Lulu Kennedy may not be a name that you would immediately recognise, but her influence on the British fashion scene is undeniable. She founded one of London Fashion Week's hottest tickets, the Fashion East show, which propelled the likes of Roksanda Ilincic, Marios Schwab, Jonathan Saunders and Richard Nicoll to their current fashion stardom. Fashion East is perhaps London's most hotly anticipated event each Fashion Week; and show-goers expect nothing short of creative genius from the six exclusive designers selected by Lulu Kennedy and her team. Lulu's also just recently launched her own label, Lulu & Co, which is a mixture of her own designs and exclusive collaborations with designers whom Lulu handpicks for their unique vision and creative promise. We had the wonderful opportunity to have a quick chat with Lulu at Polly King's showroom while we were in town for Paris Fashion Week. Given her fashion status, we expected her to be an intimidating and perhaps somewhat cold woman; but what we found in her was a delightful warmth, as well as the encouragement of someone whom we could only wish was our own mentor.
On how she started Fashion East:
"It was all completely unintended." No one set-out to create a fashion show. It just sort of naturally progressed into one. The Fashion East show that is today was never planned to be this way; "It was completely organic."
On choosing who to showcase at Fashion East:
"It's always all a bit mad! We get tens of thousands of applications. To be honest, it's a bit like X-Factor!"
On how she started Lulu & Co.:
"Again, to be honest, it was all completely unintended!" It started off as just a few exclusive iconic pieces from Fashion East designers that were reproduced in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Fashion East. It was really well-received and so production was increased for the next season, and the next season. Then Lulu & Co. became a full-blown collection where the collaborations change each season. "Again, it was totally organic."
On the prints that are so heavily featured in her collection:
Take the poodle print for example, "It was actually the print on this very old scarf that a friend was wearing. The scarf was falling apart, but we really liked the print, so we decided to recreate it. Look! There's even a little leash attached, too."
On who she thinks is the "Next Big Thing" on the British fashion scene:
"I really like James Long." (Don't worry, we've got some shots of his immaculate collection coming up soon on the blog!)
A rack of pieces from Lulu & Co's collaboration with Barry Reigate.
Lulu & Co's collection is full of fun prints and easy-to-wear shapes.
A tee from Lulu & Co's collaboration with Ashish.
A personal favourite piece from Lulu & Co's F/W '12 collection.
Poodles on a leash!
The perfect LND (little navy dress) from Lulu & Co.
A selection of pieces from Lulu & Co's collaboration with Sibling.
Read more about Lulu & Co. here.