What two people do you most admire in fashion design?
Selecting only two people is very difficult for me. I admire so many different people for different reasons. In high fashion, I would have to say Betsy Johnson and Marc Jacobs. Both have had long careers that curved and swayed. Yet, both have persevered holding tight to their own personal style along the way. I still remember the first time I went into a Betsy Johnson store. It was in a mall in California. All the bright colors and rich textures were very exciting to me. Marc Jacobs is one of those designers who I remember from fashion magazines. He has always got something between the pages that demands a second look as I flip through the pages. I think the way these designers influenced me the most is with the way they have incorporated vintage style and the pop art movement into their perspective styles.
In the local [Phoenix] design scene I most admire Emily Jean of MLE and Kate Morrow of Alpha Girl. I work with both of these designers and they too personify vintage style and pop art influence. Plus they work with handmade and reconstructed garments, and I get to talk to them regularly about fashion design and trends. They probable influence me more than anyone else out there right now.
Where do you design most often?
I find myself thinking about designing randomly at grocery store, while I am driving, and sometimes when I am sleeping. I think that like any other artist or designer the images follow me around and grow. Eventually, I just write them down wherever I am so that I don?t loose them. When I actually sit down to make the garments I am usually in my bedroom. I have it set up like a mini studio. I used to have a studio in downtown Phoenix, but I always wound up bringing everything home to work on anyways, so I moved out.
What one accessory should most outfits have?
Every outfit is complete with a good pair of shoes. No matter how put together the rest of the outfit is, if the shoes don?t pull it all together it just won?t work. I have outfits I have been waiting to wear forever, but I have to wait until I find the right shoes.
Everyday what trends do you notice women wearing?
I notice everyday that women follow trends. I wish more women went with their own personalities and body types. Just because everyone else is wearing it doesn?t mean it looks good. The jersey knit Gaucho pants are a perfect example of pants that everyone is wearing, but not everyone looks good in. I prefer pedal pushers or three quarter length pants myself. They embody the same idea, but look better on a wider variety of body types.
What is the most important thing to consider when picking an outfit?
When you are picking out an outfit to wear it is important to decide if you are dressing for fashion or function? If you are going on a dinner date and intend to sit all night then those cute little toe clinchers will be perfect with that delicate chiffon dress. But I cringe when I see people limping on a walk with perspiration marks on their dress, because their night took them to more adventurous places than they were prepared for.
Not only is it important to dress for comfort, but also for fit. Again, just because everyone else is wearing it, doesn?t mean it looks good on you.
Interviewed on 2006-02-01