulb moment that Question Everything was born?

I've always loved clothes and fashion and back in the 80s living in Manila I'd buy fabric and go to the local tailor and have clothes made for myself - I was a big Madonna fan and I loved her style so I would design and have my own clothes made in her style at the time. Things I couldn't get in the shops. When I had kids, I would have dresses made for them on trips back to Manila and when in London, I'd receive so many compliments on them and subsequently friends and family encouraged me to start my own children's clothing business. I didn't take much convincing! I had been wanting to do it for a while. I do love the process of having an image in your head and then eventually seeing it as you imagined. 

Your memories of Manila, The Philippines, your time within Fluffy must all have an influence on your collections, How do these inspirations play a part within your design process?

I have so many aspects to my thought and design process.  I have my roots in the Philippines, have lived in London since I was 17, toured the world, studied homeopathy and have three children.  I love the beach and sea, I love cities especially London, New York and Tokyo (I have a fascination with Japan). I love music and rock and roll culture,  and of course I love my kids - these are the makings of what I do and what inspires me. Not sure how it all comes together to create the identity of Question Everything but somehow it does! It's not contrived in any way- it's just me I suppose.

Childrens hand smocked dress by Question Everything London

Your collections are so versatile, Whether they be worn with patent mary janes and a cute hair band, to a denim shirt or chunky knit with Hi-Tops or scruffy DM's, they leave room for the child's personality to wear the clothes, not the other way around. Encouraging them to stand out from the crowd. We have all the love for that. Childrenswear should be fun right?

Childrenswear should definitely be fun! That's what being a child is all about. I think it's also important that the dresses are versatile and comfortable. I always try to include fun prints I know kids will like in my collections as well as classic prints. I love classic looks and obviously I always like to throw a bit of a subtle rock and roll feel into Question Everything's collections. I feel that the looks can been interpreted and styled according to each child's personality. I don't want to dictate but rather leave it open to play with. 

A huge part of Question Everything we haven't touched on yet is just how community driven your brand is. A percentage of each sale going to support Childhope Asia, who work to support and secure justice for working children in the Philippines.

When I started the brand I was clear I wanted to have the clothes made in the Philippines. I'm half Filipino (half British) and I lived there when I was a child. I have family and friends there and I love the country. Everyone is so warm and friendly even in situations where they don't have much. I wanted to make sure that in producing the clothes in the Philippines, I was also giving something back to the community and not just taking. There is a big problem with street children in Manila and I feel like it's a worthy cause to support (especially being a children's brand)  Childhope Asia Philippines do an amazing job caring for and educating street children. http://childhope.hope.org.ph. They provide mentors and healthcare for the kids, giving them hope and aspirations. They have been able to send children to university through their education programme which is so inspiring.

Each piece is hand-smocked at home by the local ladies in Batangas, Manila, you must get a real sense of pride at what is being achieved within the community as a result of your ethical approach?

The ladies that smock the dresses are mostly mothers who do it from home. It gives them an opportunity to earn money whilst still being able to look after their children and help provide for their families. I have visited some of them and watched them at work and they are incredibly talented at what they do. They have told me smocking is a dying art as the younger generations are not so keen to learn but I'm sure enough will learn to keep the art going. It does make me happy to feel like Question Everything is supporting local communities and we hope to do more and more work within the communities in the Philippines as we grow.

Loud Music and Quiet Health. That's a great balance right there. It must get ridiculously busy running your own clothing label, this industry is always so fast paced. Your homeopathy must prove for some great Mama downtime? 

Yes, I'm always busy between running the business and having three children. Our home is always buzzing!  Homeopathy has given me another angle on life and health which I appreciate more than ever now. 

2017, Isn't far away. Big plans for your next collection? 

So many plans! I never have enough time to fulfil all the ideas I have. I'd like to expand on our boyswear line and I have a Question Everything homeware project in the pipeline, as well as a possible small womenswear collection. We also have some really interesting collaborations in discussion so watch this space!

We can't wait to see what Angie has in store. Thank you so much for talking with us.

To see more of the collection, visit Question Everything