With my daughter, mother and sisters in my KSW x AM collaboration with Antonio Melani for Dillards

I can’t tell you how excited I am about the launch of my collaboration with Antonio Melani for Dillards! I’ve had questions about how a collaboration and collection like this comes together so I thought I might tell you about my inspiration and the design process.

The first step in the planning process for the collection was for me.  Last Fall, the talented design team at Antonio Melani asked me to send them some inspiration and told me it could be anything!  We needed a launching point and some visual cues to let the design team get to know me better. I put some thought into what I hoped our daily lives would be like come summer.  I wanted the collection to truly exemplify my favorite parts of my lifestyle, from the shapes and styles to the colors.

As most of the collection was created over virtual meetings, with loads of packages being sent back and forth, I sent them a digital board full of images from my home and the dresses in my closet that I found myself wearing over and over again.

I wanted the dresses to be flattering and feminine yet capable of taking a busy woman through the day.  I wanted cheerful colors in surprising combinations inspired by some of the artwork in our house and I wanted floral prints inspired by my favorite china pattern, Tobacco Leaf.  Scroll down to see some of the photos that I sent them for inspiration!

After they took a look at my inspiration boards, we regrouped digitally and took a look at the design teams first round of drawings.  It was amazing!  There were so many wonderful options and the hardest part of the process was narrowing down their initial designs to the edited collection that we are offering in May!  Samples were made and shipped to my home so that we could feel the fabrics, consider the placement of zippers and ties, and really think about who and how they would be worn.  I put a lot of careful consideration into what I would chose to put on if these dresses were in my closet but it was still torture to take some of the options off of the rack!  I was so impressed by the attention to details and experience of the Antonio Melani designers.

We added shoes and a capsule collection for girls into the mix along the way too!  Designing the shoes was amazing.  I wanted one style to wear every day, something that would be easy to slip on in the summer but look elegant enough to wear with the dresses.  I wanted another to be powerful and chic with an elegant heel.  Finally, I wanted a trendy clog that would give the dresses a really fun look but that would feel a bit more refined than a traditional clog. I can’t wait for you to get to try these on!  I’ve been wearing my samples almost every day and I just love them for the look and the comfort!

Millie got to work and consulted her friend, Jemma, who was over for a playdate, when her initial design options arrived.  Millie is into the “skirt and shirt” combo right now and wanted her looks to be very soft.  We brainstormed on some of her favorite phrases and added them to these soft tees in colors that compliment the ladies collection.  I know they will be a hit with the little ladies in your life!

Of course, the ladies in my life all played a role!  My mother and sisters are gorgeous in the dresses and I hope all of the ladies in your life love them too!

My favorite china pattern, Tobacco Leaf, was an inspiration for the prints in the collection.

The colors that I live with every day, unexpected combinations of corals, pinks, and golden yellows, inspired our color selections for the dresses. And, of course, white dresses in the summer are a favorite!

A corner of our living room that I sent to the design team for inspiration.

Our Giant Schnauzer, Zeus, trying on the scarf for size next to rack of samples.

 

Interior Design: Jan Showers & Assoc.

Floral Styling: Jimmie Henslee

Photography by John Cain Sargent, Lisa Petrole, David Tsay

 

8 Comments

  1. Emma Trent on April 26, 2021 at 1:06 pm

    Love these pictures!! The prints our very elegant and bring out a women’s true beauty. A beauty that’s truly in the heart of every women who knows love and has the peace of Jesus. Something I believe we all loose in ourselves sometimes going through this life. It can hurt us and sometimes make us ugly. But God’s grace brings back that beauty in a women’s heart again! And that’s what I see in these prints, these designs, they say, I was made a beautiful women by a great heavenly king! Innocent before him and a lady I am!
    Just Beautiful!!!! Thank you for sharing!!!

  2. Kim Linn on April 26, 2021 at 1:10 pm

    Just when I thought I could not love this collab even more than I already do, your transparency with your inspo has made me go through the roof gaga to the “nth” degree!

    I cannot wait to get this in here at Dillard’s St Louis Galleria- my team of ladies, my Antonio Melani specialist, the entire store- is so excited! Let the good times roll!

    Cheers,
    Kim
    Ladies Clothing Manager
    Dillard’s St Louis Galleria

  3. Carri Conner on April 26, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    I love the inspiration and design. Simply cannot wait to try the clothing on!

  4. Lisa Hays on April 27, 2021 at 12:53 pm

    Looks like the answer to my prayers! I can hardly wait to shop!

  5. Julie on April 28, 2021 at 9:09 am

    I’m so excited to have your collection at our Dillards store! Everything is so cheerful and feminine and just makes me smile. Congrats on your Antonio Melani collab! It sounds like the process was an absolute dream and so much fun.
    Can’t wait to see everything in person!

    Julie Miller
    Visual Sales Manager
    Dillards 0234, The Oaks Mall
    Gainesville Fl

  6. Campbell Mercer on April 28, 2021 at 9:32 am

    This collab is all things summer, feminine and beautiful! So so so excited to have it in our store at Post Oak Houston!

    Campbell Mercer
    Women’s RTW Sales Manager
    Dillards 775, Post Oak
    Houston, TX

  7. Kimberly McSparran on April 29, 2021 at 12:32 pm

    So exciting when can we see it?

    • Kimberly Whitman on April 29, 2021 at 12:46 pm

      It is on my social media now! Coming the blog soon!

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