trends

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.


 

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!


 

Introducing the Pantone Colour of the Year 2018

I look forward to writing this post at the beginning of every year. The colour of the year from Pantone® has such a huge influence on not just the clothes but the art, interiors and lifestyle products we’ll see in shops over the coming 12 months.

And this year’s colour is… drum roll…. Ultra Violet!

In the words of world renowned colour authority Pantone®, “inventive and imaginative, Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.” The colour experts go on to state that Ultra Violet “suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead and the discoveries beyond where we are now.” Much like, and perhaps even more so than, 2017’s Greenery, Ultra Violet feels somewhat optimistic and adventurous, a marked step away from the safer, less adventurous colours of 2016 (Rose Quartz and Serenity) and 2015 (Marsala).

Here at Kettlewell, we’ve been collecting all things purple over at our We Love Purple Pinterest board  (although we are still in love with all the other colours too!)

Ultra Violet sits in the Spring palette (although very much at the Summer ‘edge’ of it) but, being a shade of purple, needs only the slightest of colour shifts to work well in any of the four seasonal palettes.

To find your best variation of Ultra Violet, simply apply the rules of your season. While Springs can stick to it as it is (make sure it isn’t too soft!), Summers take it slightly softer and more mauve, Autumns need a little more depth and darkness – more of a Cadbury wrapper purple – and Winters need maximum vibrancy and depth.


Kettlewell items shown: Cashmere Gauze Stole, Silky Crew Neck, Lace Camisole, Florence Infinity Scarf, Merino Sleeveless Wrap, Cosy Cotton Top, Paris Textured Jacket, Alexa Zip Jacket

Silk square 101

I adore this new addition to Kettlewell’s repertoire. A bold and beautiful silk scarf adds sophistication to almost any outfit you care to name. If your jeans and t-shirt feel a little lacking, add a silk scarf. If your work outfit is lacking a little impact today, add a silk scarf. If your raffia beach bag is looking a little dull, add a silk scarf.

Kettlewell’s silk scarves have been designed with the four seasonal palettes in mind, so no need to worry about whether enough of the print fits with your colours. And they feature so many colours that they’ll go with an almost endless range of colour and clothing combinations.

As well as wearing with endless outfits, there really is no limit to the number of ways you can tie these silk square, but to start you off, here’s a few of our favourites.

SHAWL

Couldn’t be simpler. Simply fold in half and drape over the shoulders. Great for adding a splash of colour to a simple outfit. Secure with a brooch or scarf ring if you’re worried about it flying off.

FRENCH CHIC

A classic tie for a silk scarf and perfect for a Parisienne look. Fold diagonally, then fold or roll until you have a long strip. Wrap either once or twice round the neck (depending on whether you want tails) and tie off to one side.

WILD WEST

Silk scarves are surprisingly warm, and this tie really works to keep a chill out, as well as making your silk square work with more relaxed outfits. Fold diagonally. With the large point facing downwards in front of your neck, drape the long ends around the back of your neck, cross them over and bring them back to the front.

Want more inspiration? Try searching on YouTube for silk square tutorials, there are literally thousands.

Pantone autumn/winter colour trends

You might remember being introduced to Greenery, the Pantone Colour of the Year for 2017, especially if you’re an Autumn, since it was basically designed for you. However, Pantone also does a fashion update for Autumn/Winter, showing the key palette of colours for the coming season. And the good news is, there’s something in there for everyone.

Regardless of whether you are a slavish fashion follower or prefer to do your own thing, the Pantone colour trend reports are a great way of finding out which colours are going to be available in the shops for the coming season, in terms of both in clothing and interiors.

The good news is that, unlike last autumn/winter, this season’s forecast has a few colours for every palette, so whether you are warm or cool, bright or muted, there’s going to be something for you. And, of course, Kettlewell has your version of each of these shades available, so even if the high street lets you down, the 150+ shades available at Kettlewell won’t.

