Inspiration - Creating Fashion Illustrations with Kelly Love

I visited Kelly Love in her beautiful, newly renovated home in Blackheath, where I discovered scenic, misty views over the city of London.  Her home, despite waiting on the finishing touches from a years worth of redecoration, was an oasis of calm, sensitively decorated in a contemporary yet era-sensitive style and obviously created by someone with an eye for quality design, and a penchant for modern romance.  

Kelly is an Australian fashion designer, living in London, where she worked in both luxury and high-street fashion. She set up her own label, Kelly Love, in 2011 whilst working full-time for a large fashion company.  She described how her time here gave her the experience, contacts and financial support to allow her to develop her own brand, although it meant working every minute of the day.

Kelly Love a/w 2015

Kelly showed me through her a/w 2015 collection as well a sneak-peek at her s/s 2016 collection.  Her handwriting is confident in it's style.  She has a strong sense of who her customer is; romantic, soft, with a slightly minimum, Scandinavian edge.  She uses feminine silks with a subtle and light colour palette; her a/w 2015 was a mixture of sage green, buttermilk, nude pink and french navy, in contrast to the typical blacks and reds of a winter wardrobe.  Fabrics, too, eschew the heavy winter materials for softer combinations of brushed silks mixed with soft lambswool.

Kelly Love

Inspired through poetry and writing, Kelly starts each collection through a written narrative.  She uses her personal experience to create a poem which creates the atmosphere and basis for her designs.  Each lookbook begins with the narrative which has formed the collection.  

It’s raining. Not the incessant drizzle that you run to seek shelter from, but a fresh, heavenly downpour that the townsfolk have longed for. Fat drops cut through the thick humidity of yet another sweltering day.

They say in the deepest parts of the south, the heat can make a sane man go crazy. Up until this sweet rain touched my face, I could have sworn they may be right. But it’s beautiful here too - an organic beauty that occurs quietly and slowly. Towering old oaks stand proudly next to rambling houses with wrap around porches, while the smell of sweet southern cooking infuses the air.

And everywhere you look there are gardens of wildflowers in earthy colours and succulents of the brightest green. They spill onto the blistering sulphur and sit in flower boxes between brightly painted shutters. These lush gardens provide respite from the heat and a haven to enjoy the slow life......
— Kelly Love - AW15 Blues before Sunrise

Kelly spoke with high regard with her relationship with photographer, Yuvali Theis, who shoots all of her pictures using natural light and film. The organic, dreaminess of the photography showcases Kelly's collection beautifully.

Keep checking back to see the outcomes of this project.  You can follow my sketching progress on Instagram and I’ll be posting final illustrations here throughout the next few weeks.

x, Willa