Tania Kehlet has been designing for Chrisanne Clover for 5 years and this summer 2016 saw the launch of her latest collection which was shot in Rome. I was intrigued to find out more from Tania about the last 5 years designing for Chrisanne Clover and what her favourite pieces and inspirations were…
‘This is now the 5th launch of my practice wear collection and I am as excited now as I was for the first.
This year we chose to photograph the catalogue in the beautiful surroundings of Rome to give the collection the unique and stunning background it deserves. The collections have improved each year – fabrics, fit and design – and this year is no exception!
In my opinion this year is the best collection ever. It has been a long process of making sure each piece is perfectly fitted so that the beautiful designs not only look stunning but moves with the body just the way I want them to while practicing. Through the years the collaboration with CHRISANNE CLOVER has grown stronger and stronger into a team with mutual respect and passion for perfection.’
What was the inspiration to your collection?
That is always a difficult question for me to answer, because the inspiration for my designs are something that comes to me in the different places I dance in around the world throughout the year. It is hard to name just one thing that was my inspiration but, right from the start my main focus has been to create garments that give you total freedom and comfort while practicing, but at the same time it should make you feel feminine and modern.
Starting out for this year’s collection I had felt that especially the last 2 collections had been a big step forward in regards to comfort due to the usage of the new materials and the more seamless approach to the cutting and sewing. Therefore my main idea for this year was to upgrade the collection even more in regards to femininity and detail, while keeping the high quality of "feel good" to the garments. We chose to do this by introducing strategically well placed pieces of lace on the stretch net while keeping the ground materials. On some garments we highlighted the effect of the lace mixing it in with the cappuccino under materials which really makes it stand out.
Lace for me has always been the essence of femininity but I have never been keen on practicing in it due to the fact that it did not feel comfortable. One of my main inspirations this year therefore was to create a lace inspired, ultra feminine collection, that would feel like practicing in your track suit and being totally free...
What is your favourite piece?
At the moment I am still so excited about the whole launch that I have difficulty to choose one!!! In the process of making a collection like this you start with having probably more than 30 different ideas!
Through the process of sampling the ideas many of them get thrown out, but in the end before deciding which items to launch I had double the amount of items which I really loved but I had to cut the collection down to the amount we had decided to launch. Therefore the pieces that actually made it to the final collection have been very carefully selected and are actually already all of my favorites!
However if I did have to choose one piece right now it would probably be the Trousers as I have been using the old ones almost every day since I launched them 4 years ago... These trousers are fantastic because I can practice in them, teach in them and go out in them which makes them ideal for people who travel and have to pack a suitcase!
How did you find shooting the photoshoot in Rome?
It was 2 fantastic days... We had so much fun!!!
Throughout the years collaborating with the team at Chrisanne we have really got to know some of them so well and the team with Jodie and Laura is the best I could ever wish for!!! It has become more of a friendship where it never feels like work when we are actually working. They both have the same passion for the collection as I have and shooting in Rome which was a wish I had for many years, was amazing!
We all envisioned Rome as the background for the collection and the fact that it was actually made possible was an overwhelming excitement to us all!
Was Rome an influence on the collection?
Yes definitely... I live in Rome and have been living there now for 15 years. The Italian fashion scene is one of my biggest inspirations and the setting was just perfect ...
What makes this collection different to others you have designed in the past?
I am more surprised each year when the collection is launched because I always think to myself : "Well, this is going to be the best I have done. I don´t think we can get it better"... But somehow the next one always seems to be an improvement!
This collection only carries 2 garments from last year’s collection so it is very new and as I mentioned above it is the first time I have worked with lace within my collections.
5 years of working with Chrisanne Clover on your dancewear collections what makes this working relationship so special?
I think what makes it so perfect is the fact that it is very much a team work. Everyone on the team has different jobs and are extremely specialized in their own fields. This goes right from the ladies sourcing the materials to the photographer that travels in from Poland. There is a deep respect for one other because we all know that each of us puts in our very best and are so passionate about both the process and the result.
I am very thankful and I have learnt so much from all of them over the years.
What has been your favourite collection over the last 5 years?
As I mentioned previously I always feel that the one I am launching at that time is my favorite, but I must admit that the very first collection was really very special.
Looking back I would not be wearing the same pieces today due to fashion forever changing and the fact that so many things in manufacturing and sourcing materials has improved tremendously.
But launching your very first collection is really special and that will stay forever in my heart.
What has been your favourite piece?
The practice trousers which we have always decided to keep in all the collections.
What makes your dancewear range stand out?
Well, I don’t know if it stands out... I just try to create what I myself would love to wear and then I am so lucky that many other dancers feel the same.
I think what I may have contributed to the ballroom world is being able to mix fashion with comfort. I feel maybe in earlier years dancers would dress up only for lessons to look good but not feel very comfortable in their attire, then for dance practice a polar neck with regular material trousers.
I choose to believe that many dancers these days feel that they can also wear "look good" garments in daily practice because now they can actually FEEL good also.
What inspires your collections?
Looking stylish and fashionably on trend while performing and practicing to your maximum potential.
Do you wear your own collections for practice, teaching and shows?
Every day!!! All garments are made so that they can be worn both to practice and teach.
Any plans / ideas flowing ready for your next collection?
Hahaha... Always! I never stop! I already have a few pieces which we did not manage to get quite right in time for this year. These pieces we will be working on for next year so watch this space …
As a World Championship dancer Tania Kehlet knows the importance of quality practice wear, and this premium dancewear collection has been specially designed to make you look and feel great as you perform. The beautifully crafted style lines help enhance your movements and give you extra confidence to be your best on the dance floor. Made from excusive CHRISANNE CLOVER fabrics and delicate motif details, this innovative practice range is the ultimate collection for exceptional style and comfort. Each piece has been specially crafted to provide you a fresh and modern practice wear selection filled with super chic design features guaranteed to make you feel first class.