Author: kettlewellcolours

Kettlewell Colours use seasonal and tonal colour palettes to create garments that are of an exceptional high quality using only the finest yarns. Have you discovered your colour?

Meet our Summer Ambassador – Annabel Simons

From the perfect party dress to the essential dinner party top, our Summer colour ambassador and lifestyle blogger Annabel Simons from CountryWives reveals the pieces on her Christmas wishlist this year…

 Annabel wears an Alpaca Shawl in French Navy with a Pink Fiesta Three Way Scarf

What are your daytime essentials for work and weekend?
In winter, it’s jeans or leggings with a pair of Chelsea boots and something like a Silky Rollneck and Cosy Merino Wrap, which I’ll have hanging over the back of my chair when I’m writing the blog from home (your thermostat starts to go haywire when you get older so this is the perfect coatigan for shrugging on when you get chilly, just adding a Gauze Stole Scarf if you need to head out). I used to wear a lot of skinny jeans in the past but nowadays I find straight-legged jeans more flattering and work better with boots.


Annabel wears the Ava Dress in Iris Bloom, she also has a Leather Star Makeup Bag in Aquagreen and Grey

My perfect Christmas party outfit?

A great va-va-voom dress like the velvet Ava Dress if I’m going to a Christmas party or smart trousers and a top, such as the lovely new silky-feel Lulu Curve in Cherry, if I’m out to friends for a dinner. The Lulu Curve is double-layered and the lining means it hangs so much better and shows fewer lumps and bumps than a normal T-shirt. I always like to dress up because I think it’s nice for the hostess if you make an effort, and I’ll always make sure I finish off the look with earrings, scarf and a decorative necklace.

Annabel is wearing a Lulu Curve top in Cherry and has a Light Grey Paris Textured Jacket over her shoulder. She has added a silver Multi Star Necklace

Favourite piece from new winter collection?
It has to be the Ava, but I also love the Velvet Scarves for a bright pop (the Peacock Blue one is fabulous). The Cosy Merino Wrap is also great. I like the fact that it works equally well over a dress and trousers – it’s the kind of item that I know will get plenty of use this season.

Here, Annabel wears the Sofia Dress in Teal and French Navy, with a Velvet Scarf in Peacock Blue and a Cosy Merino Wrap in Bright Navy.

Your favourite Summer colours?
Pastel shades from pale blue and duck egg, through to pale lilac and pink (I wear a Cashmere Gauze Stole in Peony all the time). I also love red, especially a pop of it for a scarf or necklace.

Best feature?
My hair. Only because I know that everyone in the hairdressers is always asking for my hair colour! Everyone thinks it’s dyed until they meet my sister and realise that she has exactly the same colour hair. Feature I’m not so keen on? My neck – it’s very long and a bit wrinkly, so I don’t like it at all.

I also hate the fact that as you get older you put on weight in all the wrong places (although I don’t want to get skinny as that doesn’t actually suit me, either). I’m starting to come to terms with the fact that no matter what you do, you have to just accept your body, within reason, and then dress accordingly. Oh, and always look at your back. French women never forget to check what they look like from behind!

Claire (Autumn) wearing Cypress Green, Annabel (Summer) in Iris Bloom and Melissa (Spring) in Cosmopolitan Velvet Faux Wraps!

How does wearing your colours make you feel?
Wearing colour, particularly round my face, makes me feel better and gives me an instant uplift. As you get older your skin loses a lot of its dewiness and freshness, and without painting yourself like something out of the circus, it’s far easier to put on something close to your skin in a great colour.

Since I was first introduced to Kettlewell, there has been so much more colour in my life. If you’d  looked in my wardrobe three or four years ago, you’d have found white, navy, grey, brown and black. Now it looks like a Summer wardrobe and is so much better for it, particularly as I tend to live in a uniform of jeans, jeans and more jeans. Even just having a sweater in my right colours can make all the difference.

