I first worked with knitwear designer Kelli McGuinness on an editorial for BULLETT Magazine back in 2012, when she kindly hauled her entire graduate collection to the studio just for the occasion. The collection was an explosion of texture, print, colour and fabric innovation. Since our first meeting (when I may have roped her into sticking double sided tape onto hundreds of paper polka dots for the set…) Kelli has kept in touch and I’ve stayed up to date with all of her endeavours; from launching her eponymous label that same year, to winning multiple awards and travelling the world with her talents, taking part in workshops and picking up diplomas along with way. As a stylist, I love it when designers I work with keep in touch. I’m a huge supporter of graduates and independent designers and labels, and I love to see the progress and inroads into the industry they make.
Kelli seems to have worked non-stop since graduating, putting out a steady stream of new products and designs. I snapped up a sporty lime green crop top as soon as Kelli opened the digital doors to her online shop, and it’s one of my most worn summer pieces. But why save something just for summer? I recently added to my collection with a blue roll hem crop, and whilst it is perfect for summer, it’s also an ideal layering piece which, if you don’t know by now, is my favourite way to dress!
Whist Kelli’s graduate collection incorporated knitwear, print, and fur, she has since concentrated on knitwear and honed her skills; utilising a mixture of hand and machine knitting techniques, and working with a variety of colours and textures to produce a distinctive style.
Her ability to design and manufacture (Kelli makes all pieces herself) both creative and more ‘commercial’ pieces has bagged her a wide customer base and an online stockist in the form of Cage City. As if this wasn’t enough, Kelli’s pieces are super affordable with prices ranging from £5-£65. Affordability and quality doesn’t always go hand in hand but in this case it does, leaving you with no excuse to choose mass production over genuine craft, talent, and expertise.