Right before fashion week, we visited Erin Fetherston to discuss with her the A/W 08 collection. The collection, inspired by Juliet, was atmospherically dark and romantic, it seemed align with Fetherston's whimsical aesthetic though sultry in a way that was advanced. She showed us the rich jewel tones, printed florals, and classical imagery which inspired the collection, but nothing, naturally, compares with seeing it on the runway. With our pre-fashion week video, here's a taste of what goes into pulling together a collection and preparing for the big show.
Last week, designer Elise Overland showed us around her studio and spoke to us about her A/W 08 collection. Overland will be drawing from Ski (a large 1970's era photograph of her father skiing poised in the middle of her inspiration board) and dance clothing in order to balance masculine and feminine elements and experiment with utility-based garments in a ready to wear context. The collection will also include special hardware (though how it will manifest, we shall have to see) inspired by antique pieces she's collected from all over the world. Overland's aesthetic is very much of the jetset boheme, when entering her studio one feels as though they've stepped into Miss Havisham's boudoir where stacks of records, plush chairs, and worldly treasures trivialize everyday obligations.
Ashleigh Verrier, though young, and a relative newcomer... (her first show was in Spring 2007, when she won the UPS Delivering Fashion's Future award), has received support from some of the most established fashion companies.
Ashleigh Verrier, though young, and a relative newcomer... (her first show was in Spring 2007, when she won the UPS Delivering Fashion's Future award), has received support from some of the most established fashion companies. Her senior thesis collection was picked up by Saks, and now, for A/W 08, she's teamed up with Swarovksi, who will supply her with crystals for the Russian Imperialism inspired collection. Verrier is breaking the rules because, rather than simply associating with what's young and hip (which we would be easy, because she is rather young and hip), she's cultivating a label synonymous with luxury, aimed at a higher age demographic than that which she belongs to. In other words, she's working on cultivating a brand with staying-power.
Last week, we visited Sylvia Heisel at her garment district studio (immaculate!) to see her A/W 08 collection and catch up with her preparations for fashion week. Part of Heisel's collection is represented by classic silhouettes in new colors (where the other part is concept-driven), the deep reds in this section were the most striking. One fantastic hot pink frock, served as the perfect example of a 'what might this dress become' moment. Heisel's global sensibilities and mature taste make for an aesthetic that is highly marketable and appropriately modern.
One of the designers in our pre-fashion week video series is New York designer Chris Han. Han's traditionally dark palate in trim silhouettes, is not without a particular lightness (manifested, in the past, with chiffon, beading, and draping) that make her designs well-balanced and, therefore, well received. This time around, Han tells us about her A/W 08 collection, inspired by angelic imagery, and her preparations for fashion week. Fashion week is just around the corner, so here's a taste of what it takes to make it happen.
Last week, as part of our pre-Fashion Week video series, we were invited to Joanna Mastroianni's studio to hear her talk about her A/W 08 collection and her preparations for fashion week. Having worked as a designer for over twenty years, she a graceful aplomb that reflects her extensive experience creating collections that inspire the wider design community. In an age where partying and visibility are signs of a successful designer it was refreshing to engage with someone who values the craft over bread and circus. We left the studio, literally, in a fit of inspiration, mouths agape, when one of us broke the silence with 'I want to live there. In that studio. With her. You know? Do you know what I mean? I bet she has really nice bathrobes.'. At this point in her career, as other designers leave their work to an under class of creative personalities, her involvement couldn't be more grounding.
Joanna took us through the collection from starting from its first stages as a nugget of condensed information. We realized, while other designers have inspiration boards replete with kitschy references and brooding moods, Joanna has a conceptual and visual arsenal. Where other designers explain 'and then I made this dress', Joanna explains 'and then I made this drawing, and then this embroidery, and then these six interpretations of that embroidery, and then this panel, and then this dress.' The idea is not that other designers are somehow lazing through the creative process, rather, that Joanna is so meticulous in her involvement that her vision and work leaves others in the dust. It is no wonder she is such a success.
Last week, we met with English designer Sue Stemp for a pre-fashion week interview and tour of her studio. This will be the sixth collection for Sue Stemp, who is known for her English boheme sensibilities and New York know-how. This season, Stemp draws inspiration from the famous restaurant, Maxim's, for its art nouveau interior and its social scene in the 1970's.