Spring/Summer 2018

Bestsellers from our new SS18 collection

Tracey from the Naughty Forty Diaries blog wearing a Floral Wrap Dress

Notwithstanding all this topsy-turvy weather we’ve been having recently (here in the West Country it’s been like London buses: you wait years for snow and then two Siberian cold snaps come along at once), the start of the new season has been abuzz with activity. As well as a factory visit to Portugal and a High Summer photo shoot in London (where, of course, it snowed again!), our designer Sarah and I have been busy sample shopping, seeking out inspiration and choosing new colours for our SS19 collection. We’ve also been busy working with journalists and bloggers, making sure the SS18 collection is firmly on their radar and able to see for themselves the range of styles and colours on offer. And the reception, I have to say, has been really positive.

My favourite thing once the catalogues have been mailed is to check up on the new best-sellers – you could say it verges on the obsessive. I love to know what you are all ordering from the book and reading your feedback, as this is how we are able to improve each season (being a perfectionist my work is never done). So while last season it was all about the faux-suede Alexa jacket and Keira dress, this season it looks as though we have a number of runaway favourites – pieces that you have been busy slotting into your new-season wardrobe.


 

Introducing SS18

Drum roll, please – the wait is over! The SS18 collection has landed on the website and we couldn’t be more excited. What we hadn’t anticipated was that the launch would coincide with a Siberian weather front but not to worry – spring is just around the corner and there are plenty of layers and scarves to choose from to keep the chill at bay.

People often ask me when a new collection launches which styles and colours I will be adding to my new-season wardrobe. As a Spring I always love a yellow and this season we have so many shades on offer, from freshest ice lemon and zingy neon to a lovely warm shade of corn yellow.

Above LTR: Cashmere Gauze Stole in Canary Yellow, Pocket V Neck in Ice Lemon, Breton Stripe Top in Neon Yellow, Everyday Cotton V in Corn Yellow

 

I also love the new Bretons. I used to think stripes were a bit classic or tomboy for me but I’ve since discovered that you can create a prettier, softer look by choosing colours like this juicy shade of watermelon and wearing with skirts or adding a necklace or scarf.

Above: Breton Stripe Top in Watermelon, Weekend Skirt in Capri Blue,  Starburst Necklace in Gold, Starlight Necklace 

 

For some reason I seem to feel the cold more than most, so the Milan Knit Crew was the most-worn item in my wardrobe last spring (I can’t have been the only one as it became one of our bestsellers!). I know I’ll get a lot of wear out of this new Milan Knit Crew in Apple green – it’s such a fresh, crisp colour and the perfect way to usher in spring.

If, like me, you can’t get through the season without buying a new scarf, you’ll love these new metallic ones, which are a quick and contemporary way to update your wardrobe. It’s impossible to see from the photo how good they look and feel but they’re soft, lightly textured and easy to throw on, and the metallic threads really lift the colours.

Above: Milan Knit Crew in Apple, Metallic Print Scarf in Copper Camo, Friendship Bracelet in Spring Gold

 

One of my favourite pieces – which I can see becoming a weekend classic – is the new Eveline Blouse in 100% cotton slub, a new fabric for us, which will appeal to all you cotton lovers. It has a bit of texture and is not at all clingy. I like to wear the front tucked in to show a bit of waist and then to leave the back long.

At this time of year when you don’t know what you’re going to get in terms of weather, everyone needs an extra layer or two. I’m wearing a Lace Cami + Silky Scoop under my Eveline Blouse, and finishing it off with a Cashmere Gauze Stole (which never leaves the back of my chair in the office!). Last but not least I can’t resist these neon pompom necklaces – such a great, fun colour pop.

Above: Eveline Blouse in Light Aqua, Pom Pom Tassel Necklace in Coral, Lace Camisole in Flamingo Pink

And just one more thing – the orange and gold wedge-sole floral trainers. Not only are they colourful, substantial and beautifully made, they also make me smile. All the ingredients, in fact, for a happy wardrobe!

Patterned Sneakers in Coral

 

New collection sneak peek

Hurrah, it’s nearly new season time! I love this time of year, in both a life and fashion sense. Tiny glimpses of spring are beginning to pop up (hello bulbs), the new year feels like it’s really beginning, and the new season collections are landing.

I am so impressed with Kettlewell’s range this year. The team have taken colour obsession to new levels, working tirelessly to ensure that the Winter brights are brighter than ever, Summer’s soft shades are effortlessly elegant, Spring’s colour pops are ready to splash and Autumn’s vibrant warm weather shades are out in force. Not only that, but the range of styles is huge. From sensible work tops to footloose and fancy free holiday outfits, it’s all there in the new collection.

But I must rein my excitement in a little, and limit myself to just a few little peeks of the new collection before the big reveal in a few short weeks.

Claudia dress

Claudia Dress in Vermillion available in 8 colours

If you buy one dress this season, this is the one to go for. Wear it with smart shoes and a Paris jacket for work, add some party sandals for a night out, or wear it with laid back leather sandals and an Alexa biker for a casual lunch in the sun (yes, the sun will come back at some stage!). Made from supportive ponte fabric with flattering pleat detailing at the waist, this dress will hug and flatter your curves without clinging.

