Christina Kilmister, founder and fashion designer of Lilika Designs, is all about a woman being able to pop something on, no matter what the mood or dress code, and just feel beautiful.
She has a Greek background (Lilika is her mother's name in Greek). Being one of four sisters,she always found herself designing and styling.
Her mother grew up sewing garments from a young age, and her mother also had a great love for all things fashion. So it is no surprise Christina has emulated that same passion through the generations. “I started making clothes very young, as my sisters were older I would spend lots of time with my mother while she shopped the fabrics stores for her daughter's next creations.
I would play for hours surrounded by fabrics and buttons dressing my dolls. So naturally as soon as my foot could reach the pedal I owned my first sewing machine!
Once I started I couldn’t stop, going on to make my mother clothes. Many years later when I had my own children I realized I was still in love with fashion, putting together outfits and designing.
My favourite times of day were school drop off and pickup, so I could wear my new clothes I had just made, although the other mothers at school didn’t share my love for fashion. I wasn’t very popular! One day a mother came up to me to sympathize and then asked for my help, long story short we had a play date. I made her over, re-invented her wardrobe and had a ball doing it, which apparently was a life changing for her! From that moment I knew fashion was my obsession-so I decided to study it.
Christina completed a diploma in Fashion Design and then went on to obtain a diploma in Fashion Styling, going on to start her own business.
With being a young mum at the time, she soon found that she couldn't devote the time needed to her rapidly growing and successful business and it was time to make a change. Christina then decided to step into the family's business in property to gain more balance for her family life.
After several years, Christina moved into a corporate role, but realized many years later that she was missing her true passion:- Fashion. She also wanted the excitement and satisfaction of having her own business again. She decided it was time to make the move and hasn't looked back!
"I wanted the essence of the designs to be chic, full of color, personality, playful and be just a little bit posh. Most of all when someone slips on that garment, I want her to feel truly unique, not to step out and be wearing the same as every other lady on the street" Christina says.
"Don't talk to me if you want cookie cutter clothes- I don't do ordinary. I do big pops of color, a dash of bling and a dollop of posh!"
Lilika Designs are lovingly and proudly created in New Zealand. Providing exclusive creations that are strictly limited in numbers.
New Zealand's strong beauty shines through the designs with the quality of fabrics and the delicious colors.
Christina wanted to also create clothes that were comfortable and versatile , yet still looked fabulous. As a mother of two, she knows only too well the hectic lifestyle that title brings! She wanted to make sure that, no matter where your day took you, from school drop off to the supermarket, to the city streets and the board room then after work drinks, when you hit that pavement, you feel and look great!
With a love for styling, which Christina believes goes hand in hand, she wanted to incorporate that into the brand:- "You can obtain the most gorgeous clothes in the world but it is knowing what to wear and how to wear them which makes all the difference" ,- Christina says.
With that in mind, she is currently writing her first book "There is more to just putting on a pretty dress, it is the power it gives you as a woman, mind, body and soul- it is about looking after you" Christina says.
" I don't get up each day now and work, I get up each day now and play". says Christina.
Inspiration has come this time around from now knowing the freedom of following my heart, the power of being myself and simply just doing what I love.
Fashion Week Los Angeles