5 minutes with... dress designer, Kate Fearnley
5 minutes with... dress designer, Kate Fearnley
You can always rely on Kate Fearnley to create a kooky-kitsch collection of colour-pop prom dresses, feminine frills and ladylike lace numbers guaranteed to get you noticed at your special event. And this season Kate's collection, inspired by the class, cool and cocktails of old Hollywood, is no different. To celebrate our exclusive 25% off all new season Kate Fearnley dresses event we sat down with the hot young designer to find out all about the new designs, her refusal to follow trends and her budding career in photography... What’s the inspiration behind the SS13 collection? The SS13 collection is called Riviera Cocktail. It's inspired by retro vacations, and focuses heavily on the styles and shapes of the Hollywood icons of the 1950s. The Riviera Cocktail collection brings into mind the post-war French Riviera – sun, drinks parties at the yacht club, promenading on the Mediterranean Sea fronts. It's really fun but with a chic, old Hollywood vibe. What are the key features of these dress styles? The collection features what I think has become my trademark bold use of colour; shades of red, aqua, strawberry, pink and purple are interspersed with black and white and vibrant splashes of yellow for a really bold, statement look. This season's collection also includes cherry printed stretch cottons, floral, spots and paint splash prints which make the styles really unique. I've used soft matt satins, heavy crochet laces, soft vintage laces, with the focus on contrasting colours, textures and embellishments, whilst the silhouettes of the collection feature new longer length fitted pencil dresses, classic 1950s swing dresses, sharp shoulder detail, peplums and petal trim detailing. There's a lot in there but they still sit nicely together. Do you pay attention to catwalk trends? I always feel like I want to know what the main catwalk trends are but I don't use them like the high street or high fashion brands do. My customer likes to be a little bit different from the norm and don't want to look obviously trend led. We use a lot of lace and colour blocking throughout all our seasons so this summer we seem to be bang on trend! How has the Kate Fearnley brand changed since you first launched at LittleBlackDress.co.uk? The brand hasn't changed since working with LittleBlackDress.co.uk and I think my customer is still the same although we cater for a wider age group these days which is nice to know. Throughout the spring months we cater very much for the races, weddings and special occasions The AW collections are aimed at the Christmas parties and winter weddings but it's still for the same customer, the KF woman. For AW13 we are developing a more relaxed day-to-night range which I'm really excited to launch. The campaign imagery for this collection is gorgeous! Were you on location for the shoot? I'm going to brag one more time as I actually took the location shots in Malta myself while on a photography course. It is a beautiful place and I felt it lived up to my inspiration for the collection. Even the lovely model Laura (who I named one of the dresses after) had a look of 50's icon Elizabeth Taylor so it all fitted together very nicely. We are off to Barcelona soon to shoot the next collection for SS14; it's the only holiday I get! Which is your favourite piece this season? The best seller is the Holly spot yellow dress as it has a quirky twist on the classic pencil dress. It has a slight stretch which means it fits and suits all shapes and sizes and the shoulder detail covers the arms which most women like as they feel more comfortable. My favourite is the Laura dress because it was the first dress I designed in the collection and the rest all evolved from the location shot picture (top image). I love the back and my favourite fabric to work with is lace so this hits the spot. We love your take on the LBD this season with the classic Buttercup, the polka dot number and the Darcy. How and where should customers wear KF LBDs? The Buttercup dress is a KF classic and the monochrome look is not only on trend but also a must for your forever wardrobe. Perfect for weddings and races with either a matching fascinator or maybe throw in some colour with hot pink accessories. The Darcy dresses are also for these sort of occassions and the black Darcy is hugely popular for bridesmaids. The polka dot is again a classic wardrobe keeper and can be worn for every occasion or dressed down for something more relaxed like a garden party or drinks with the girls. Shop all of Kate Fearnley's amazing dresses at LittleBlackDress.co.uk here and don't forget to use code KATE25 to save 25% on all new collection pieces!