Cotton rib jumper

Cotton Rib Jumper in Icicle available in 10 colours

I am having one of these in every Autumn colour that’s available. Alex, our Autumn model, looked so amazing in the peridot shade on our shoot that I am inspired to pair it with everything from denim shorts to soft white skinnies this summer. The 100% cotton fabric means it won’t be too hot and sticky in the summer, but will provide that little bit of extra warmth generally required during the Great British Summer.

Neon!

Ponte Peplum Top in Neon Pink available in 8 colours

OK, not strictly a garment, but seriously, the neon shades that the Kettlewell team have created for this season deserve a mention in their own right. Winters, you will look bolder and brighter than ever in the amazing neon pink, while Autumns can rock the fabulous electric lime. Pair it with simple greys or taupes for an effortless colour pop, or go for dazzling creams and whites to really make it glow.

Metallic print scarf

Metallic Print Scarf in Copper also available in Blue (worn with Alexa Jacket in Warm Stone and a Longline Scoop Neck in Treetop)

I predict a hit of the season. Metallic, camo and in the perfect colours for every season. What’s not to love? And yes, scarves are still essential in summer in my world. In a country where the temperature can be eleven degrees in midwinter and eleven degrees in midsummer, I won’t be parted from my scarf!

Culottes

Culottes in Marine Navy & White available in 4 colourways (worn here with a Cara V in Soft White and an Alexa Jacket in Fig)

These new Culottes in the exciting new spot print are going to be your summer wardrobe heroes. The stretch viscose jersey and concealed stretch waistband make them oh-so easy to wear and incredibly versatile –  stylish enough to wear to a summer party, casual enough to wear to the beach and comfortable enough to wear for travelling. They’ve got it all!


 

Postcards from Cape Town – Melissa’s blog

Apologies if the weather back home is a bit on the chilly side, but today’s blog post comes to you from sunny South Africa, where for the past four days we have been busy shooting our summer 2018 brochure.

This year, we are dividing the shoots between two stunning beach houses just outside Cape Town: Britannia Bay, where we are shooting Analu, our Brazilian Winter model, who lives in New York and whose dark skin tone looks amazing with the strong winter colours, and Kommetjie, where we are shooting our South African Spring model, Michelle. (The eagle-eyed will recognise Michelle from last summer’s catalogue – she has since had baby number two, as well as a fabulous new pixie haircut!).

Our January Cape Town shoot is definitely one of the highlights of the year for me – not just because it’s great to feel the sun on my face again, but because I get to see all our amazing new colours in their very best light: drenched in sunshine and brought to life by the reflected intensity of those vast blue skies.

I also love being able to see the new styles in exactly the sort of holiday location we’d envisaged at design stage – that easy jersey shirt dress worn for a stroll along the beach; that simple V-neck tee teamed with a pair of denim shorts for a relaxed sunny lunch on the terrace. It feels like the final step on the journey before the clothes appear in the catalogue destined for your doorstep.

Excitingly, for our summer 2018 collection, we’ve gone bigger on colour than ever before, with everything from limeade and electric blue to tangelo orange and neon yellow, as well as soft lilacs and pretty pinks. We also have the most amazing eye-popping hot pink for you winters. And I don’t think I’ll be spoiling the surprise when I say that our stylist Keira has some colour-blocking treats in store that are bound to be a great source of inspiration next summer.

For a live, behind-the-scenes sneak peek of our Cape Town shoot, watch us on Instagram Stories, where we’ll be posting videos and sharing moments from our day. But be warned: it may bring on a serious case of wanderlust!

Saluting the sunshine hues by Melissa

Did you spot Kettlewell in The Times this week? T2 had dedicated the front page and a double-page spread to our favourite topic, colour, and specifically how to wear it this summer. Fashion Director Anna Murphy was telling us all to move beyond blacks and neutrals and embrace the season’s sunshine hues, and for those overwhelmed by all the colour choice on the high street right now, Kettlewell was the place to go to find the colours that work best for you. It’s always great to get a mention in the national press and to take part in any conversation about colour, so we were thrilled to be included.

Talking of summer colour choices, we’ve been poring over Pantone charts and mood boards in the studio this week, choosing colours and prints for our Spring/Summer 2018 collection.

With Pure Zen, Living Garden, Drawn Botanicals, Mystical Tribes and Neon Tropics among the predicted style trends for 2018, it was a case of assessing a range of potential prints to identify ones that would best work for our styles and fabrics, as well as, of course, our customers. Then it was down to the serious business of choosing new colours, with each of the four seasons, Spring (me), Summer (Sarah), Autumn (Claire) and Winter (Anna) selecting the shades for their respective palettes from literally thousands in the Pantone charts. It’s rather like a group of people in a restaurant intently viewing the world’s longest menu, imploring the next person to go first before making their own choice.

The key is to leaf through the Pantone charts, colour by colour, and hone in on the shades that you are instinctively drawn to, with an eye on the style it would suit. With 150 shades already in the range, it’s no easy task to find ‘new’ colours.  Winter is the hardest season to work with, as the colours have to be spot-on:  intense and vibrant or icy and sharp, with no shades in between, but the three others have plenty of variation either side. After hours of intense colour scrutiny, we had whittled it down to our favourites.

Heliotrope, blue jewel, shell pink, dove grey, azure and pink geranium have been our bestselling colours this summer, with the apple butterfly print and red and white Breton stripe among our most popular prints. It’ll be interesting to see which of the shades we’ve just picked out will be topping the charts this time next year.