The name behind one of the hottest fashion labels on the style barometer, Kelly Love tells of her sartorial journey from early days in Japan to crafting fairy-tale couture and the challenges of running her own label…
MF: What first got you excited about fashion to take you down that career path?
KL: When I lived in Osaka, Japan and worked for a fashion designer. I’d always been quite creative and loved to write more than anything but also loved the aspect of creating something from a concept through to a finished piece. I also worked for a couture house which made me really appreciate how much can go into creating a garment and how many different routes you can take in terms of fabrics, prints and finishings.
MF: What was the first piece of clothing you ever designed?
KL: I designed and made five couture dresses using the concept of the “Mad Hatters Tea Party”. They were very detailed and quirky using fabrics so extortionately priced that I would have never been able to sell them. I still have them now and love them!
MF: How do you go about researching your collections?
KL: I always write some kind of story almost from the point of view of the character who I am designing for. It’s quite loosely based on this, however, as the label is quite commercial and needs to appeal to a wider audience than one particular type of customer. I like to have an element of romanticism to each collection which is often reflected in these words. A lot of the research I do is through fabrics and printing techniques as this is the signature of my label.
MF: Who is the ‘Kelly Love woman’?
KL: She is feminine and elegant but wears the clothes styled in her own way. She likes to wear something to stand out from the crowd but in a subtle rather than obvious way.
MF: What are the concepts that most interest you?
KL: Fabric and printing techniques, as the possibilities are endless!
MF: How does the fashion scene in Australia compare with London?
KL: Neither can be stereotyped so that’s quite a difficult question. There is just so much to both places and so many amazing designers to come out of both the UK and Australia. I think Australian designers are often a little more casual and relaxed but this probably just comes down to our warmer climate and what the customer is looking for.
MF: What have you found is the most challenging aspect of running your own label? What do you hope to achieve in the coming seasons?
KL: The juggling act of it all! There is just so much that goes into it from designing, pattern cutting, production, fabric sourcing, printing, press, sales, accounts, photo-shoots! The list is endless! It’s an amazing job though and I think if you can find something that you love to do, you are luckier than most!
I just hope for the label to grow and be successful!
MF: How would you define your personal style?
KL: I used to be very girly in everything that I wore and now tend to mix in more masculine touches like loafers and boyfriend blazers. I also used to be a lot quirkier but I think you tend to dress a little more timelessly as you get older.
MF: Who in fashion inspires you most?
KL: I tend to be more inspired by things outside of fashion, art, music, movies and places; as well as the people who are close to me. There are a lot of labels I really respect like Charles Anastase, Carven, Aurelio Costarella, Akira Isogawa, Lover and Willow. I’m inspired by anyone who is doing their own thing and making it work.
MF: Any advice to young fashion designers?
KL: To get as much hands-on experience as possible by interning and doing work experience, as most people in fashion are expected to work for free at some point! My advice to anyone starting a label would be to only do it for the love of it, such a small section of owning a label is actual design and it’s a while before you start making money. You have to really want it and not be able to imagine doing anything else.
Click Here to read Kelly’s blog.