I am a dreamer in disguise. I do my best to stay focused on real life and its ups and downs, but then comes a moment when a handful of rose petals or a gentle kiss of spring air on my cheek sends me into my happy place where dreams meet fashion and become a piece of wearable art.
The Pocket Full O’ Posies maxi was one of those moments. Made of delicate silk and inspired by childhood memories and lingerie, the dress oozed femininity and looked as if it captured the movement of cherry blossom and rose petals dancing to the Waltz of Flowers.
And so I fell in love with the dress and then – with Kelly, the designer who created it. I wanted to know more about her because everything this girl did so far has not just been dreamy, but literally fashioned by… Love.
Love… The name Kelly Love carries and the feeling she puts into every garment, from the moment she imagines it as a beautiful story to the final finishing touch. The grown-up fantasy, romance and edgy dreaminess are the essence of her collections and if these words touch something inside your soul, Kelly Love is the name you will need to remember and add to your style radar. She is definitely here to stay and give us a slice of a dream world, the world we could all be a part of.
WHAT: Beautiful clothes with romantic touch, simple silhouettes and exquisite prints
WHERE: View collections at Kelly Love official website, shop at YBD and stay in touch via Facebook and Twitter
WHY: Every piece in Kelly Love collection is crafted from luxurious fabrics with couture standards in mind and will definitely stand the test of time
LOOK FOR: Mohair Parisian sunrise coat, The Dream Weaver little black dress and The Idyllic Hour and Posies in my Pocket dresses.
Do you remember your very first encounter with fashion?
I remember when I was really little been in love with my mums slips and petticoats. The softness of the fabric, the pastel colours and the lace trim. I always thought it was lovely that women would wear something so pretty under their clothes even if no one would see it…
Have you ever thought of designing lingerie?
It is something I have considered and would love to have the chance to do some day. As this isn't an area of my expertise however, it would be great to collaborate with a lingerie company in the future.
What inspired you to become a fashion designer?
I was working for a designer, Sin Nakamayal when I lived in Japan for a couple of years and loved the creativity of it. Sin was more of an artist who created conceptual pieces where as I knew I wanted to design clothes that were unique but also very wearable. The idea that you can come up with a concept and months later, what has been imagined becomes real is really exciting for me. There’s nothing better than seeing it all come to life.
Who are your main supporters?
My boyfriend supports me more than anyone. He does so much for the label & has always really believed in it. I’m very lucky though to have a very supportive family and group of friends + loyal stores who buy into each collection too.
What is your design philosophy?
Just to create clothes that are really unique but are also wearable. Clothes that make you feel special when you wear them & aren’t part of the “fast fashion” phenomenon.
How do you feel about trends?
I think when you’re working in the industry, trends can present themselves before you even realise it. Almost subconsciously. I definitely don’t aspire to work to trends but if something comes about that fits in with your label, then it’s a bonus as you’ll always get great press if you have some trend led pieces. I think people should only wear trends that actually suit their style and body shape & the same goes for my collections.
What do you enjoy the most about designing a new collection?
Just the creative process really. The creativity of building something from concept to completion. I love each step of the process but I think my favourite part after actually designing, is shooting the lookbook. That’s when the full story of what you’ve been working on for the last 6 months becomes something real.
Your garments are always crafted from some of the most beautiful and luxurious fabrics - what influences your choice?
I started out working for a couture house so this has always influenced the standard that I work to. I look for a beautiful hand feel more than anything, something that feels really nice to wear. I’ve actually starting experimenting with some man-made fibers next season too as I would like the collection to be accessible and also easier to care for if it’s more of an everyday piece. For fabrics that aren’t printed, I always seem to be drawn to texture.
There’s always a beautiful story, almost a fantasy, that accompanies the clothes... Is there a reason for that?
I’ve always loved writing, even before I started designing clothes so this is just a way for me to indulge in this love. These short stories also help me to picture the woman who is effectively the muse for the collection and allows me to imagine the end product. A lot of designers create mood boards which I do further down the line but the story is always the starting point.
Would you consider writing a book one day? The one that makes a reader dream…
This isn't something I have thought about before... I have always thought there was a very strong link between my way of designing and creative writing though, as I hope to conjure up beautiful images from both, so never say never…
Who is a Kelly Love heroine? How would you describe a woman who wears your designs?
Someone who wants to stand out but in a subtle rather than obvious way.
If you could pick a piece from each of your collections, which ones would they be and why?
From SS12, I love the “Petals of the Rose Dress”. The print, drapes and length of the dress give a real wow factor and the detail in the print along with the silk is so beautiful when you see it in real life. I love the “Our Spirits are Free Blouse” from SS13. It’s such a simple blouse but the nude colour of the silk turned out so perfectly and the delicate French lace collar that was dyed navy is so pretty. From AW13, the “Parisian Sunrise Coat” is my favourite. This is quite a significant piece as I really enjoy designing outerwear which is becoming somewhat of a signature for the label, along with the printed pieces. I’m very excited about the outerwear that I am doing for AW14 – stay tuned.
Flowers and grandeur, your Autumn 2013 collection, is so dreamy and nostalgic... What was the starting point of it? Where did the inspiration come from?
AW13 was somewhat of a love story about a couple who lived in a bohemian neighbourhood in Paris a long time ago. The elderly people who still live there remember them as this really eccentric but beautifully polished couple who lived a charmed, extravagant lifestyle. There is always an element of darkness to these stories though and perhaps there was an underlying sadness beneath her beauty which makes the collections feel a little more fragile. To me these vulnerable aspects of a women’s personality are much more enchanting than the polished persona that she allows people to see, and it’s these ideas that always give my collections a delicate edge.
What is your ultimate aspiration?
To have a long standing business that is successful for years to come. This is what I love to do, so to spend a life time working in a profession that you truly want to wake up for is incredibly lucky.
5 things about Kelly Love
One of your favourite quotes to live by... In the end we will only regret the chances we didn’t take.
Most favourite items in your wardrobe right now are… My Parisian Sunrise coat from AW13 and an embroidered peasant blouse I found in a vintage store
Favourite dessert… Anything chocolate based… The chocolate fudge cake at The Wapping Project in London comes to mind – it’s phenomenal!
One of your guilty pleasures... The Great British Bake Off – it makes me truly happy when I watch it!
If you could be anywhere right now, where would you find yourself? Right where I am.
Photo source: c/o Kelly Love & Kelly Love Ltd.