Annabel wearing a Merino Tunic in Bright Navy with her favourite peony Cashmere Gauze Stole

No outfit is complete without…
A scarf. As you get older, you get colder, so putting something round your neck is immensely useful. I wear scarves all year round; even in summer when I go off on holiday I’ll pack a couple of scarves to drape round my shoulders in the evening. Nowadays I find that you don’t need a really thick scarf, even in winter: my Peony Cashmere Gauze Stole and Dusky Rose Florence Infinity Scarf are all the cosiness I need.

You can follow Annabel (and her friends Grace and Ellie) over on the CountryWives website.

Meet our Spring Ambassador – Amy Mulcrone

Nothing beats a pop of colour on a grey winter’s day, says our new Spring Colour Ambassador Amy Mulcrone, jewellery designer and creative director of Chambers & Beau.

What are your daytime essentials for work and weekend?
Jeans and ankle boots in the winter; jeans and trainers in the summer  – so easy to throw together and dress up or down. My weekend look tends to be the same as my work look as I’m a jewellery designer and work at home, so I’m generally alone in the studio with no particular need to dress up. But I’m a sucker for a handbag and I love scarves (although they do cover up my jewellery, so I may need to rethink that!).

Go-to dressed-up look for evening?
A pair of heels and plenty of bling. A pair of statement earrings has the same effect as popping on your favourite heels.

Favourite piece from the Kettlewell A/W collection and why?
The new Alexa faux-suede biker-style jacket is totally gorgeous. The colours are lovely and it is the perfect piece for that layered look. Only problem is working out which of my seasonal colours I love best!

Favourite colour and why…
I have only recently had my colours done and discovered I’m a Blue Spring, so for a long time I tended to stick to neutrals. But I’ve always loved red and been complimented whenever I wear it, and as it’s one of my ‘wow colours’ and this season’s key colour, I am totally going with it. I also love Kettlewell’s Royal Blue and Hot Coral, which work really well on me.

Amy wears the Alpaca Shawl in Hot Coral

Best feature (and parts you prefer to play down)?
My upper body is much better than my lower half. I have good shoulders and toned arms so I get them out whenever I can. I hate my legs, so I keep them tucked away ­ hence the jeans wardrobe.

How does wearing the right colours for you make you feel?
It has made such a difference and has really changed the way I dress. I love seeing pops of colour, especially during our drab grey winter. I won’t be saving them for holidays and sun-kissed skin any more.

No outfit is complete without…
Lashings of Chambers & Beau jewellery, naturally!

You can see all of Amy’s jewellery on her website Chambers and Beau.

Photographs by Katharine Davies

Thanks to Cherryade Life Store, Poundbury, Dorset

Meet our Winter ambassador – Helen Noel

Our Winter Colour Ambassador, Helen Noel, 48, who runs her own creative agency Brand+Soul, shares her wardrobe secrets – from the top she can’t live without to the best confidence-boosting colours for meetings

 Helen wearing a Merino Tunic in emerald with a Studded Scarf in sapphire

Do you have a casual uniform?
Striped Breton, long cardigan, scarf, skinny jeans and boots. You can’t go wrong.

Helen wears a Cosy Cotton Stripe Top in Navy/Fuchsia under a Grace Jacquard Blazer in Navy

Favourite dressed-up look for evening?
Something simple, like a maxi wrap dress with a slightly 1970s vibe – no necklace but statement earrings. And always heels! I love deep colours, such as black and cassis (I’m actually hankering after a deep green or emerald evening dress).

Favourite piece from the Kettlewell A/W collection?

So many favourites, how to choose? The entire Merino collection – the wool is beautifully soft and the colours are just amazing. The Alpaca Shawl will be a constant friend in the office (no central heating!). And because you can never have too many stripes in my book, I would go for the Cotton Stripe Boat Neck for work and the Cosy Cotton Stripe for weekends.

Helen wearing a Greek Blue Alpaca Shawl over a Stripe Boat Neck in Indigo Stripe

Your favourite seasonal colour?

Royal Blue. It just works, always.

Here she is wearing a Grace Jacquard Blazer in Grey over a Silky Crew Neck tee in White and a Cashmere Gauze Stole in Winter Lobelia

Best feature (and parts you prefer to play down)?  
Not sure about best feature – can I say dimples? I definitely like to play down my tum ­ and I’m not overly fond of upper arms, either!

