We’re basically obsessed with everything Leith Clark does. First there was the magic she cooked up during her days on the fashion desk at British Vogue. Iconic shoots for the likes of Vanity Fair, Interview and Harper’s Bazaar quickly followed, not to mention her incredible magazine Lula, which she left a few years ago to set up new fashion title, Violet.
As a stylist, she’s mastered that ultra feminine ‘60s aesthetic and finally she’s answered our fashion prayers but packaging that up into a chic new capsule collection.
The new line has been designed in partnership with Orla Kiely, the London-based Irish designer Leith has been collaborating with for the past eight years.
“This one was really fun and I’m close to the brand so it felt really personal,” she told Fashionista.com at the big unveiling in New York last week. “The cool thing about styling and consulting is that you get to do all kinds of different things like dressing an actor for a red carpet, creating a dress from scratch for the red carpet, consulting on a collection…this is kind of the obvious next step.”
While her name may not ring a bell, you’re definitely acquainted with her handiwork. Since 2007 she’s been Knightley’s right hand woman, kitting the actress out in all of the whimsical Valentino, Erdem and one of a kind Chanel haute couture frocks she’s become synonymous with.
“We were friends beforehand and to me she didn’t look like herself when she did appearances, so it was finding a way to make it feel real — so that when she promotes something she doesn’t also feel like she’s acting as much,” she told the website. “I think when I met her she was always excited for the end [of the night], to take it off. I thought my job is good if she doesn’t want to take it off.”
If you thought Knightley nailed maternity dressing, you have Leith to thank for that too. “I had just been pregnant so it was still really fresh in my head and I think especially on the red carpet pregnancy looks like a hindrance; people don’t look comfortable or free and the nicest thing when you’re pregnant is to feel like clothes can help you want to go out in the world, want to keep doing the things you did before and feel beautiful and graceful and strong, not stuck and constrained,” she revealed.
With the world’s top designers at her disposal, you’d be forgiven for thinking Knightley was decked out in custom-made looks throughout her pregnancy but that wasn’t the case. Aside from making tiny adjustments to wasitlines, “there’s a lot of clothes that were in the collections that didn’t need a lot of fixing,” Leith reveals. “If something’s fluid and loose and loves the bump it makes you feel more comfortable and more confident and more beautiful — she just really trusted me. A lot of them, we didn’t even do fittings. I would literally go, ‘this is the dress’ and she’d say okay and we would make it work. She’s easy to make look great though, it’s nice to make her happy.”