When KellyLin Couture approached us to be the brands first Victorian representative, we knew instantly that it was a perfect fit!. Created for the elegant, modern, & timeless bride - we felt their vision for bridal aligned perfectly with our own!
We love getting to know our creative designers, and learning more about who they are, and what inspires them. Read further for our 10 questions with Kellylin!
1. Tell us about yourself! Your location - your incredible brand, and how it came to be.
I am a Chinese New Zealander, living in Auckland, New zealand. I started the Brand Kellylin Couture over 10 yrs ago and it has filled my life ever since. I have learnt everything I know about wedding gowns from my Mum. My mum knew I loved bridal from about 3 years old when I would want to go to work with her and follow her around helping her design and craft garments. Bridal is the spirit inside my body and honestly I could not think of a second career I would enjoy as much in my lifetime.
My Label came about from having the bridal manufactory family background over the last 30 years. Watching and learning from my family I realised I was in a lucky position of being able to use my creative mind to bring brides top quality looks with an affordable price tag. Kellylin Couture is designed to supply the best value gown to every bride who dreams of our look.
2. What inspires you most when designing your collections? Do you experience creative blocks? And if so, how do you handle it?
Most of the time when I create new designs, I travel the world to find the fabric I love first, from the feeling of the fabric I will see a personality. Then based on the feeling I get, the structure and shape will start to be created. Finer details come in as I travel through the process or discuss ideas with my team.
This is normally the way I find it easiest to create a new gown. Occasionally I work on the shop floor so sometimes my designs will come from a person or group of people who are asking for a special request or give me a special feeling, things like a particular location, upcoming trend or a different body frame all come into play. Most of the time, I can picture the whole gown before I even start. There are times I leave them halfway finished and move on to something else in between, because I have discovered it will not turn out as I imagined. However, it will always stay in my mind, and an alternative idea may come up when I am cooking, shopping for a dress for my daughter, or when I am watching a movie. I am never pushed to finish the dress if I feel it will not be 100%.
3. Are there any artists / designers that have influenced or inspired your life and work? If so who, and why?
During my life I have learnt from many designers. Back when I was working alongside my Mum I only designed gowns that suited my body and my personality and I believed that would suit all types of brides. However over time and with experience and exploring the bridal world through fashion shows and Bridal shows worldwide, my understanding of different fabrics and personalities and the different feelings each design can create I have changed the way I go about making my garments. I now take inspiration more from the world around me instead of other bridal designers, it may be a poem or painting, sometimes even scenes I come across in nature or sitting in a cafe. Although work and life are different, the skills and ideas I learnt from my life reflect in my work a lot.
Of all your creations - which gown is your personal favourite / are you most proud of, and why?
Oh this is such a hard question! I love every gown that I have designed especially when I get to see them on the brides and they just shine together.
If I had to choose I couldn't pick just one but my personal favourites would probably be the most simple ones in my collections :-) As you can guess this is because I feel that is my personality. Gowns like Monique or Suri that have a simplicity to them but with a few small interesting details that make them quite unique, these are my favourites.
5. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? How do you balance life and business?
My husband and I spent most time with our little girl, we do almost everything together. Watching movies, swimming, reading, sewing, baking... When I am cooking, she will be in her little kitchen busy cooking as well. I try my best to follow my routine to ensure a good balance between life and business.
6. What advice would you give to recently engaged girls searching for their dream dress!?
Firstly I would say Congratulations! What an exciting time! I would also suggest brides be open to trying gowns that their consultant suggests may suit them. The staff often know exactly what's going to look amazing on you and work with your day, however at the end always make sure the dream gown truly speaks to you and your personality. It's not only about what your friend and your family love, you also need to love it from your heart.
7. What are your hopes for the future of your brand?
Honestly moving forward I just hope that Kellylin Couture can be a brand that brides know they can trust and go to without having to stress about budget, quality and workmanship. I want to share the love I have for bridal and give brides what they want and deserve on their wedding day. I will continue to create gowns that are accessible to and enjoyed by women from all walks of life. We aren't about being the most fashion forward or front of the line brand, we care about making the everyday real woman feel her best and giving her the gown that puts a smile on her face and gets her feeling truly beautiful.
8. What trends do you see coming through collections currently? What’s your favourite trend?
My favorite trends at the moment would probably be the portrayal of the soft and floating feeling in a gown and the simplistic classical look that we have seen coming through in the past year or so.
For me finding fabrics that would normally be hard in texture and making them appear soft and delicate is a great challenge and tons of fun to create so I really enjoy this trend. As you will see with our upcoming Milk and Honey collection, we use a range of current trends and have some really interesting laces and fabrics that move in the most romantic ways, you have probably also seen these trends with large designers like Berta, Galia Lahav, Leah Da Gloria...
9. Has there been any ‘career defining moments’ for you?
Yes. For me this last year or two has been a complete change for me. I have an amazing team behind me now filled with experienced women and like minded mums. We are such a close family that it has completely changed my life. I know I can trust their opinions and ideas and that we are all wanting to grow and move in the same direction. It has given me the confidence to go global and also given me the time and energy to focus on new designs all the while knowing our customers both in our flagship store and our retailers are getting the full care and support from us when needed.
10. And a fun one to finish off, if you had to be any fabric - which would you be and why!?
I want to be the lining fabric. Because many different gowns have the same lining fabric, and that is the layer most close to my brides. In this way I can attend every of my brides' weddings and see their most beautiful time. That would be so wonderful and emotional!
KellyLin Couture is now available to try at Twelve South Bridal! Get in touch to organise your own exclusive appointment via our website x