How does wearing the right colours for you make you feel?
It sounds a bit dramatic but having my colours analysed really transformed my understanding of what works for me. Knowing the colours that suit me best makes shopping easier (particularly when spending out on an investment piece), gives me more confidence in client meetings and presentations, and makes choosing clothes and getting dressed a pleasure rather than a minefield. Even after a bad night’s sleep, popping on the right colour can perk up your complexion and hide a multitude of sins.

No outfit is complete without…

…a scarf – preferably in Fuchsia cashmere!

 

Photographs: Katharine Davies

You can contact Helen at Brand+Soul creative agency.

Special thanks to Hardy the dog…

 

Meet our Autumn Ambassador – Ilka Dunn

Ilka Dunn wearing an Alexa Zip Jacket in Taupe with a Leo Print Scarf in Truffle print

We put our Autumn Colour Ambassador, Ilka Dunn, 39, a colour consultant for Red Leopard, under the spotlight to find out how she blends Kettlewell with her own personal style and her favourite piece from the new A/W17 collection

Do you have a casual uniform?
I like pairing skinny trousers in dark brown or dark olive with an interesting top or blouse. For cooler days, I love chunky sweaters. I always wear an eye-catching necklace or a scarf, and a pair of flat ankle boots or high boots.

Favourite dressed-up look for evening?
My go-to pieces are dresses and shoes with a heel because it takes just seconds to get dressed and yet makes a dramatic change. I like to wear slightly darker colours than during the day and I tweak my make-up to make sure that it still looks good when the lights are low.

Ilka wearing a Paris Textured Jacket in True Red, with a Silk Leopard Scarf in Bright Orange Print

Favourite piece from the Kettlewell A/W collection?
It’s not really like me to wear the bright colours of the Autumn palette, but I love the Paris Textured Jacket  in Leaf and True Red. It’s great if you have limited time to get dressed in the morning: paired with jeans and a T-shirt, it will instantly make you look more put together. All you have to do is add the Leopard silk scarf to look perfectly stylish.

Your favourite seasonal colours?
Dark sage and moss – colours that are very flattering on most autumns. I also love coral as an accent colour in a pattern on a blouse or a scarf because it throws a lovely glow on to the face.

Ilka wearing an Alexa Zip Jacket in Forest Green with a Leo Print Scarf in Petrol Green print

Best feature (and parts you prefer to play down)?    
I am slightly narrower at the bust, so this is where I try to draw the attention to in order to visually balance out my proportions. I have a slim waist and try to accentuate that with belts, tops that come in at the waist, high-waisted trousers or high-waisted skirts.

Ilka wears a City Poncho in Indian Ochre over a Silky Roll Neck in Chocolate

How does wearing the right colours for you make you feel?
Life is just easier and more fun when you wear the right colours. They can make you look healthy, energetic, more capable and radiant. When you look great, you feel great. And when you feel great, everything is possible.

I also love that dressing is much easier and faster with my clothes being from the same seasonal colour palette because everything goes so well together. My wardrobe is sorted by colour – it’s like flipping through an Autumn’s colour wallet.

Ilka wears a City Poncho in Chocolate Marl with a Leo Print Scarf in Truffle Print

No outfit is complete without…
…a smile! Twenty years ago I saw a Snoopy cartoon in which he was very beautifully dressed but looked miserable. Underneath the caption read: “The best clothes don’t work if you don’t smile.” It is so true!

With thanks to the Duchess of Cornwall Inn, Poundbury, Dorset

Photographs: Katharine Davies

To book a consultation with Ilka, visit the Red Leopard website.

Meet our new Colour Ambassadors

There’s something about September, that fresh-start, back-to-school feeling that comes with this time of year, that feels right for new launches. So hot on the heels of the arrival of the A/W17 collection, we are excited to introduce our new colour ambassadors – four inspiring women who will be flying the flag for colour and demonstrating how they blend Kettlewell with their own inimitable style.

