Kelsey Lenoch’s collection is rooted in the concept of an heirloom. Treasuring items passed through loved ones, holding emotional value within items, and connecting to others from the past via clothing is the bases of her MA collection. Kelsey looked at Victorian mourning jewelry as the primary inspiration of an object made for remembering and honoring love. Each garment was designed and constructed with the same longing and love woven into adorning pieces like Victorian mourning jewelry.
During the design process, Kelsey not only looked at individual items of Victorian mourning jewelry, but also at modern works incorporating hair as a design feature. Combining elements of underwear construction, like 18th and 19th century corsetry, Kelsey wanted to utilize the lines from these garments while also making dresses that allowed movement and freedom for the wearer. Historical references and preservation of old ways of making is important to Kelsey as a designer, but the progressiveness of modernity must be upheld to honor the feminist beliefs at the core of her designs and brand ethos.
The collection is extremely cohesive, with each garment connected through similar pattern cutting techniques, fabrics, and embellishment materials. Each dress could be seen as a different version of the other, made for differet occasions. Kelsey’s design process is based in 3D making, pattern cutting developed from a toile rather than a 2D drawing. The textured and visceral nature of each dress is a product of being designed in 3D with the lines considered and the wearer in mind.