31 Oct Up Cloche And Personal with J.W.K. Style
By: Carolina Roberts
Photography by: Parish Photography
Laura Nell and Christin recently collaborated with the insanely talented Jenna Kingman of J.W.K. Style who designed and created Mommy & Me ensembles fit (before and after the turkey dinner) for any Thanksgiving hostess with the mostest. Meet Jenna below and indulge in the fun they had playing dress up with her!
Tell us about your brand, J.W.K.
My brand is more or less just an extension of me and my own personal style. It stems from my passion for design and everything I love to sew for myself and my kids! All the pieces are versatile and wearable, so you can style them a million different ways for any occasion!Tell us about yourself, your background, your family, your long term dreams.
My husband Will and I have four kids, Pearl (10), Fred (6), Lela (4) and Annie just turned 2. Sewing and design have always been a big part of my life. My mom is an amazing seamstress, and her mom sewed as well, so I’ve always had a creative mindset that if you can’t find it, just make it! We would shop for my formal gowns, my wedding dress, just about anything, and end up at the fabric store to pick out fabric and sew it instead. I’ve always been particular about fit and details, so I’m very lucky my mom put up with it!
I graduated from the University of Texas with an Apparel Design degree. I actually went in as a psychology major but switched after my first course because I couldn’t imagine sitting through four years of classes without creating! During the summers I interned in New York City, first with Betsey Johnson, and that really opened my eyes to a whole different world of design. I went back to New York any chance I had for fashion week, working backstage dressing the models and helping the stylists. There’s nothing like trial by fire! I also took an intensive fashion illustration course in Paris through Parsons School of Design, and that’s when everything really clicked for me, creatively. It was such a dream come true! I love the whole process of design, from sketching, sewing, and styling it head to toe. As for the future, I hope I’m doing more of the same! Right now the most important thing for my husband and I is raising our children, and thus most of my work has revolved around them, but I would love to see my brand expand as they get older. I love creating something special to wear, whether it be for my kids or myself, and one day I hope that it will be for many others!
How did you come up with these Mommy & Me Ensembles?
I wanted pieces for the moms that were easy for entertaining, but also chic and elegant while sitting at the table and I first created a “Hostess With The Mostest” mood board. Comfort is always key, but I truly believe that you don’t have to sacrifice style. There’s nothing better than snuggling by the fire after a big Thanksgiving feast with littles in your lap and a big piece of pie! For the girls’ outfits, the most important thing was that they could easily run and play without anything being too fussy. It made me so happy to see the girls chasing the dog around the yard during our photoshoot!What was your inspiration?
I’ve always been inspired by southern women in my life (both past and present) who graciously entertain, who have been up since the crack of dawn with a turkey in the oven and still look like a million bucks! My mother in law is a very talented decorator and hostess, and I’ve learned so much about entertaining from her. Whether she’s hosting the six of us for dinner, or 500 for my sister in law’s wedding, she makes each guest feel welcome and special. Her number one rule is that no one gets up to clear their dishes right after the meal. It keeps the conversation going and we’ve sat around the table for hours talking and telling stories!Can you tell us a little about the style as well as the fabric and accessories/important details you incorporated?
I chose Liberty of London prints that are full of color and whimsy to reflect the Cloche Mamas and their daughters’ darling personalities. The beautiful linens, flowers, and table settings (stay tuned for that in their next blog) were my jumping off point for their looks. The timeless designs are classic silhouettes that are easy to wear throw on (and clean!) for entertaining. I made everything out of the softest tana lawn cotton, without any zippers or buttons, so they easily wrap and adjust in the waist. Crucial for Thanksgiving! To complete their head-to-toe looks, both wore vintage earrings, a special and unique accessory that also tells a story. Laura Nell’s brass peacock earrings were her late mother’s and I love that personal touch, especially during the holidays.For the girls’ dresses, I added sweet little details like the tassels and bows, that are actually functional as well, since they adjust the necklines and hem lengths as they grow. We tied velvet ribbon bows in their hair to complete the look. Most importantly, everything is soft and comfortable enough even to sleep in!How can you take these pieces and style them for other events beyond Thanksgiving?
I love reinventing pieces and styling them with different accessories, heel heights, and handbags. I’m all about the rewear! Christin’s dress can be dressed up or down by simply switching up the belt and shoes. Wear it backwards with a scoop neckline and wrap in the back, and you have a completely different look! Throw it on with slides or booties, and even wear it as a cover up for the beach, the options are endless. Laura Nell’s skirt can be worn with every type of top, no matter the occasion. Pair it with a silk cami, a cashmere sweater, white tee shirt, you name it! All the colors work well into the spring too, so you can wear it just as easily for a Fiesta event or Easter with a simple swap of the accessories. I love designing pieces that last for multiple seasons, sizes, and looks!
Who is your style icon?
Elsa Schiaparelli was a brilliant Italian designer who completely turned the fashion world upside down in the 1900’s with her signaturecolor “shocking pink” and cheeky designs. She had a certain joie de vivre and sense of whimsy that’s still unmatched to this day!
Contact Jenna for your own made-to-measure commissions via her Instagram or at firstname.lastname@example.org.