 Spanning the four seasonal colour palettes, Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer, as well as all ages and body types, our Colour Ambassadors will be joining us for the next six months, sharing styling tips as they put together a series of great wearable looks and showing us how they incorporate colour into their everyday lives, from work to weekend. We hope you enjoy meeting them!

Would you like to be a Colour Ambassador for SS18? If so, we would love to hear from you. Please email us a photograph and a brief description of why you love to wear colour to press@kettlewellcolours.co.uk

 

Next week: Our Autumn Colour Ambassador Ilka puts together looks from the A/W collection

 

Photographs by Katharine Davies

How to care for your wardrobe

From moth solutions to the best hangers, we asked Julia Dee, founder of Total Wardrobe Care, to share her secrets for keeping your clothes pristine all year round

 What would you recommend for tackling a moth problem?

A few moths flying around is not an epidemic. But for the price of a lunch, a moth box, which is a sticky pheromone moth trap, monitors the problem and should be kept in each room throughout the year. The moth season is May to October but once the moths have got a hold they will happily live throughout the year in your wardrobes. They eat keratin in natural fabrics and fibres, which include your clothes, carpets, blankets, upholstery and fur and sheepskin. If that happens to have skin and hair particles, a bit of food or baby sick combined with dog hair then it’s a smorgasbord of delight for the moth. The female is programed to eat mate and lay eggs preferably in a dark and undisturbed area with a food source. The male just wants to mate. Then the baby (larvae) eats his way out of his cocoon and chomps into your clothes.

So….

Keep clothes clean and protected.

Keep wardrobe and drawers closed.

If it’s a walk-in wardrobe keep doors and windows closed.

Put jumpers into knitwear bags.

Add natural fragrances to the wardrobe to repel, i.e. hanging moth sachet (the female moth doesn’t like strong smells.)

Keep a sticky moth trap in every room.

If you start to get more than five or so moths in your moth trap… call us and we can talk you through the next stages.

 Is it best to organise a wardrobe by colour or outfit? 

In my experience, the easiest way is to put clothes into happy families – i.e. trousers together, jackets together, etc, and then colour coordinate. If outfits are put together you may miss a new and interesting combination. So when you open your wardrobe in the morning to get dressed, you may think I really want to wear that skirt, then you take it out and match it up against tops and jackets and something different may jump out at you. Then it always goes back in the same place.

What hangers should I use? Are there specific ones for different items of clothing?

Hangers are very important to keep your clothes pristine in the wardrobe, so that even after six months of hanging there, once you pull them out to wear they won’t need ironing and there are no funny creases in the middle of your skits or lines across the knees of your trousers, or stretched areas in the sleeve head of your Kettlewell top.

Jackets need a wider shoulder area to fill out the sleeve and mimic your shoulders.

Trousers ideally should be hung from the waist with peg hangers. If you don’t have the hanging length in your wardrobe then a trouser hanger with a good padded hanging bar so you don’t get the knee crease.

Skirts also need the peg hanger, and should definitely not be hung from the hanging loops at the sides, as the skirt will dip in the middle and be squashed and have horrible yawning creases down the front.

What are your tips for caring for cashmere?

Try to keep it as clean and protected as possible.

Gentle hand wash.

Put in to shape and dry flat if possible. Light steam iron if necessary.

Use the cashmere comb to de-bobble, don’t use scissors or an electric de-bobbler as these can both slip and, ooops, a hole!

 

If they are to be hung use the rubber non slip coat hanger that is 38cm wide and curved so that it doesn’t leave misshapen shoulders.

If they are not being worn, then store out of season knits in a knitwear bag.

Is there any wardrobe maintenance I should be doing throughout the year?

Twice a year, in spring and autumn, have a mini detox. Take everything out, re-evaluate, get any repairs done, take to charity or sell anything that is not wanted. Check everything is hung correctly on the right hanger and that everything is in order. Have a big clean of the inside of drawers and cupboards, then spray an anti-moth linen spray on the wood and replace all anti moth scented sachets,

 Can you share any helpful ironing tips?

