If you keep up with Soca on social media or have popped into any of our stores, it's no secret to you that we have a special bond with the team over at Bella Dahl. Not only are we huge personal fans of Bella Dahl's effortless pieces, but we also love connecting with their design team to get to know the behind-the-scenes process of what makes Bella Dahl unlike any other brand. We sat down with three of Bella Dahl's designers to get the inside scoop on what inspires them, what the process of creating a signature Bella Dahl piece looks like, and what to look for this season and next!
Chelsea is the Senior Designer for Bella Dahl’s women's collection and has been with the company for over 8 years. Originally from Indiana, she moved out to Los Angeles to attend the Fashion Institute of Design in Merchandising in 2004 to pursue her career in fashion. The Los Angeles culture and its booming art scene heavily influence her design aesthetic. She believes women shouldn’t sacrifice comfort to look well dressed.
Su is the Designer for Bella Dahl’s Dresses/Jumpsuits category and has been with the company for a little over 6 years. She graduated from Otis College of Art & Design in 2013 to pursue her career in fashion. Growing up only an hour outside of Los Angeles, she was able to immerse herself in diverse cultures and art scenes.
Lynn is the designer for Bella Dahl Girl. She is an Illinois native, attended FIT NY and moved to Los Angeles upon graduating. Originally designing for Kerry in the 2000s, she took a hiatus from womenswear in 2010 to focus on designing in the baby/toddler/girl market. She recently re-joined Kerry, Steven, & the Bella Dahl design team to launch Bella Dahl Girl in 2018. She is inspired by the creative culture of Los Angeles dance, art, and music, and constantly moved by diverse landscape & beauty of California. She is also inspired by her two daughters.
Bella Dahl women's designers Chelsea and Su at Premiere Vision Paris
Women's Designer, Chelsea fitting a top from the Resort '20 collection
Women's Designer, Su browsing through the Bella Dahl print library
Lynn, Heather, Chelsea and Su discussing Summer '20 textiles
Bella Dahl designers in Shanghai
Searching for the perfect plaid at one of Bella Dahl's textile mills
Q: What do you see as being the top trends for Fall and Holiday 2019?
Updated and abstract animal prints
Intarsia printed sweaters
Texture and pile fabrics
Bias cut in skirts, tops and dresses
Knee high and over the knee boots
Q: What did you look at for inspiration for this season? Were there certain places or people that you drew inspiration from to form this collection?
Holiday 2019 is all about cozy luxury. Taking inspiration from light dispersing, we tried to capture the iridescence by playing with silky luxe fabrics like velvet, cupro and chenille yarns. From our hand-dyed velvets, fuzzy sweaters, and watercolor animal prints help tell the story while complementing each other.
Q: Out of all of the fall/ holiday pieces, can each of you tell us about your most favorite style that you created? What is the one item that you will for sure be wearing from Bella Dahl this season?
Chelsea: My favorite new silhouette for the season is B4407, It is soft, flowy, and feminine, easy to pair with high waist denim, or the must have skirts of the season. The one item that I will be wearing most for the season is the B4345-830-304 Fuzzy sweater cardigan. I love the easy shape and cozy feel. It’s the perfect layering piece to keep warm on cold days.
Su: I’ll be living in this Patch Pocket Shirt Dress in our Ink Wash Leopard Print. One and done, it’s perfect to dress up or down, to work or out with my friends!
Lynn: Favorite items from holiday are the Fuzzy Pullover Sweater in Pink, and the Roll Sleeve Jumpsuit w Satin Tape Detail in our signature 654 soft touch tencera.
Q: Can you explain a little bit to our customer about what all goes into creating a Bella Dahl fabric or print? What does that process look like?
Chelsea: We are fortunate to have two very talented textile designers on our team, Katie and Heather. We start by creating mood boards for the season that give the overall direction and color story. Once our palette in decided on, our textile designers will work the colors into our prints and plaids for the season. We also work with various print studios across the world to create hand painted artworks that are then turned into print for our fabrics.
Q: It must be so surreal sometimes seeing big celebrities and influencers in your designs! Who was the most exciting to see wearing Bella Dahl?
Chelsea: We were very excited to see Jessica Alba wearing the brand. We feel she truly embodies who the Bella Dahl woman is and would love to see her daughters in Bella Dahl Girl one day!
Q: Can you give us a sneak peek into what we will be seeing for Spring 2020? What was your overall inspiration for the upcoming season?
Chelsea: Spring 2020 is all about the joy of color and we had a lot of fun designing it. Light plays a very important roll this season and how it plays with color. Our March delivery was inspired by the softness of morning light and how it gives color a chalky faded feeling. April takes us into full on day light with stronger more saturated colors, like a prism dispersing sunlight into a vivid colorful rainbow. We were also very inspired by art and hand processing for Spring 2020 which you’ll see in our splatter painted, tie dyed, and printed styles.
Be sure to visit our Homewood location to shop our exclusive Bella Dahl Shop in Shop! Many thanks to the Bella Dahl team for contributing to this interview.