Grenadine is a warm bright red, perfect for both of the warmer palettes. Get the look with Kettlewell’s poppy. This is a great vibrant shade to add as a splash of colour or wear top to toe. If you belong to one of the cooler seasons, simply swap that tomato-tone for a slightly more cherry one.

Kettlewell items shown: Semi Scoop 3/4 sleeve and Long Camisole

Tawny Port translates as one of those ever-so-clever neutral burgundies which seems to work well on both Autumns and the cooler seasons. Kettlewell’s versions, have the same magical powers.

Kettlewell items shown: V Neck 3/4 sleeve, Camisole

 

Pretty in pink, this delicate pink shade offsets many of winter’s deeper and brighter colours beautifully. One for the cool seasons only, it pairs brilliantly with charcoal and navy for a formal look, as well as with tawny port above for a more unexpected look.

Kettlewell items shown: Silky V Neck, Long Camisole

Butterum initially seems like a strange contender for autumn/winter, but once you start mentally pairing a cashmere sweater in this colour with Spring’s navy or Autumn’s deep olive (Summers and Winters need to stick to cooler stonier tones, such as light dove grey) it begins to make sense as a timeless look.

Kettlewell items shown: Davina Tee, Darcey Boat Neck

Let’s all give a hurrah for Pantone predicting one or two truly sensible and realistic shades for the season. Navy peony is, to all intents and purposes, light navy, making it an excellent wardrobe basic for Springs, Summers and Winters (although the latter needs to make sure it is running at full intensity, not softened off). Autumns should head for a more teal version.

Kettlewell items shown: Diane Swing Top, Soft Square Vest

 

What’s this? Another sensible neutral? Surely not. Dolphin grey will make a super-simple neutral this season, paired with everything from pink ice to burgundy. Ideal for Winters and Summers, Autumns and Springs are better in a lighter, warmer shade.

Kettlewell items shown: Short Cascade Wrap, Cotton Blazer

Shaded Spruce is a perfect match for deep teal, another multi-season shade. Too dark for Springs, it nevertheless works well on all three other seasons. Look for a really deep sea green shade, such as deep teal.

Kettlewell items shown: Milan Knit Cardigan, Lace Camisole

This colour belongs to one season and one season only – it’s just for the Autumns. A brilliant saturated moss shade, find it in silk or cashmere for vibrant winter luxury.

Kettlewell items shown: Tasha Top, Long Camisole

Just to make the rest of you feel better, this shade definitely doesn’t belong to the Autumns. Ideal for Springs and Summers, this cheery shade will be a welcome relief from all the usual dark winter colours.

Kettlewell items shown: Fine Cotton Tee, Semi Scoop 3/4 sleeve

Very definitely a warm tone, this gorgeous tanned-orange shade will bring vibrancy and depth to any cold weather outfit. Autumns can wear it as a brighter splash, while Springs can use it as a neutral next to bold yellow or green.

Kettlewell items shown: Short Cascade Wrap, Semi Scoop 3/4 Sleeve


 

Green – for every palette

Green, the colour of renewal, of nature, of life. It’s an uplifting shade and goes with a multitude of other colours. It can range from palest mint through to darkest pine, from softest olive to vibrant emerald. And you know what else? Most people hardly ever wear it.

You may or may not remember that Pantone’s colour of the year this year is Greenery. Unlike 2015, when the colour of the year, Marsala, was absolutely everywhere, Greenery hasn’t made quite the same impact. People just aren’t as brave with green, in my experience.

I’d be willing to bet that this is because most of us have been put off by a negative experience with green, because when it’s wrong, it’s really really wrong. The right green can brighten and lift, whereas the wrong one will drag you down, add shadows and insta-age the skin.

So which green should you be wearing, and how do you identify it? If you’ve had your colours analysed, just click on the seasonal links below for more information about your best greens and how to choose them. If you haven’t had a colour analysis, why not start with Kettlewell’s quiz, or read on for more information.