  • Invest in a good steam iron.
  • Test on the inside of the garment for temperature.
  • Do read all care labels before you cut them out.
  • To stop shine, take a tea towel and wet it and wring it out so its damp all over, put this on top of the garment and then press gently, this will stop any shine.
  • To steam only, hang the garment on a hanger and on a hook, then put the iron into the upright position and gently guide the steam over the garment, almost stroking it, this can help gentle fabrics drop their creases.
  • Let the garment cool before it’s folded or put back into the wardrobe.

 What should I do with any unwanted clothes?

Find a local charity shop. Visit them before landing on them with a large box to see what they are collecting. If the clothes have a well-known desired label, try selling in a second- hand shop, or on ebay. If it’s an expensive designer piece, try Rebelle, Hardly Ever worn it, Vestiaire, or ShonaMac – websites that have a good following and might achieve a better price. Then any money raised can be put towards a new key piece or be given to charity.

 Is it best to leave alterations to the professionals or is it ever worth trying yourself?

I have run an alterations business for 25 years and this is how I learn about my clients’ needs for wardrobe-care products. A good seamstress is like a good hairdresser or beautician – hang on to them. It’s best to get a personal recommendation.

Try to get the garment fitted by the alteration professional – sit down, wear the correct shoes and underwear and ask to see the back view.

There is nothing to stop anyone doing their own alterations if they have good sewing skills. You know who you are!

 How should I go about doing a wardrobe edit? How do I decide what goes and what stays?

The first step is an image overhaul. Find a good consultant to do your colours and style, which will give you the blue print for your wardrobe, a job that is quite daunting and hard to do on your own. I would also recommend taking advice from a wardrobe buddy (or your stylist). Commit to do it for each other – get rid of the kids, switch off the mobiles, get the rations in and then go for it. It will need your best buddy to say to you, “How many ugly cardies do you really need?”, “How many gardening jeans is it necessary to have?”, ‘Really would you want the man of your dreams seeing you in that matted old dressing gown?” A friend will ask pertinent questions you know deep down. It’s also worth reading Marie Kondo’s Magic Art of Tidying. My rule is: Does it spark joy? Or as William Morris said: “Do not have anything in your home that you do not believe to be useful or beautiful.”

What is the best way to store shoes? 

This really depends on space. Oh, for a lovely shoe cupboard built with slightly slanting shelves or drawers that pull out. Most people don’t have this luxury, so other options include the bottom of the wardrobe, under the bed, or perhaps even an old book case.

 I never seem to get it right when it comes to packing for a weekend break. Any words of advice? 

This really depends on where you are going and what you are going to do. Is it a quick weekend city break in Europe with 10 kilos or packing the car and driving off?

I have invested in a collapsing two-foot garment rail from Morplan. Then I hang all the clothes I really want to take and then cull, until you have the correct number for the days and nights. Bearing in mind that garments can be worn twice or more and rinsed out.

There are lots of lovely packing lists on line to get you going!

Any other tips for prolonging the lifespan of my wardrobe?

I think if possible have a good mix of some investment key pieces and some cheap and cheerful which can be updated every season. Then general care, dry clean or launder, alter or repair and a good hanger.

 Total Wardrobe Care is offering Kettlewell customers 20% off products on its website until September 30 2017 using the code TWC17

 

Colour conversation with designer, Jackie Piper

Victoria Whitbread and Jackie Piper of Designed in Colour

In the latest of a series of Colour Conversations with people we admire from the world of colour, Melissa talks to Jackie Piper, one half of a dynamic design duo that is Designed in Colour, which produces an award-winning selection of vibrant design-led homewares.

What inspired you to launch Designed in Colour?

We have always been colour geeks (a lot of designers are!). Victoria and I both spent many years designing and developing colourful product collections for other brands, including a huge range for PANTONE, the global colour system used by professionals. Having been involved in all these wonderful creative licenses for years, we hankered after a brand of our own and so set up Designed in Colour as a focal point for our own colourful home collections. In 2015 we launched, and here we are today.

You recently introduced a collection of British Colour Standard mugs, inspired by the historical 1930’s colour matching system. Can you tell us about it?

This has been a work in progress for about two years. We knew the historic colour system existed from our respective design training and spent many hours scouring the old colour books, thinking how lovely it was.

