We first met William Calvert and Melanie Hart at Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week Fall 2010, where they were debuting their brand Callula Lillibelle. Now, nearly a year later after the pair has received wide spread praise for their affordable desk-to-dinner collections, Style Wylde caught up with William and Melanie to get a sneak peek at what they have in store for Fall 2011.
SW: Last we spoke you had just launched your first Callula Lillibelle collection. Since then, the line has been featured in everything from O Magazine, to Instyle to Women’s Wear Daily, how has this avalanche of media attention impacted your point of view as designers?
W+ M: We are excited that we have had so much press but that has not affected our point of view at all… We set out to give women comfortable clothing which is well-structured, well-priced, terrific fit and with great style. We are just glad that our customer has embraced us…
SW: As we are just weeks away from your presentation at Lincoln Center, let’s talk about the new collection. What was your major inspiration for your Fall 2011?
W+M: Modern furniture and art, the culture of our youths mixed with a little extravagance and flare…
SW: How did this inspiration come to you? Do you have a process for narrowing down ideas before they become the focus of your designs?
W+M: We look at everything in the world around us, old and new and gather inspiration from all aspects of culture. We don’t have anything specific for narrowing down our ideas. We just sit together with our sketches until we have the ones that we feel are the best for the collection
SW: How does your design process differ between seasons? (Fall vs. Spring) Do you think about seasonal materials (i.e., leathers, furs) and silhouettes first, or is that something that comes after you have chosen your inspiration?
W+M: Fabric choices are always a challenge but one of the most interesting because it is the feel and breadth of a fabric which makes the piece, just as important as the flattering design…
SW: Fall 2011 will be the third collection for Callula Lillibelle, but the first to be held in the actual ‘tents’ at Lincoln Center. Do you feel more pressure showing in the tents, or is the experience the same no matter where you show?
W+M: No extra pressure, we just hope people will continue embrace us