What I Know About Style

Katya Wildman, founder of the inclusive luxury dress range, Bombshell


Katya Wildman chats to us about her luxury dress range, Bombshell

Hi Katya, you’re the founder of the inclusive luxury dress brand, Bombshell. What were you doing before you set up the brand?

I was a costume designer for commercials and music videos.

Your sizes range up to 22, why is this sort of inclusivity important to you?

Because women are not all size 10’s. When I started Bombshell boutiques didn’t want to buy past a size 14. I was shocked by this as there was a whole world of women who I knew would look incredible in my dresses so I went online and within minutes was selling more size 16’s than any other size.

And a huge percentage of your brand is made right here in London..

I love our London factory – it’s family run and our dresses are made with a whole lot of love. Just walking through the door feels good. The skilled seamstresses and tailors are very loyal and take a huge amount of pride in what they create. We have been at this factory for several years now (95% of our dresses are made in London). Consistency of quality and staff is key in a factory. We are a team. I feel tremendous pride in our UK manufacturing mission.

You talk about how your pieces are ‘forever dresses’, what does this mean to you?

I love a timeless aesthetic. Our Grace dress for example was inspired by a trio to the Dior exhibition. Quality fabrics and flattering, classic siloutteqs stand the test of time.

What are your top tips for shopping sustainably?

1) Buy British made – a smaller carbon footprint is key.
2) Invest in a piece that you can wear time and time again. Choosing quality fabrics. There are so many recycled fabrics available these days. I’m happy to say manufacturing is changing.
3) Don’t buy too much! If you do buy something – try to let go and re-home your formerly favourite pieces. There’s always something else we want…..

Your dresses have a reputation for making people feel empowered, sexy, confident. What’s the trick?

Being a voluptuous woman with squishy bits I’d like to think I know a thing or two about concealing and showcasing all at the same time! No.1 for me (as a 32HH cup) is not having anything too revealing. I think people feel the most confident when their shape is being flattered and they feel comfortable. Confidence is the best thing you can wear – and nothing makes you feel more confident than a dress that really understands you!

What’s your favourite era for fashion and why?

As a child I used to watch black and white movies with my grandmother (who was a singer and tap dancer for a time in the 40’s). I remember drinking in the incredible draped gowns of the Golden Age of Hollywood. 40’s and early 50’s fashion fascinates me. I love the clever sculpting of fabric.

What positive lessons have you learnt from the horror that’s been 2020?

We’ve diversified – it’s been really good to connect over lockdown with our Bombshells and translate their clothing wishes in to garments they love to wear. The velvet robe for example has become a best seller!

What are you most excited about for 2021?

After 13 years of Bombshell we launched trousers! As a staunch dress wearer trousers were a myth to me. At 5’4 and a size 12 they just didn’t do for me what dresses very much can. I set about trying to figure out what it was that didn’t work and after many trials realised that it was the waistband I had an issue with. So have designed a range of trousers using side pleating to eliminate the ‘bulge’ under the waistband – as it’s not there any more! I made a survey and two thousand Bombshells told me exactly what they wanted in a trouser, from fit to leg length. November saw the launch of a classic black palazzo pant – we sold out! So, I’m super excited to launch ‘The Riviera Pant Suit’ It’s a palazzo pant suit with a bell sleeve wrap top with a tummy concealing peplum. I can just picture myself in Antibes in the leopard – not a bad thought to end the year on. Glamour Forever!



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