Melanie Fraser Hart, the woman behind the Callula Lillibelle brand created in combination with William Calvert’s endless talent in fashion design, talks on Fashionality, sharing with us her vision about style, elegance and wearability. This interview is indeed among my favorites!
F: Is fashion for you an effective, more-powerful-than-others form of expression?
MH: Fashion is all about how you are feeling inside. It is beyond just how you present yourself to the outside world, how you feel about what you are wearing can affect your confidence level, something which is very important, particularly for women.
F: Which are the major parameters and features of your collections in general?
MH: We have always aimed, at the very base of every collection, to have our most important pieces be everywoman’s “go to” dress or outfit. It is the classic with a little edge which our woman can wear everywhere.
F: What inspires you mostly and motivates you to create a collection?
MH: The need in the marketplace for clothing which is not “trendy”, totally wearable, but still has an edge which gives our woman the “cool” factor.
F: Which colors, lines, fabrics and details do you include in your Fall/Winter 2011/12 Collection?
MH: Eggplants, blush, always black……….not so many prints this collection. We are using a lot of silks and combination opaques with sheer. I am so excited for our Fall 2012, it is going to be our most cohesive collection. Now that we have a number of seasons under our belt, the Callula woman is more clearly defined and our new collection will show that.
F: What type of woman and lifestyle do you have in mind while you are working on a new collection?
MH: A very busy woman who is in charge of her life, the woman who demands attention every time she enters the room
F: Could you explain us your collection’s name? What does Callula Lillibelle mean?
MH: It is the name of my ten year old daughter. Callula is an old Latin name meaning “tiny beautiful one” and Lillibelle is the name of my ex-husbands Irish grandmother who I never knew.
F: What’s your role and William Calvert’s in this business? Which way do you share the responsibilities of it?
MH: We have always collaborated from the beginning but I am now taking much more of a substantive role in the design. I have learned so much from William and I am now feeling self-confident enough to further trust my own judgment.
F: Which is the secret behind the woman who is always ready, elegant and stylish, no matter what the occasion?
MH: Simple, CONFIDENCE.
F: Which are the basics a woman should have in her wardrobe this season?
MH: For fall, we are looking more at what we feel we do best and that is the dress. Even one or two good dresses, with a blazer or a gorgeous sweater or knit jacket can work everywhere. We look to dresses worn by the movie stars of times gone by, the Marilyn Monroe’s, the Elizabeth Taylor’s, the women who were proud to be women. We hope that all of our pieces make women feel that way. We love curves and everything womanly.
F: How would you describe the ultimate all-day Holiday look?
MH: Always a little shimmer, whether it be the fabric of what you are wearing or the twinkle in your eyes! People always feel the warmth of the holiday season and clothing should reflect that.
F: Can you tell us a few words about the atmosphere and inspirations of your S/S 2012 Collection you presented successfully during MB Fashion Week in NYC this September?
MH: We worked with having a little more fun with colors and shapes and lots and lots of polka dots! We wanted women to look and feel like a special present, waiting to be unwrapped! We were more experimental with colors, textures and shapes.