powerful feminity | designing my own collection

4th February 2021
Energy is an incredible thing. From the people you share your life with to the people you work with, the energy of the people you surround yourself with can completely alter your direction and the same can be said for Brands.

karen millen blog 3 karen millen blog

Energy is an incredible thing. From the people you share your life with to the people you work with, the energy of the people you surround yourself with can completely alter your direction and the same can be said for Brands. Karen Millen has been a brand I have loved and worn since the age of 16, my step mum would take me shopping there on special occasions and it has been a staple in my wardrobe ever since. The brand has seen a resurgence in recent years with designers from Louis Vuitton now working across their collections and a team so forward thinking it reflects in everything the brand produces. Now I might be biased on this as I recently designed my own collection with Karen Millen which launched last week. The collection encapsulates the multi-facets of my style perfectly with delicate lace detailing, deconstructed tailoring all based around a neutral colour palette. Following two sell out Edits together the design team welcomed me into the Atelier to create the “By Lydia” collection for Karen Millen.


Tailoring has always been an important element of my every day wardrobe. When I first began sitting down to brunches with the biggest brands in the world I wanted them to know and not just feel like they were sitting down with a professional woman. A well tailored piece paired with your own personal style elements, instantly elevates on trend to professional and considered. The tailoring as part of the By Lydia collection included the most exquisite deconstructed tailored waistcoat with a structured waist held in by luxe leather waist belt and subtle peplum hem which came in the ultimate timeless shades, Black and Camel with a longline version for a real power suit injection. Alongside these hero pieces we included dramatic sleeves, darting and notched lapels for a real powerful modern feel

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The transition from Winter to Spring has a huge influence on my style and the inclusion of more feminine delicate details and fabrics were an essential part of the launch for By Lydia. But I wanted to keep synergy with the powerful undertone throughout the collection by giving those delicate details structure and presence as part of the designs which you can see come to life in the Broderie and Ruffle detail pieces alongside more subtle influence for the Textured ruffle dresses.

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In the summer I bought a dress that I wore for my first evening out with friends after our first national lockdown. Never have I received so many compliments on an outfit before and I knew when this collection became a possibility, that I wanted to help create something that made other people feel as wonderful as I felt that night, emerging from my lockdown chrysalis. The Paisley print, lace ribbon detail and statement ruffles of these pieces make it a real style statement of its own, I love to pair the dress with some rich brown suede boots to compliment the depth and tone of the pattern.

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Quality fabrics are an essential part of a well rounded wardrobe from classic Biker Jackets to A line leather mini’s and I knew I needed to create my own classic pieces to stand the test of time but with a modern feel. I had dreamed of creating the perfect A line mini skirt, which features in the By Lydia collection in two stunning colour ways, with a perfectly positioned waistband, subtle but classic detailing and length that makes it wearable on any occasion. Also as part of the leather collection, we raided the Karen Millen actives to bring back my favourite leather pencil skirt in two colour ways. This skirt is my go to skirt to pair with vintages tees for a more grunge summery feel or beautiful blouses to contrast the hard biker detailing. It was a dream of mine to bring this back and we made it happen!

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And of course the By Lydia collection wouldn’t be complete with a strong selection of modern classic wardrobe essentials from the Country Chic quilted trench to the sellout reworked classic white shirt. Every piece has been carefully designed and selected to stand the test of time on a world driven by tends.

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Have you shopped the By Lydia collection with Karen Millen? What is your favourite piece? Let me know in the comments below.

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