@stylonylon x YBD
For the last in my series with Young British Designers, I wanted to share with you the work of womenswear designer Kelly Love. An Australian based in London, Kelly creates the most captivating pieces, evoking an intoxicating sense of heady romance…
The piece I’ve chosen to feature perfectly demonstrates this – the Field of Flowers dress which belongs to the The Golden Hour collection. A flowing midi dress (or maxi on me, lol!) made of silk satin which veritably glows in the light, calling out for rays of warm sunlight.
Of Kelly’s own story, she tells me: “I grew up in the Australian countryside and my mother was an amazing gardener, so I’ve always been inspired by nature. I find the life cycle and components of flowers so fascinating and beautiful, which is where the ideas for my prints come from. For AW18, I was also really inspired by the colours of the sky at golden hour so I’ve used a palette of rose pink and soft golden hues throughout the collection.”
For me, Kelly makes pieces that feel and look like art: not just sumptuous to the touch – gliding over your skin once on – but transforming you when you wear it, making you feel that little bit more special than before; which for a dress, is what we all seek. That forever piece, the one we want to always keep.
Kelly goes on to tell me:
“AW18 Golden Hour is a collection that brings back fashion as an artform and embraces the idea of the conscious consumer. Styles to be worn and treasured for years to come. Luxurious silks are manipulated into gentle ruffles, pintucks and shirring that drape softly against the skin when worn.
“The label brings back their signature hand painted floral prints in a contrasting palette of pastels and inky black. These printed styles perfectly compliment the more minimal pieces for perfect day to evening looks. French cotton lace and embroidered Irish linen represent the natural elements of the collections inspiration, while black velvet gives the range a sumptuous edge.
“When I design a new collection, I always write a short story that creates a narrative in my mind of the finished product. It helps me to imagine the woman who would wear the clothes, the colours and the overall mood.”
Kelly kindly shared with me the story she created for the Field of Flowers dress…
“Everything was beautiful in those last few moments before the sun dropped behind the mountains, just before darkness fell. The sky lit up and became the colour of roses while beams of liquid gold were quietly replaced with evening shadows.
“They lived behind those mountains. Right at the base where dear grazed unknowingly and hummingbirds faintly sung. Where life was simple and complicated all at once. They knew she was special. Knew she would be the one who would eventually have to leave. To see the world and disarm everyone around her as she had done with them.
“She sat below the frosted window every morning listening to the sounds on winter around her. Meticulously stitching together pieces of fabric until they had taken on a form of beauty and simplicity. She felt completely calm and ready as the silk slipped through her fingers like liquid… ready for the new life she was about to pursue whilst holding her old life close to her heart.
While the print may call for balmy summer sun, now in Autumn (and with its long sleeves and high back) I thought the dress could handle the seasonal transition admirably, so I teamed it with a leather jacket, high suede ankle boots and chocolate brown bucket – the colours resonating perfectly with the darker colours in the print. This feels very much like a ‘a dressed up but still cool’ look to wear out this month and next. But the beauty of a piece like this is, come warmer weather, it will be in its element too.
It’s pieces like this that very much make me feel that ‘buying better and buying less’ really comes to life…
A big thanks to Kelly for all her lovely words – go check out the Kelly Loves collection here.