We've been madly in love with Kuwaii ever since spotting Kristy Barber, Kuwaii's owner and designer, wearing her beautiful clothing around our neighbourhood, Brunswick East. With her studio literally just up the road from MHD, it wasn't long after a few brief sightings for Kuwaii to be hanging proudly on the racks of Monk House Design. It seemed ever-so fitting (and even perhaps geographically convenient) to invite Kuwaii to install a beautiful hanging display of paint-dipped pipes in the colours used throughout the Regalia range. Soft carnation pink fades into a daffodil yellow in a suspended cluster. It's a sweet, beautiful, gentle installation, not unlike the Regalia collection itself.
We've asked Kristy a few questions about Kuwaii and the new AW13 Regalia range.
When did Kuwaii come to fruition? What drove you to become a designer and how long has Kuwaii been operating?
Kuwaii started in 2008. I had recently graduated so I would say I've been a designer as long as Kuwaii has been around. My love for designing comes from a more technical interest in garments; I love how things are put together and the construction element of clothing. Also I have an ethical or moral standpoint about creating garments so I was driven to provide an option that stood against mass produced fashion
What is the most exciting aspect of running your own fashion label?
It's all very exciting and stressful! The most satisfying is perhaps seeing the whole collection come together in a photoshoot or runway. The most exiting is the new possibilities when it comes time for a new collection! The world is our oyster.
Can you tell us a little bit about your current range in store?
Regalia is our AW13 range and it's really beautiful if I do say so! We used colours daffodil, carnation and tweed, and the inspiration came from the idea of Weekend Royalty, we wanted to conjure the easy elegance of the inherently dignified, where stiff backs and rigid formality is traded in for tailored pants and tweed coats. We imagine that this is the apparel for loping walks over brambled hills and thistle-studded moors. Morning mist clings to long grass and birds twitter from shaded woods; afternoons wane to chilly evenings spent sipping brandy and discussing literature in a fire-warmed grand hall.
Who or what is your biggest creative inspiration and why?
That's very hard to pick just one!
I'm eternally inspired by colour.
I love the past.
I love great craftsmanship.
Photos by Elise Wilken