Spring/Summer 2018

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.