A few days ago, I took to my Facebook page and put it out there that I would answer ten fashion questions. Doing posts like this are always my favorite, and most fun posts. Not only do I get to share a little of my fashion knowledge, but I get to know more of you. Lets get started.
1- What is your favorite way of combining black and white?
I love combining black and white in every way. I enjoy clashing black and white patterns (checks with stripes and polka dots). To me, it gives them an edge and provides a kaleidoscope effect.
2- From your point of view, is the claim “Black goes with everything” justified? Why or why not?
Black goes with everything is justified because, like white it is the absence of colour and whatever doesn’t have colour, enhances the colours used. Black can make things darker. White can make things brighter.
3- In the fashion world, what do you think should be the most important factor that drives the success of a collection? Design and creativity/originality, profitability and marketability, or ready to wear everyday accessability for public purchase?
That is a good question. It would depend on the designer. Success of your collection comes from all three of those things in any combination. When I was studying design in school, we were always taught to know your customer. You have to know who you’re creating for, be it menswear or womenswear. The success of your collection comes from what you can offer your customer that makes sense with what you do (i.e. Burberry is successful because they still flip the script on their classic trench and all the clothes they make are in line with their brand identity, even when Burberry went through their chav/football hooligan period). A customer has to see how it can fit into their lives (i.e. can it be worn to work, cocktail party, etc.) and go with what they already own. It also has to be accessable (i.e. online or in store) and can still be worn, even if it’s no longer the trendy piece or brand.
4- Which fashion period would be the most fascinating for you to work in?
The 1970’s, definitely!!! Fashion exploded with so many different things. Designer jeans came into the picture (Jordache, Sassoon, Sergio Valente). Stretch fabrics were used for clothes to wear to the discos and the streets. High and low fashion came into play. Polyester fabrics and blends went into everything and made fashion fun, colourful and accessable to everyone.
5- What was the first thing you made, fashion wise?
A white gown with a shoulder overlay and a V-shaped neckline. I made it for a drag show that I was in. I also hand sewn the whole thing. That was when I knew that I wanted to focus on designing clothes. This was also during my club kid period, so the pieces gradually got more outrageous and colourful.
6- Do you think fashion sense is genetic?
No. Fashion sense is all about style. Style can be taught, but you have to have an eye for things which is something you can develop over time. It’s more than matching colours. Personal style comes from being able to put together the things that showcase the best sides of yourself, that showcase you in the best light. When you have personal style and fashion sense, along with confidence, your look should be effortless. You can always spot the ones that are trying to hard. It should never look like you’re trying too hard. You should look like you’re comfortable and having fun, even if the look doesn’t work.
7- Do you wear underwear with your kilt?
No. I’d be kicked in the head by a Scotsman if I wore underwear under my kilt.
8- Why are men still wearing trousers? Apart from Gaultier, who else is out there creating changing fashion for us?
There are many designers creating unisex fashion and more outrageous menswear (see blog post about unisex fashion), but as much as they are creating it, only a small segment of men are accepting it. If more men did accept wearing skirts of all types as well as dresses, then it would take off. The problem is that it gets fed into the trend cycle thing and that makes it like a passing fad. Also most men associate skirts and dresses with womenswear, which doesn’t help. Guys hate being ridiculed by their peers, so you gotta have steel balls to do any of these types of looks.
9- Are we witnessing the death of fashion (as we know it) as it was forecast by Li Edelkoort last year?
I don’t think this is the death of fashion. I think this is the death of creativity in fashion. To me, the fantasy element of fashion is gone. Even innovation has disappeared in some cases. There used to be a time when a designer would come up with something innovative (a new fabric, a new way to wear something, a new silhouette, etc.) that would revolutionize the way we dressed and the way we saw fashion. Now, every designer wants to look like every other designer, so there is no real signature, and everyone wants to look like (insert celebrity/reality tv star name) without bringing anything of their own to it. Individuality used to be something everyone craved. Now, no one wants to go near it. Designers used to want to be completely different from each other (i.e. if Karl Lagerfeld did black, Yves Saint Laurent would do white). They would acknowledge their influences of each other (even if they were rivals), but now most of them want to do the same exact things, so it all looks generic. I understand that is more because of the conglomerates that are taking over fashion, because to them, it’s about the bottom line, not the artistry.
10- If you could be mentored by any designer alive or dead, who would it be?
Alive, would be Vivienne Westwood. She embodies everything I dreamed London would be. Her attitude speaks to me more than any other designer. She is willing to go against the grain and challenge the status quo. You have to be a certain kind of person to wear her clothes. Her punk beginnings and life shows that she doesn’t compromise who she is. You either get in where you fit in or hang on for the ride. Love that about her and that’s how I am.
Dead- Yves Saint Laurent. He always knew how to bring the fantasy to the street, from couture house to the corner. His attitude speaks to me as well. He always wants the glamour to show, no matter where you are, no matter who you are. He never compromised who he was. He made you get hip to him. He would be the first to say “fuck you” and do things his way and you would fall to his feet as he reminded you that he told you so. This is the kind of designer that needs to exist now.
So, there it is everyone!!! The answers to my ten fashion questions. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I have. Let me know what you think!!!
Stay fashionable and sexy!!!