DSO: How did Bird & Knoll come to fruition? What inspired you to start your own fashion label?
NK: The genesis of Bird and Knoll was actually as an accessory brand - We originally translated beautiful unique travel imagery of iconic destinations onto cashmere and silk blends. However, by 2016 we felt that we had a greater vision beyond soft accessories so we slowly segued into resort wear, creating silhouettes and fabrics that amplifyed our design ethos of effortless, elegant, mood-elevating pieces.
DSO: How does living and being based in Australia influence your designs?
MC: We are so lucky to live in a part of the world where we can really appreciate resort wear for so much of the year. Even in winter, we can just throw a chunky knit over one of our maxi dresses…. There is a casual and yet edgy approach to dressing here that is definitely tempered by our relaxed lifestyle and unlike many parts of the northern hemisphere, there has always been a strong crossover between what we wear in our downtime time or on vacation and what we may reach for everyday. That pared-back but sophisticated approach is often front of mind when we work on our collections.
DSO: Can you tell us a bit about your creative process when approaching a new collection? Are there any places, people or things you are particularly influenced by?
MC: We always put heads together when starting on a new collection and creating the inspirational mood board. As the designer I come with the millions of ideas that are continually percolating in my head and though Nat is more on the operational side of the business she has a wonderful eye and understanding of what our customer wants. We are both big travellers and these destinations are always a huge influence on our creative process – it may be a colour that is unique to Puglia or the trim of a building in Morocco or just a feeling that we are looking to recreate from a vacation that we had in Tulum. I do have certain obsessions that no doubt seep into my sub conscious creative mind – Slim Aarons photography, palm trees, Palm Springs, sand dunes and white washed villages. The more conscious side of the process is designing silhouettes with elevated details that are textural havens – we want the women who wear Bird and Knoll to feel feminine and luxurious but comfortable and still able to multi-task.
DSO: How would you describe your respective personal styles? How are they reflected in your pieces?
NK: I am probably more classic with an edge and will often pair one of our floaty maxis with a blazer and a pair of sandals or one of our blouses with tailored pants and a pair of trainers. I am all about the clothing working for me and my lifestyle – pieces that I am comfortable in but that make me feel good. That ethos is constantly translated in Bird and Knoll pieces.
MC: I would describe my personal style as feminine & effortless, not too fussy. My wardrobe consists almost entirely of dresses. In my perfect world it would be summer all year round and we would dress like we were on vacation. I love the feeling you get when you are on holiday, you feel carefree and more adventurous with your wardrobe, you try different things you usually wouldn’t wear that make you feel more feminine and sexy, experimenting with more colour and volume - just an all-round carefree feeling of escapism … I hope this feeling is reflected in some way in all of our pieces, even though we can’t be on holiday everyday!
DSO: If you could choose one hero piece from the Mode Edit which piece would it be? How would you style it?
NK: Oh that’s a tough one – I have the Sofia, Willow and Ida dresses on rotation in my wardrobe. But if I really had to choose just one, I would say Sofia. I wear her during the day with a pair of A.Emery flats and then throw on a blazer and kitten heel mules in the evening.
MC: I would choose the Willow Dress … it has a whimsical feminine ease to it that always makes me feel good. I team it with leather sandals or cute trainers and can dress it up or down by pairing with different bags and jewellery.