The light-bulb moment was that maybe we should be the ones to bring this back for the 21st century. We then set about digitising the old colour swatches made originally of wool and silk ribbon with a high-tech colour scanner, so that the colours could be reproduced accurately on products today; like on our lovely bone china British Colour Standard mugs.

 From rose-coloured tumblers and cobalt blue wine glasses to tangerine orange place mats, every product is a colourful gem. Do you have a personal favourite?
I do! I love our hand-blown coloured glassware. It is durable (a must with my family), dishwasher safe (another must). I have a long shelf across our kitchen window where keep them all in various tones, which creates a dazzling stained-glass-window effect in the kitchen on a sunny day.

How much of a role does British heritage and nostalgia play in your brand?

The heritage of the system and being true to the original system colours and all the incredible work done in the 1930’s is very important. Matching azaleas and beetroots – with incredible accuracy, I might add, as I cross-checked a great many with a digital scanner ­– was amazing given the technology used at the time.

There is nostalgia there, by definition. They cared so much to match the specific collection of colours for bunting, for example, not just in the UK but around the then British Empire. They matched colours such as Post Office Box Red and Battleship Grey, a part of our national consciousness, and even squirrels and pigeons. The mind boggles! We are happy to be true to the original and also to add more to the system. Watch this space.

What do you think it is about colour that captivates and excites people?

Everyone has a favourite colour – one they love, another they hate.Who is not united or divided by that avocado green of 1970’s bathrooms, or a particular car colour, like British racing green perhaps, or the colour of a beloved piece of clothing? It is a part of our lives from the moment we are born. Colour surrounds us and informs our world; it is a part of food, drink, clothing, an inescapable force around us. We cannot help but be captivated (but perhaps some of us get more excited about colour than others!).

What do you think it is the next big thing in the world of colour?

Ooh, the next big thing. Well, I still think the greys will continue to be a big part of home décor; it works so well in so many periods of home, and as many have found is not drab or dull but cool and calming and a great neutral backdrop for the rest of your worldly goods, which can then be in stronger, brighter tones.

To move it on a step, I think adding a dash of metallic in amongst this – a silver feature wall, for example, in a bathroom or bedroom that picks up and reflects light at different times of the day – can really transform a space. Coppers and brass effects in tiles or paints in key locations, like a splashback in the kitchen, can be really timeless, as well as on trend, and they all work well with the neutral greys.

Does your own home reflect your love of colour?  

My own home is mostly chalky whites, greys and natural wood. There’s an unpainted door from 1930, all flaky and crumbled, which we have left. I don’t want to change its story.

How colourful is your wardrobe, and what shades do you gravitate towards?

OK, well here is where everyone can roll their eyes. I am a typical designer in that most of my wardrobe is black and shades of, with a few white and navy shirts and a bit of washed out denim (sorry!). With my clothing I have to admit I am far more boring than with the colourful products we design.

Have you ever had your colours analysed, and if so what season are you?

I have not and I now want to do this immediately! As a red head I always felt a natural affinity with autumn. I love all the colours that are a natural part of that season. I have always felt like I blended in better with golden autumn leaves and smoky tones than say the colours of spring. I also love autumn dressing; woolly jumpers, cosy wraps and boots. That has to be my season.

Last great colourful buy?
I am not sure if a pet counts but I bought the most amazing ginger fluffy Silkie bantam chicken for my birthday. It was only afterwards that my family pointed out that it matched my hair and I had basically bought myself, but in chicken form. I really didn’t see it at that time!

And finally, if you had to pinpoint a favourite colour, what would it be?

These questions are hard! I will always love Lapis Lazuli blue; a powdered version of a colour the artist Yves Klein used a great deal. It is almost electrically dazzling if you see it in its pure form, and is a natural mineral that occurs as that colour. Incredible. Imagine finding a chunk of that a few centuries ago! We have a small piece of it which we brought in a market in Morocco – it is like having a bit of magic in a pot. Every now and again we find it and just look at it for a few seconds. It is stunning stuff, and literally colour in its purest form.

designedincolour.com