A FRESH, YOUNG DESIGN FIRM WITH A VERY GROWN-UP SOUL
By fashion-world standards, Callula Lillibelle is making a meteoric rise. William Calvert and Melanie Fraser Hart showed their first collection in Fall 2010, and this season, they’re already showing in the Tents. For Hart, this is the realization of a lifelong dream. After a hugely successful career in Hollywood (first as a film producer, then as a designer of urns and caskets for the L.A. elite), and a long stint working side-by-side with Vidal Sassoon, she married and raised a family. But she could never quite shake the feeling that fashion was where she belonged. “A mutual friend introduced me to William, and I had spent the whole summer doing drawings and drawings and drawings,” she told me at the Callula Lillibelle presentation in The Box. “We immediately clicked.”
You can see that simpatico in every Fall 2011 look. They describe it, perfectly, as “desk to dinner”. Each piece has a little something special about it. There’s a gray business suit with surprisingly wide legged pants, and another in a subdued animal print with a super-skinny leg. A sleek, black jacket topped a sexy lace skirt. At first glance, the clothes look very young. On closer inspection, you realize they’re made for everyone, and that is definitely by design. Their client, according to Hart, is, “every woman. She’s dynamic, she multi-tasks 24/7, she’s a mom, she’s a lover, she’s a girl who loves to go to a cocktail party and be the center of attention, but she also rules. She’s the CEO, she rules the company, even when that company is home.”
Picture the classic style of “Mad Men” set in 2011. The palette included the requisite earthy grays, blacks and browns, with joyous pops of color, a bright turquoise here, a hot red there. The tailoring was impeccable, the attention to detail, from buttons to bags, was obvious. Callula Lillibelle was ready for the Tents. “It’s exciting,” Hart told me. “We upped the ante for the accessories this time because we wanted to present more of a look, not just clothing, but the presentation of a lifestyle.”
It’s a lifestyle that can be shared by just about every woman. The clothes range from sizes 0-14, at very affordable price points. I walked away wanting every single look.
Photography: Anton Brookes
To see video of the Callula Lillibelle Mercedes-Benz Fall 2011 presentation and to hear from Melanie Fraser Hart, click on the Red Stletto icon below.
camera: Scott Fetterman/Chad Cooper edit: Scott Fetterman
music: Tony Di Pietro……voiceover: Emily Brooks