Reach for the stars
Brigit Grant (5ft 3) talks style with Kelly Scott (6ft 1). Their conclusions are good news for the vertically challenged
IN A recurring dream I had as a teenager, I could reach the top of my wardrobe without standing on a chair. In the same dream my legs hung over the end of my bed and I was placed in the back row of a group photograph. Short people often dream they are taller. Usually after a day of being hovered over on the tube or standing behind someone tall at a concert. The vertically-challenged don’t fare well at concerts, unless of course Randy Newman, the composer of the Short People song happens to be performing, in which case it’s a relief to not be able to see him. I mean what was he thinking when he wrote: Short People, got nobody They got little baby legs That stand so low You got to pick em up Just to say hello. For those of us who are small (I’m 5ft 3in), it’s hard not to envy anyone who can pick apples without a ladder, or so I thought until Kelly Scott put me straight.
At 6ft 1in, Kelly is a statuesque, curvy, raven-haired beauty who looks as though she could wear anything and pull it off. But as it turns out, finding “anything” is not that easy and clothes shopping is an ordeal. At Kelly’s height maxis become midis, dresses turn into tunics and don’t even get her started on sleeves.
“Anything with details on the waist is a waste of time, as it doesn’t correspond to my own waist, and as for tops, I’ve lost count of the ones that end at my belly-button. Only the other day, a girlfriend was complaining to me about the fact that she always has to have her jeans shortened and can never find anything the right length,” muses Kelly. “As someone who had to have six inches added to a wedding dress I am short on sympathy. No pun intended.”
Kelly’s encyclopaedic knowledge of brands tall girls can’t wear has been assembled over years —“I’ve been this tall since I was 15,” and having nailed what does and doesn’t work, she started her own clothing website — www.6footfashion.com — and is now turning her hand to designing.
“The website came first, because there wasn’t a dedicated source for designer clothing and shoes for tall women,” explains Kelly. “A priority for me is that all our clothing and shoes offer a good fit, by way of a longer leg, arm and body lengths
and larger shoe sizes. I know what it’s like to wear a body and have the poppers burst open because it is too short or force my foot into a size nine that is too narrow. ”
For the record, Kelly wears the American label Yummie Tummie shapewear — “Knickers, shorts and vests have extra length”she points out and cites Pretty Ballerinas, LaidBack London and Love from Australia as the best footwear. At least for now. Very soon Kelly Scott London could be the taller ladies shoe label of choice, for along with her capsule clothing collection, entrepreneurial Kelly is running with heels. “Heels?” I say in disbelief. “Yes, that’s right, heels,” says Kelly. “I have specifically made a high shoe – retailing at around £120 — because for a tall person, wearing heels is not about being even taller, it is about being confident and chic.”
Inspired by Michael Kors, Eli Tahari, Sonia Rykiel and C by Chloe, the Kelly Scott London collection will be primarily grey and black separates and include an LLBD — which is a little long black dress, for those who have the height to carry it off. Perhaps the most unusual aspect to this innovative launch is the fact that the clothes are being made by students doing a BA in fashion at the University of East London. “They are skilled seamstresses learning pattern cutting and toile making as part of their degree, but they also work with established designers, which is great for me as it means my collection really is made in London, which is rare these days. ” Almost as rare as a tall Jewish woman, but now at least she knows where to shop.
Long Tall Sally rose border dress £75
Ruched and draped dress by Minuet Petite £48
Dote kimono £220