 

 

 

If you don’t know your personal colour palette, your safest green is always going to be one with a hint of teal to it, which makes it a more universally flattering shade. If you want to go greener but you aren’t sure if it suits you, just keep the colour away from the area directly under your face, or add another safe universal colour to help balance out any negative effect from the green you have chosen. The chances are, when it comes to green, you’ll be able to see whether it works or not. If you try one and it doesn’t, do persevere, as the right green is like wardrobe magic!

A safe feeling blue with a hint of greenish teal is a great tentative step into the world of greens. Go for Mallard, a universal shade that flatters almost all skin tones.

Kettlewell items shown: Short Cascade Wrap, Soft Square Vest, Suede Tassel Clutch

Light olive shades are usually everywhere in the spring/summer, so another easy green to try, as it won’t stand out as a ‘look at me, I’m wearing green!’ shade. Pair it with a soft white tee, a fairly safe shade for most skin tones.

Kettlewell items shown: Mid Cascade Wrap, Silky Tee, Tassel Necklace

Ready to go bright? Pair a grass green with nature inspired neutrals to keep it boldly tropical but 100% stylish.

Kettlewell items shown: Mid Cascade Wrap, Fine Cotton Tee, Short Ruched Skirt, Tassel Necklace


 

Nautical but nice – the 100 year history of the breton

Bretons are a mainstay of many a wardrobe. Smartened up with a blazer and skirt or thrown on with denim shorts, they are the ultimate dress-up-dress-down style staple. But have you ever wondered where this wardrobe cornerstone originated?

Bretons have been a fashion classic since Coco Chanel introduced them a full century ago in her 1917 nautical collection, but did you know that their heritage runs even further back? In 1858 they were introduced by decree as part of the French naval uniform, and Chanel was inspired by the smart look sported by the sailors on a trip to the French coast.

The original naval breton stripe was a strictly regimented affair – the breton was intended to be long enough to cover the lower back of the sailor, fitted enough not to get caught on rigging, and the stripes were a strict 2cm of white to 1cm of blue (and if the use of centimetres in the 19th Century seems strange, consider that the French actually started using the metric system in the 1790s, and it was adopted by the country as a whole in 1837. Ahead of the game in more than just style staples).

The breton has been sported by everyone from Chanel herself to Audrey Hepburn and Ginger Rogers. In more modern times it was revolutionised by Jean Paul Gaultier, and has been popularised by fashion icons such as Alexa Chung and Olivia Palermo, and the Duchess of Cambridge frequently turns to a classic breton and jeans outfit for less formal engagements. We’ve collected images of famous breton wearers over on our ‘Nautical but nice’ Pinterest board, click image to view.

Of course, the breton in 2017 is every bit the style solution is was in 1917. A few twists and tweaks, and it still has all the fresh nautical appeal of the original, with added wearability. Kettlewell’s version has a slight change on the stripe width, and comes in four flattering colours, so if navy and white isn’t your best look, there’s still an option that looks amazing on you. And if you love the breton stripes but feel the need to wear something other than a striped tee occasionally (I suppose it’s possible that this might theoretically happen to some of you) then look no further than the maxi dress,  which carries the same classic-but-insoucient look of the original breton, brought right up to date.

Stripe Boat Neck in True Red, Cotton Blazer in Iris, Suede Tassel Clutch in Lobelia and Ballerina Pumps in Light Gold – all from Kettlewell

 

Stripe Maxi Dress in Red, Short Cascade Wrap in Azure, Tassel Necklace in Neon and Cream, Suede Tassel Clutch in Cobalt Blue – all from Kettlewell

Cosy Cotton Stripe Top in Deep Sea Green/Grey Marl, Florence Infinity Scarf in Soft Teal, Jersey Trousers in Marine Blue

If you haven’t adopted the breton stripe as a wardrobe staple yet, you probably should.