One of the best parts about fashion month is discovering new designers, either on the runway or in-person. Case in point: Christine Hal, whom I met at New York Fashion Week last month. Based in Norway, Christine designs and sews clothes for her line Kate and Harriet, despite being a full-time lawyer. What I love most is that all clothes are custom made and one of a kind meaning, if you buy a dress from Kate and Harriet, no one else will be wearing it (now that certainly makes us feel special!). Kate and Harriet clothes are true to their Scandinavian roots with bold colors, ready to wear functionality, and a minimalism that feels effortless and contemporary. I caught up with Christine after fashion week to ask her a few questions about Kate and Harriet. And now, without further ado, I’ll turn the floor over to her.
What or who is your inspiration for your designs?
I cannot say that someone or something specific is my inspiration. I get inspired by many different elements; from the colour combination of a butterfly to a woman I pass on the street. I love to travel, and most of the fabrics I use in my work I buy on my trips. On kateandharriet.com I also post inspiration posts every day – from street style, to interior and art.
Tell us about the design process. Do you design the clothes on your own?
I draw and sew all the clothes myself. We recently moved into a new house and I am lucky to have my sewing room. I dream of having my clothes produced by a factory some day, but for now I enjoy making them myself. The models I use on the pictures are dear friends of mine. They are absolutely brilliant. In exchange for modeling they receive Kate & Harriet clothes.
Do you have a store where people can shop online?
The online shop is http://kateandharriet.tictail.com/ – some of the one of a kind dresses, skirts and blouses can be found here. If a Kate & Harriet dress you like is not available in the online shop, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will then send you a sketch inspired by the dress in question, but I do not produce more than one of each dress.
What advice would you give for up-and-coming designers like yourself?
It is important to note that I am a lawyer by day and dressmaker by night. I would love to do the dressmaking part full time, but as we speak I’m doing it part time. My impression is that it is hard to be a full time designer in the initial phase, so my plan is to build up slowly while I keep my full time job.
What kind of woman do you see wearing your designs?
Independent woman that is not afraid to get noticed. I love to use colours in my design and the “see through back dresses” are my favourites. And last but not least, the lovely designer of Kate and Harriet along with her boyfriend:
To see more of Christine’s designs visit kateandharriet.com and her Instagram page @kateandharriet. Which Kate and Harriet design are you coveting? Let us know in the comments!