Neill Strain Floral Couture

10 Questions with luxury womenswear designer, Louise Kennedy


Where is your favourite travel destination and why? 

As I travel weekly, mostly working in large cities from New York to New Delhi, when I first discovered the Maldives, I instantly knew I had discovered my favourite getaway. I absolutely fell in love with the enchanting Four Seasons Island, Laanda Giraavaru. Nestled in the Baa Atoll UNESCO biosphere reserve, this 44-acre island is a sanctuary of tranquillity, far removed from the noise and pollution of city life.

What captivates me about Laanda Giraavaru is its untouched natural beauty—the azure waters, powdery white beaches are truly mesmerising, and the absence of urban chaos makes it an oasis of calm.

Beyond the breath-taking scenery, it's the people who make this destination truly exceptional. The team at Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru embodies warmth, hospitality, and an unwavering commitment to perfection.

Their attention to detail ensures that every experience, from the serene surroundings to the culinary delights, is nothing short of extraordinary. This island, with its uninterrupted calm and genuine human touch, has become my go-to retreat, providing a welcome respite from the demands of city life.

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru| Elegant Resorts


What is your most memorable holiday?

One of my most memorable holidays was in a remote part of the Pacific coastline of Mexico, where I had the privilege of staying with friends who owned a remarkable house in Costa Careyes. This extraordinary place was the vision of the late Gian Franco Brignone, an Italian banker and entrepreneur with a passion for unspoiled coastal beauty.

Drawn by the enchanting cliffs and jungle-covered hills, Gian Franco meticulously preserved this wild expanse along the pacific shoreline over 50 years. Costa Careyes, a private estate resort, emerged as a testament to his vision, featuring architectural wonders and stunning land art sculptures like Ojo de Venado and Arbol de Corazón.

This haven, part of the Chamela-Cuixmala Biosphere Reserve, spans 2000 hectares of jungle, mangroves, cliffs, and beaches. Immersed in the untouched beauty of Costa Careyes, surrounded by architectural marvels and good friends, made this holiday truly unforgettable.

Careyes ® - Official — Home 


What is your favourite season?

 Autumn is undoubtedly my favourite season, both for stylish dressing and for designing collections. The crisp temperatures provide the perfect opportunity to play with rich, jewel-toned hues, and luxurious textures, like sumptuous cashmere and elegant silks. I adore the seamless transition of autumn fashion from day to night, and embrace pieces adorned with jeweling and intricate details. It’s truly a season that allows for sartorial creativity and my favourite expression of style.

 15 Seasonal Design Ideas for Autumn Event Inspiration


Where in London do you go to let your hair down?

There's no better place than KOKO in Camden, an iconic building that has been magnificently transformed into a cultural hub with 'The House of KOKO', a private members club, a cafe, and incredible live music venue making it a truly unique fun night out, a haven for those seeking to let their hair down and embrace the spirit of London.

 The House of KOKO


Describe your perfect day in London.

A perfect day in London for me begins with a leisurely walk through the picturesque streets of Belgravia, surrounded by the endless rows of elegant, white stucco Georgian townhouses. The morning unfolds with a delightful breakfast at The Collins Room in The Berkeley, an experience made even more special by the warm hospitality of Maitre d' Antonio Sitzia.

For an afternoon of cultural indulgence, I love exploring the artistry of Apsley House, fondly known as Number One, London. This Georgian gem houses an exquisite art collection, featuring masterpieces by Velazquez and Rubens. It's a serene interlude before diving into the culinary delights that await at the newly opened Canton Blue at the Peninsula Hotel, where innovative Cantonese cuisine unfolds in beautifully designed spaces. The day's artistic journey continues with an exploration of the Gagosian Gallery in Mayfair, offering a leisurely immersion into the world of contemporary art.

As the day progresses, supper in the Foyer & Reading Room at Claridge’s is a must, enjoying culinary delights in an atmosphere of refined sophistication. As I live in Belgravia, I love to come home via The Berkeley and have a drink in the Berkeley Bar & Terrace, one of the stunning new bars designed by Bryan O'Sullivan from Bos Studio. Bryan's contemporary and unique design handwriting, characterized by exquisite detail and superb quality, creates a perfect setting for a nightcap.



Where in London do you recommend for a first date?

It is well known that several famous couples have met at Scarfes Bar at The Rosewood. Gorgeous cocktails in sophisticated drawing room atmosphere make it a perfect meeting spot. The live Jazz every day of the week offers a cosy atmosphere, and it helps if the date isn’t going well!



What is your favourite flower?

My absolute favourite flowers are delicate pale pink Peony Roses. I adore their fluffy texture, and to me, they are the perfect representation of springtime. I also have a deep appreciation for large, white orchids, especially those with a graceful, low-hanging bloom. I love filling my home with these exquisite blooms, arranging them in large groups to create a serene and elegant atmosphere.



If you could send flowers to only one person each week, who would that be and why?

Given that Neill is immersed in the beauty of exquisite florals each day, I suspect people rarely send him flowers. Sending flowers to Neill would, to me, be the ultimate acknowledgement of my appreciation for his craft. However, I would be hard pressed to find a florist up to the challenge of creating a bouquet as exquisite as Neill’s own work.


What is your favourite film of all time? 

While I have many favourite films, one that stands out for its style and consideration is "A Single Man," directed and written by Tom Ford. It's truly remarkable, especially considering it was his debut film. The poignant script, coupled with a wonderful cast, makes it an enduring favourite. Julianne Moore is also one of my favourite actresses, whom we once had the pleasure of dressing, and I still cherish the thoughtful note she sent.



Do you have a favourite book or author? 

Certainly, one of my favourite authors is Colm Tóibín, and his novel "Brooklyn" is an absolute gem. I adore how he weaves intricate narratives and delves into the complexities of human emotions. The film adaptation also captured the essence of the book beautifully.


Website: | Social Media: @louisekennedyofficial