Clothing designer and founder of The Glamourai, Kelly Framel has an affinity for DIY, vintage finds, and home décor. She got her start in fashion by designing evening gowns for Naeem Khan and has since worked with big names like Coach, Dior, and Dolce & Gabbana. We talked to Framel about the evolution of her blog over the years and what it’s like to be behind the scenes of an editorial shoot.
SHOPBOP: Since you started it in 2008, The Glamourai has evolved from a personal style blog into something much bigger. How did this come about, and how do you continue to challenge yourself and expand the website?
KELLY FRAMEL: When I started the site, I was working as an eveningwear designer creating astronomically expensive, demi-couture gowns. Sharing my personal style gave me a creative outlet to express my more realistic, everyday experience of fashion. At the time, the blogging community was very small, and it was simply rewarding to be part of the conversation within a group that I myself was drawing a lot of inspiration from. I never expected anyone outside that little insular community to read it! But inevitably that world grew, and more people started paying attention to the space, so it no longer felt interesting or creatively rewarding to make the stories about myself. It became important for me to elevate the work I was creating for the site and raise the caliber of conversations that people expect to find online. It's remained very personal, but it is now approached from a broader, more ambitious creative perspective.
SB: How would you describe your personal taste—in fashion, décor, etc.?
KF: I'm in a constant state of evolution, and always will be. I live my creative process on my sleeve, so to speak. My furniture is moved around monthly, and I've tried on just about every character in the fashion lexicon. But as I get older, I'm realizing that the constants I always settle back into are eclectic and bohemian, balanced out with a heavy reliance on the classics.
SB: You grew up in Austin, TX. How is your aesthetic and work influenced by Southern culture?
KF: If anything, growing up in Austin taught me to think independently. It's a little oasis of weirdness, and there's this great sense of being removed from the rest of Texas, removed from the world. Because of that, it seems to breed a funny little mix of iconoclasts. I wasn't exposed to a ton of fashion growing up there, but I never considered that there was an option outside of doing something creative with my life.
SB: From casting models to finding the perfect location, a lot of work goes into each of your editorial shoots. What’s your favorite part of the process? What’s most challenging?
KF: The most challenging thing is creating great work with tiny little teams and a shoestring budget. We are scrappy as hell! But I love collaborating with other creatives, and literally nothing makes me happier in life than being on set, steering an idea out of my imagination and into reality. I'm always dreaming up shoots I want to make. Finding the time, money, and teams to execute them with is an everyday challenge.
SB: Styling and photography are a big part of your life. But sometimes—like this Shopbop lookbook—you’re in front of the camera. What is unique about being on the modeling side of things?
KF: It's so much easier! I do it so infrequently these days I'd forgotten how freeing it is to not be the one managing all the details. Building sets, coordinating wardrobe, hiring the cast and crew, ensuring everyone makes their call time, dealing with location agreements, handling equipment rentals, insurances—all the while trying to think five steps ahead, make a ton of on-the-fly decisions, and still maintain a really artful mindset. I love the work we do and wouldn’t trade it for the world, but every once in a while it's fun to simply show up, get my hair and makeup done, put on some cool clothes, and prance around the streets of Soho.
Check out The Glamourai.