To celebrate the launch of the incredible Spring Collection from Silk Laundry, we wanted to find out all about the designer, Katie (a fellow GC girl who has now moved back to Canada to grow the brand), and how she's created a cult following.
Silk Laundry has been around since 2015 but the brand has just started experiencing massive success and growth in the last year and a half. Has that increased in commercial success and attention changed the way you think about the brand or the way you approach designing?
As the brand has grown, i have to be more strategic and forward-thinking with collections. I am now working 6-9 months in advance. When we were small, i could just release items or new colours whenever i liked without much forethought.
Where did the name 'Silk Laundry' come from?
I wanted to have a brand that really described what we were doing. Silk is an obvious choice for part of the brand name but also unfortunately, when we think of silk, most people think its for special occasions or is very hard to care for so i wanted another word that stood for effortless and everyday. One day i just woke up and knew with 100% surety that Silk Laundry had to be the brand name.
Your modern twist on classic silhouettes in such a luxurious fabric is refreshing, are there any pieces you feel really represent your personality?
The slip dress is something i have worn since my early 20's, and for me this style is not a trend, the style and ease of wear it gives is like nothing else. It was one of the first four pieces the collection started with in 2015 and is the exact same today as it was then.
Looking at a few of your recent designs, there are still a few trend-based pieces that are very of-the-moment. How do you go about choosing which trends to follow and which to avoid when creating a garment with a long lifespan?
We have actually been pretty lucky with this. I was working on our leopard print for a couple of years and waited until we got it just right. The timing was simply by chance. We will never rush to release a new style, print or colour simply because it is on-trend. These are prints that you can look back over time that always become popular again. In that sense, i think they are fashionably timeless.
I have a feeling creating timeless designs sounds a lot easier than it is. How do you ensure all the details from the neckline to the hem will stay relevant through multiple seasons?
Cost-per wear is always a determining factor in my own purchasing processes and i always will keep this in the back of my mind. It's about constantly asking questions throughout the entire design process. Will this cami pair back with other styles? Does this print pair back or clash beautifully with pieces from last season? I want our customers to continue wearing their pieces from last season, but to explore with their style and experiment in new ways.
When looking for inspiration for new designs, I often research vintage styles from the the 1920's to 90's. These are beautifully crafted and were made to last. Luxury lies in the little details; internal french seams, silk covered buttons, pique trims and the feeling of silk against skin. I believe in slow design and getting it right the first time.