The latest Autumn/Winter Karen Millen collection just dropped. Think more relaxed pieces rather than a focus on occasion-wear, with casuals and separates, demins and leathers bridging the gap between high-end and high-street fashion. Karen Millen’s Louise Mitchell shares the brand’s new direction, the latest campaign shot by David Bailey and what trends to look out for this winter.
What is the inspiration behind the new Autumn/Winter collection?
AW14 is a stand-out season for us as a brand. Traditionally, we’ve been known for our amazing dresses and occasion-wear but moving into AW14 you’ll see a greater emphasis on our urban edit, led by amazing leather jackets, denim and versatile separates. There’s still the signature quality and attention to detail which we’re renowned for but the focus for AW14 is to showcase our great mix of trend-led pieces and wardrobe staples that can be worn year after year.
There is a strong mix of tailored pieces, leather and tartan. What are the key trends to look out for this season?
A trend that’s particularly prominent right now is the use of leather detailing on dresses, skirts and tops as a way to provide a point of interest and add some edge to a piece. The masculine silhouette is also really popular but then so is lace detailing, which adds a nice feminine touch. For our AW14 collection tartan is a key trend – one of our signature campaign pieces is a beautiful red tartan coat.
There are some beautiful patterns and materials used throughout the collection. What is the design process behind creating these amazing colours, patterns and fabrics?
One of our major points of difference as a brand is that everything in our collections is designed, fitted and created in our Shoreditch Atelier in London.
We will fit and re-cut every piece as many times as it takes to ensure the silhouette is right – usually between 7 and 15 times – in all sizes. Not only do our designers create many of our prints in-house, they also work closely with premium specialty mills around the world to source and select the most luxurious fabrics and finishes. Getting the fabrics, the fit and the detailing right is what really makes a Karen Millen piece so distinctive.
Can you talk me through the concept behind Karen Millen’s latest campaign shot by David Bailey?
The AW14 campaign focuses on the brand’s changing style via a series of portraits featuring stand out pieces from the new season’s collection. The concept was to allow the clothes and the models to take centre stage, which is why we worked closely with Bailey to select four fresh new faces that embody the essence of a ‘Karen Millen woman’. We wanted to celebrate high profile creatives working together to create a unique platform on which to propel future faces into the next stage of their careers.
What is your favourite piece from the collection?
There’s so many fantastic pieces in the collection it’s difficult to choose but one that I particularly love is our camouflage faux-fur coat. It’s a great investment piece that will work really well from day, with my favourite Karen Millen boyfriend jeans, to night, with a great dress. It’s top of my list this season.
What are your favourite fashion trends this autumn?