As she prepares to launch her third collaboration with London label Kitri, the New Zealand native gets candid about losing her fashion mojo in the pandemic and the trends she’ll be wearing all summer long.
There are few brands that hit the sweet spot between high street and high-end quite as well as made-to-order London label, Kitri.
Since its inception in 2017, the brand, which was founded by Haeni Kim, has cemented its status as a go-to for fashion-forward, yet wearable, wares. Kitri’s are clothes that do the sartorial heavy-lifting for you; all that’s left for you to do is throw on and, quite literally, go.
So it came as no surprise that, after meeting several years ago when she modelled for Kitri, achingly cool and enviably chic content creator, Jessie Bush, joined forces with Kim to co-design her first collection for the brand.
The hype was real. The first drop of the pair’s collaboration came earlier this year with the green gingham Margot dress from the line amassing a waiting list of 1,000 people within just five days of images being released. It, and the rest of the collection, swiftly sold out.
Fans of the pair’s collaborative efforts will be pleased to learn that Bush’s third collection, which launches today, is – dare we say it – the best one yet. Indeed, as the saying goes, third time’s a charm and the seven-piece line is proof. From the floaty, statement collared Stevie frock – an elevated take on the house dress, to the bubblegum pink checkerboard Olive jeans, which mark Kitri’s first foray into denim, the collection is brimming with summer-ready silhouettes and easy breezy fabrics.
As we struggle to contain our excitement for the collection’s drop, we caught up with Bush to chat about how the pandemic has impacted her style, the trends she’s championing this summer and what’s in the pipeline (watch this space).
Jessie! First off, tell us how this third drop with Kitri differs from the first. Are there anymore collaborations with the brand in the pipeline?
This new seven-piece drop is a natural progression from the first capsule we worked on, so it’s not different per se. Instead it’s a tight edit of pieces which we felt encapsulated what we wanted (and hoped) summer 2021 would be about; it’s fun, happy, comfortable and easy to wear.
Working with Haeni and the Kitri team has felt natural from day one – we all have quite a similar vision and approach to style – which means our ideas tend to flow and complement each other easily. Another collection together? Never say never!
Where do you get style inspiration from?
Well, given that I’ve barely seen anyone face to face other than my ‘bubble’ over the past year, I will admit that I find most of my inspiration online these days. Although as strange as it sounds, I’ve actually been more inspired by interior trends – floral wallpapers, eclectic living rooms, colourful cottages in the countryside – and have then applied these trends to my own wardrobe. My current Instagram follows are pretty interior-centric; I’m very much a fan of the more-is-more approach.
What are the five wardrobe staples you couldn’t be without?
A great dress I can dress up or down, boots that make any outfit feel cool, a well-fitting pair of trousers (tailored of course - I’m only 5’3), an oversized shirt, and thanks to the past year, a super comfy tracksuit.
What’s your daily uniform and why?
It’s definitely changed over the past year. Pre-pandemic I would have worn jeans minimum twice a week, now I barely wear them at all as I’ve become a little too attached to elasticated waistbands.
However, I’ve always been partial to a voluminous house dress, so lately I’ve been living in these. The Stevie dress from this collection is the epitome of a house dress – it’s comfy enough to wear at home (while also looking good on Zoom). And it’s equally appropriate for a day at the park or dressed up with heels.
What’s your best style secret? It could be a local vintage shop, a tailor, anything!
Unless you’re of fit-model proportions, always get your clothes tailored. And I’ve learned the hard way, to take new clothes to the tailor the second you get them, otherwise you’ll never get around to it. The difference between a pair of pants or a jacket looking good, or like it was ‘made for you’ will always come down to the fit. I’m only 5’3” with narrow shoulders and yet I like things super oversized, so I’ll often size up, then get it tailored to ensure it fits me perfectly. It also means you’re less likely to only wear something for a season – if it fits you perfectly, and you’ve gone to the effort (and expense) of getting it tailored, you’re going to wear it a lot longer.
To anybody who feels like they’ve lost their fashion mojo during the pandemic – how should they go about getting it back?
Oof, I feel you! I mean, I would say I’m still only halfway to finding my style post-pandemic. My advice would be to remember that everyone else is the same boat, so cut yourself some slack and continue wearing elasticated waistbands if you want to. Take baby steps; start putting jewellery on every morning and using those long-forgotten handbags you used to love. No one is expecting you turn up to a meeting or lunch or Zoom or date looking like you’re off to fashion week.
Which summer trends are you loving for this year and how will you be wearing them?
Big, voluminous dresses (like the Juicy dress and the Stevie dress) that instantly make you feel happy and free. Right now I’m styling them with boots and a lightweight trench, but the second the temperature warms up, I’ll be wearing them with my go-to dad sandals and a big basket (to carry my wine in, of course).
What else fashion-wise do you have in the pipeline?
Right now, the most exciting thing is this collection with Kitri – that’s definitely my focus at present. And this summer I’m hoping to make the most of being able to collaborate with brands in a more physical sense – being able to be on set and collaborate with other creatives is the best part of my job, so I’m looking forward to stepping away from my computer (and my living room!) and doing just that.
Images: courtesy of Kitri