Who wears KAELEN? Well, Solange, Blake Lively, and MINDY EFFING KALING, to begin with. So take it from this trio of heroes and get to know Kaelen Haworth, the Canada-bred, NYC-based designer, whose love of Pusha T and black lipstick would make her a hero in her own right if her designs hadn’t already.
SDTC: What’s the outfit that feels the most you?
Kaelen Haworth: It changes frequently and in the season. Probably jeans and heels and a button down shirt of some sort.
SDTC: From which era in time do you find the most fashion inspiration?
KH: I think probably the 90s. It always kind of comes back to that for me. I also love the Madame Gres gowns for pleating and draping inspiration from the 40s.
SDTC: What fashion object is always sexy?
KH: A perfect white shirt is always sexy. For spring I did one in hammered silk with a pleated, billowy back that is really chic. There is something timeless about it, but there are also so many ways to make it feel new. And I love that it has a masculine vibe.
SDTC: If you had to choose a character in a TV series or film whose style you dig, who would it be?
KH: Carrie from Homeland. Just kidding! Goldie Hawn in Overboard would be one. Before and after amnesia. I think somewhere in between her two identities would have the best style.
SDTC: What are you currently obsessed with?
KH: Body By Simone (Personal Training and Classes in NYC with the most amazing trainers), Pusha T, my new Stella Boots that have a ridiculously high platform and feel very 90s. Also Tom Ford lipstick in Black Orchid. And the simple green juice at Juice Press. It tastes a little but like pickle juice but I love pickles so I’m down with that.
SDTC: Is there something you have in your closet that you don’t wear often but have kept for years because of sentimental value? What is it and why is it still there?
KH: There are a lot of those. Mostly, these were emotional purchases that I didn’t have a specific place to wear but I had to get. One is a threeasfour black halter dress with a wire hem that stays away from the body and can be molded. It’s insane. I also have a voluminous forest green double satin Bomber that I have only worn twice but I can’t let it go because it’s so different and weird.
SDTC: What would we catch you wearing as a teenager? What was your style in high school?
KH: I wore some pretty bad stuff. I guess I tried to be advanced, but it was tough given that Oakville wasn’t a huge fashion destination. I had the Meg Ryan haircut (from You’ve Got Mail) and I wore those crazy over the knee platform boots from Aldo that were so incredibly heavy.
SDTC: When and where do you do your best creative thinking?
KH: It’s kind of random. I wish it were as easy as a specific time and place but usually it’s not when I sit down and plan to be. I find I am more creative and at my best when I’m with other creative people. It helps to propel any good ideas I have into reality. A collaborative atmosphere is definitely conducive to that.
SDTC: What’s one piece of advice that a role model taught you that you’ll never forget?
KH: Don’t belt anything that doesn’t need to be belted. There is nothing that looks more bizarre than an unnecessary belting ( i.e. a belt over a sweatshirt). Also don’t be afraid to ask questions. You won’t look stupid and it will help!
SDTC: What did you originally go to school for? Where?
KH: I went to Dalhousie University for English Literature before I moved to New York to go to Parsons. My second passion is books, so I don’t know what I planned to do with it but I knew I wanted to focus on English Lit.
SDTC: What other secret talents do you have?
KH: I’m a pretty good cook. I can play the guitar but recently my nails have impeded that, but I can also sing a little bit. I was recently at Rawah Ranch in Colorado and it turns out I’m not a bad fly fisherman. I DJ sometimes and it’s not the worst.