India de Beaufort, currently on ABC Family's "Jane by Design," is truly an artistic jack-of-all-trades. This actress/singer/fashion designer really does it all, and what's even more impressive is that even with a show on the air, she has another coming up--this time a show at New York Fashion Week showcasing a collection she designed herself. We spoke to India about her artistic endeavors and caught a glimpse into the life of this fabulous lady.
Tell us a little about your character on Jane by Design. Would you say you're anything like India in the show or is it a chance to play a part completely different from yourself? I play 'India Jourdain' on ABC Family's Jane by Design. She's a lead designer at Donovan Decker, the fashion house Jane works for and she's also kinda the villain. I wouldn't say we share many traits. We're both strong feisty women who love fashion, but I think it ends there. At least I hope it does! All I know is, I love smiling, which doesn't come naturally to Jourdain... Unless she has just screwed someone over that is...
Obviously, the wardrobe is to die for. Would you say that you dress similarly to your on screen wardrobe? Or, is it more of a chance for you to play dress up? My style is very different from my character's. I like light colors and whimsical shapes. She dresses to kill in darker tones and fierce cuts. We are so lucky to have a wardrobe designer like Olivia Miles. We get to wear the most incredible clothes. Everything from Vivienne Westwood to vintage Chanel. It's a great way to broaden your fashion perspective. You wear things designed for your character, not for you, so you end up trying out styles you may never have chosen for yourself and it's surprising how much you fall in love with and how many new pieces creep into your closet as a result.
I'm loving turquoise jewelry at the moment. Pops of color from earthy stones set in rustic metal. It's so vibrant but grounded. I have so many pieces.
You also have a line, Ballyhoo, can you tell us a little about that? What was the process like? I designed a collection of four pieces for my character on Jane and I was lucky enough to wear one of the pieces on the show. I've been designing and making my own clothes for a very long time. My formal education is in fashion and even though it didn't end up being my main profession, it's still a great love of mine. A few weeks ago I was asked if I would like to show a collection at EMERGE! during New York Fashion Week and I jumped at the chance. I'm always up for a challenge. I've been sewing ever since and I'm a little over half-way done. It's a lot to ask, to make an entire collection in just over a month but my good friend Tatiana Klioukina, from the Art House of Tailoring in Studio City, has been helping me do it right. The show will be in Soho on September 11th, so keep your fingers crossed for me! I'm putting myself out there to get heavily scrutinized. People know me as an actor not a designer but in my mind creativity is creativity in any form and they do say; never dare to hang yourself. I have faith in the pieces I've designed and I'm excited to put them out there.
You're also a singer. Which do you prefer? Singing and songwriting or acting? I love performing in any form equally. My dream would be to play 'Roxie' in Chicago, then I would get to do both!
What's currently on your iPod? Lots of Billie Holiday and Glen Miller. I love feel-good, ambient music. They are both great artists to sew to, as well. I also love to plug in BBC Radio 4 and listen to British comedy shows while I work.
Who are your on-screen inspirations? I adore Carey Mulligan. She's an actress that I very much look up to. She's so deep. Sometimes I think that kind of depth is a gift from birth. You either have it or you don't. I could watch her all day.
What is your dream role? This could involve any director, producer, any cast members, anything! I would love to work on a Judd Apatow production. The actors that are lucky enough to work with him just look like they are having the best time. I would love to work in comedy features.
What is your typical day like? At the moment, I wake up at 7.30, have a cuppa, eat breakfast, get ready and then I start work at 9 am, I put my radio on and make patterns or sew or sketch or shop for fabric until about 9 pm then I pack up, watch the Golden Girls and hit the sack. That has been most days this month, other than the odd, fun photo shoot or event. When I'm filming, I'm on set from 5 am to 7 pm. I don't remember the last time I did nothing… but I have the rest of my life to do that. I'm definitely looking forward to taking a break.
Do you have a staple in your closet? A go-to article of clothing or pair of shoes? A white tank. Every woman should own a good white tank. My naughty staple is a pair of Louboutin's. I saved and saved to buy my first pair. My family all put in money so that I could wear them to my first premiere. They are addictive. Six years later I now own three pairs, but if I were filthy rich I'd buy every pair in every color.
How do you spend off time? Do you have any hobbies you enjoy? My hobbies are very much tied to my work. I have a blog called 'Lovely Junk' that is all things creative. From junking to styling to crafts, it's all in there. I don't get to update as much as I'd like to because of time, but I do what I can. I love flea markets, I love collecting vintage clothing and furniture, I love decorating and building anything with anything. I also love to bake and decorate cakes. Basically I will make anything at any time. It's like I never left kindergarden. I spend my days with a need to make something while making a mess.
Interviewed by Michelle Chang
First Image Skirt: Vintage Shirt: ALL SAINTS Shoes: Aldo Necklace: ALL SAINTS Ring: Roman Luxe
Second Image Trench: ALL SAINTS Skirt: Vintage Shoes: Christian Louboutin Top: Wasteland Ring: Vintage Brooch: Vintage
Third Image Pants: Anthropology Shirt: Madewell Bag: Anthropology Necklace: Forever 21 Ring: Vintage Hat: Vintage Shoes: Dolce Vita Pin: Vintage
Fourth Image Dress: Anthropology Shoes: Christian Louboutin Necklace: Vintage Ring: Vintage Jacket: Vintage
Fifth Image Ring: H&M Dress: Vintage Shoes: Dolce Vita Tank: Forever 21 Brooch: Vintage Headscaf: Vintage Necklace: Vintage Bag: Vintage
Sixth Image Dress: ‘Ballyhoo’ by India de beaufort Shoes: Christian Louboutin Braclet: Roman Luxe Ring: Forever 21