Exclusive interview with Alin Le’ Kal after the showing of his SS19 Haute Couture Collection at Paris Fashion Week 2019
As the first Melbourne designer ever to debut their collection at Paris Fashion Week, Alin Le’ Kal caught the critic’s attention this year. The Australian designer is well known for the 120,000-glass pearl wedding dress, designed for Gamble Breaux (from Real Housewives of Melbourne). The viral sensation captivated the fashion world with his signature intricate craftsmanship and extravagant trains. Alin Le’ Kal has designed breathtaking couture gowns for stunning celebrities on the red-carpet including Kelly Rowland, Olympia Valance and Sophie Monk.
On the 22nd of January 2019, Alin Le’ Kal made history at Paris Fashion Week with the debut of his flawless ‘Reflected Elements’ Spring Summer 19 collection.
We caught up with Alin Le’ Kal after the show:
When did you realise you wanted to become a designer?
It was very early days, a long time ago. I used to watch my family work in the rag trade (I came from a family of dressmakers and designers), and that’s when I fell in love with it all.
How did you get to where you are today?
It takes a lot of work, creativity, study and development of skills. I would always be coming up with new designs and ideas. While I was studying in university (RMIT), I started designing and creating pieces for my sisters’ friends, and it built up from there.
How has your design style and brand evolved?
It evolves the same way fashion does. At first, we wanted to keep up with the latest trends, making sure our designs followed what was ‘in’ at the moment. However, now instead of following trends, we try to create our own trends.
How do you get in the zone when designing?
I actually lock out a lot – it is a process. I cut myself away from any distractions – that means turning off my phone, the television… all technology, and isolating myself. I get in my element by turning on some music and focusing on the creative process.
How did it feel to debut your collection at the Paris Fashion Week 2019?
It was extremely challenging to create a collection for the European couture market. It is very different to what Australia is used to. Australian fashion style tends to be much simpler in their own unique way, as we have less gala and big events to wear couture pieces to. The style is just different.
Even though it was a challenge, we never had any hesitation or doubt that we could succeed.
What is your favourite part about being a designer?
The highlight is definitely seeing my brides so happy on their special day, it brings me such joy. Their smiles are priceless.
How do you want women to feel when wearing your designs?
I just want them to feel absolutely beautiful. If they do not feel beautiful, it will show while they are wearing the dress. It is the all about the feeling. When they feel comfortable and beautiful, they will start to glow from that feeling.
How many people did it take to produce the SS19 collection?
It took a team of about 20 people, over the process of 5 months. The detailed beaded gowns from the collection took more time.
What was the inspiration behind the collection?
It was all about Australia. I was inspired by Australia’s breathtaking nature, colours and scenery. The collection took inspiration from the themes, textures and natural hues of the bright corals of Queensland, the sand dunes, the ocean, the dazzling blue sky, the land… it was a bit of everything.
Who was invited to your show?
We had a mixture of special guests, from celebrities and influencers to our clients and buyers.
How did you come up with the show’s invitation design?
The invitation reflected our brand. The design was very clean while reflecting a luxurious feel. We strayed away from a traditional design and embraced modern luxe. The invitations by Giant Invitations had lustrous silver foiling on extra thick white stock imported from Europe.
Which was the most intricate and detailed piece in the collection?
They were all intricate in their own ways. I tried to make every design a statement – each design has their own character and expression.
Which gown is your favourite standout from the collection?
I think that would have to be our long turquoise beaded piece with the high neck and high slit.