ALL SAINT: Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley joined Matchesfashion.com founders Ruth and Tom Chapman for dinner at St. John on Saturday to mark the launch of their label Hillier Bartley, which the retailer is stocking exclusively.
The designers showed their last collection for Marc by Marc Jacobs earlier this year and Bartley said that stint there allowed them to launch their own brand. Hillier remains a consultant at Marc Jacobs.
“This is what we want to do, something separate from the dictates of fashion and trends, and it’s really nice to be able to use the kind of fabrics we want without any restrictions at all,” said Bartley. “It’s not a dead-in-the-eyes luxury. It still has personality, and there’s whimsical touches that we’re known for, but it’s grown up; because we’ve grown up.”
It turns out the pair have a long history with the restaurant.
“Back in the Nineties glory days, Katie [Grand] and Luella had a flat here, above this restaurant, which was once an abattoir,” said Hillier. “Then Katie introduced me to one of her friends, who then became my boyfriend. So basically we all lived upstairs, and St. John was our sort-of canteen.”