Kelly is fascinated with using fashion as a vehicle for artistic expression because it enables her to translate her interests in the aesthetics of drawing and painting which she believes are fundamental in the development of designing for printed textiles.  These sophisticated drawings and patterns are translated directly into signature engineered and repeat prints via screen-printing and digital processes, and have evidently become core to all her creativity towards Print for Fashion.  Consequently, Kelly’s work constantly crosses the boundaries between art, textiles and fashion and as a result can be labelled as ‘Wearable Art’. 

Kelly’s work and research starts with the drawing process exploring her preoccupation with colour, decorative pattern, spatial composition and narrative.  Inspirations range from everyday life, experiences, cultural journeys, architecture, decorative fabrics collected on travels, and the work of the Impressionists, Nabis and Japanese woodblock printers.  These interests are combined with a passion and need to preserve traditional hand crafts across the UK as well as Worldwide, and in this sense has lead to an increasing interest and research in sustainable design for Textiles.

Kelly graduated from The Royal College of Art in 2007 with an MA in Printed Textiles.  Previously, Kelly studied at Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication and gained a 1st Class Honours in Fashion Print.  Kelly has worked in print for fashion in both high-end fashion and commercial fashion.  She has also worked for a London based fine artist, as a freelance print designer, and as a Visiting Tutor in Barcelona.  As well as working on her own collections, practice and research, and with her twin sister, Lizzie Allen, who runs a successful hand-screen-printed wallpaper business, Kelly is also Senior Lecturer in Printed Textiles on the FdA/BA (Hons) Textiles Course at The Arts University College at Bournemouth (AUCB).  In August 2010, Kelly was awarded a Research Fellowship by AUCB, where the project explores ‘Pattern as narrative through the process of drawing’.  Additionally a collection of printed garments will be produced exploring narrative across dress, inspired by the Kimono produced by Japan’s Living National Treasure Itchiku Kubota.  The final outcomes will be an exhibition of drawings and the garments, and an accompanying book.  

Link to Kelly’s CV
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