The Callulla Lillibelle woman is confident, sophisticated and chic. This is a woman who stands out on her own, simply using her presence as a way to gain attention. The bold colours and prints in the 2014 Callula Lillibelle collection are sure to stand out anywhere. Each piece has it’s own flare making it just as unique as the woman who is wearing it. Pre-order pieces from the collection here!
Melanie Fraser Hart, the founder and designer of Callula Lillibelle, has always had a love for the arts and design. You can even say that she embodies the Callula Lillibelle woman herself. Having worked with the likes of Arnold Kopelson and Vidal Sassoon one thing is certain, she does not shy away from doing new things and thinking outside of the box. Her untraditional method to creating is what brings the brand to life. She says, “I go in to what I call my “happy space”, that is being aware of the world that we all live in, but finding the little things that inspire me to create and think out of the box.” It is that very “happy space” that served as a tool to the 2014 collection. I had the pleasure of asking Melanie a few questions about her new collection and her designing methods.
Why the name Callula Lillibelle?
Callula Lillibelle is the name of my 13 year old daughter. It is a mouthful and full of way too many “l’s” but I love it! I have been told a number of times when I first began this company that people would not be able to say it. Somehow, people have managed it!
Your collection seemed to take me through the 60’s, 70’s 80’s up until our present day fashion trends- something I really enjoyed. Can you tell us about the collection a bit more? Was that your goal?
It may sound strange but it is not the particular styles that I try to emulate from various decades, it is more about how women felt inside during times gone by. As we women continue to find our place in the world, we should dress in a manner that gives us strength, not just what society tells us to wear. Of course, there are certain styles popular in each decade, but who dictates what we should wear and what makes us feel powerful and confident is more of the goal.
How was the transition from theatre and writing to more designing and ultimately starting Callula Lillibelle?
Whether or not it is theater, literature or a piece of art, even something like the shape of antique building it is all creative. My mind goes in to what I call my “happy place” when I experience any kind of creativity which inspires me. It can be as simple as just reading some literature, which makes me feel a certain way and gives me some sort of a vision. Creative is creative and I have my own process as I am sure other designers have as well, but I think mine is a little different. I do not research the color “trends” or style “trends” which some alternate force says is what is going to be happening upcoming seasons. I just don’t.
How do you feel your theatre background has helped with your designing to date?
My theater background, as previously stated, is a creative source on it’s own. It is about taking on and understanding the inner workings or different people and characters. If I could get my mind around how to do that, performing in a play for example, I like to think that the skill of understanding how others think carries forward.
The Callula Lillibelle woman’s style is described as 80’s power glamour. What about 80’s fashion inspires you to incorporate that into your overall designs for the brand?
The 80’s was a time of female empowerment, it is not so much about the clothes but the way the women emerge in our society. Are you ever going to see huge shoulder pads coming back at Callula? No. It was a time of decadence but it was also a time that women got past the “free love ” and expression era, to a time that women really began to dig their heels in and realize their own inner powers. It is that discovery and awareness that I like.
I’m very big on prints and bold colours. I see that in your collection you played with different patterns and prints- my favourite being the polka dot high wasted pant. Is there a print in the collection that you are particularly drawn to?
There are two things that I am convinced will work regarding patterns, polka dots and stripes. There were a few Callula seasons that were big on the polka dot thing and I love it but I have, in the last few seasons, try to take that back a bit and use special buttons or a special pleat or shape that does not rely on just a print. I love a good print. I prefer a print, however, that does not overwhelm the wearer. Prints, like the clothing itself, do not define the woman, it is how she wears them.
I had the pleasure of seeing Evita when in New York and loved it! I wanted to know what was a recent broadway play you have seen?
I work 14 to 16 hour days if I am in the city, which leaves little time or energy to go to shows. I did see “Book of Mormons” which I adored. I always read New York Magazine and see ballet, opera or theater ads of things that i always mean to see but unfortunately I rarely get to do it. It is the nature of the beast of owning a company. I hardly even get to go out to dinner!
Because most of the pieces in your collection are really bold what are 3 need to have a accessories that would really compliment some of the pieces in your collection?
I personally hardly wear any accessories. There are three things a woman should never leave the house without; a clean face, neat hair and clean buffed nails. Jewelry and other accessories are utterly a personal decision.
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This article was written by Jonika. You can follow her at @JonikaJun.