Thursday, December 26, 2013

Fashion, Fat, and the Power of a Pair of Shorts...

I think I first learned the power of clothing as a young teen, when a group of my teen peers descended on my house after a long bike ride in the New England summer heat. I offered cold juice and water and a few pairs of shorts to the girls, an innocent desire to share refreshment and clean clothes. One of the girls accepted a pair of my shorts, folded them in half and then laughed and said something along the lines of, "I'd have to fold them in half for them to fit me."

Boom.

Just like that, every negative voice in my life that had told me I was overweight, ugly, disproportionate, pudgy, fat, etc, came swirling together in confirmation, in the voice of a 13 year old girl. I'd heard it a million times from my father, a few bullies at school, some members of my extended family, but this was different. My shorts were a flag of fatness. My clothes were a mockery, twice as big as the clothes of my peers.

For many years after that incident, I found excuses to avoid wearing shorts. I was too warm or none of my shorts fit right. For every reason someone could suggest I bare my legs, there was a reason not to. And it wasn't just my legs, of course, it was everything, sometimes even my neck. I hid in clothes that were baggy and ill-fitting and far too mature for a teenager. For years I drowned in turtlenecks and baggy pants, long skirts and shapeless tops.

Many years later, after much soul (and clothing store) searching, I dared to wear a short dress with tights. It felt frightening at first, but it was just one step of many. And then it happened... some miraculous combination of style liberation (great cuts, great colors, great FASHION!) and bravery and a bit of extra spending money allowed me to buy clothes that I looked great in. I experimented with colors and shapes and styling, borrowed from various eras long past and created a few pieces all of my own.

Shockingly for someone who had gone though a painful 6 or 7 year period of hiding under unflattering clothes, I had good taste, daring style and original ideas. Unlike the years of disappearing into a crowd, I suddenly stood out of a crowd- and received positive feedback! People liked it!

Fashion is far more than pretty clothes on skinny people. Clothes have the power to make or break your day, your year, your era, your life. Clothes can drown you or they can announce your entrance. Clothes can help you blend in or they can turn you into a star. Glitter, fringe and feathers can tell the world that you're a sparkly and daring person inside, whatever size you happen to be. Clothes can make you feel taller, thinner, curvier, more powerful, whatever.

If you've ever found yourself drowning in unflattering, boxy, oversized clothes for the sake of someone who might ridicule you... there's a dress out there to change it all. Or a pair of jeans. Or a crazy great shirt. A hat! A chunky necklace. A short skirt.

Don't give up. Don't drown. If you're a warrior princess inside, buy some more studded jackets. If there's a Carrie Bradshaw inside you just dying to get out, wear that fluffy pink skirt and feathered headband. Find the clothes that make you feel how you WANT to feel, not how you think others see you. The more you dress like yourself, your true self, the more you'll see your true self. 

And so will everyone else.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Interview with Project Runway's Amanda Valentine



The delightful Amanda Valentine was kind enough to take time out of her very busy schedule recently to chat with me a bit about her life post-Project Runway. Amanda, who has created outfits for many of Nashville's finest, has a wicked sense of humor, great business sense and also happens to have a famous brother in a little band you may have heard of, called Maroon 5.

Read on to learn more about Amanda...

Q: I really enjoyed watching you on Project Runway! You have such an easy going vibe about you and it was clear very early on that you were already an expert at what you do. You know, I actually really liked your moss dress! How long had you been in the design business before appearing on Project Runway?

Dang it I liked my moss dress, too!  I wanted to take a totally different spin on it- make it 60s and cutesy and wearable.  Ugh, I digress.  I started sewing when I was about 8 years old.  I grew up watching my mother quilt and make clothing for all of her children (5 of us total).  I kept up with it through junior high and high school and got my degree in Clothing and Textile Design from my hometown university.  When I graduated I moved to Los Angeles and got involved in a different side of fashion- styling and fashion PR.  So I spent the next several years growing that career but unfortunately neglecting design.  I kept sewing through those all those years but it was Project Runway that reminded me how much I had always wanted to be a designer.  I think my easy going vibe comes from years of working with all walks of life in production- celebrities, crazy directors, ad execs and record label presidents.  You have to collaborate in a crew that big and I've learned to be calm and accommodating.  


 Q: A couple months ago I had a nice chat with Michelle for my radio show and she just raved about you. The two of you truly seem like an unstoppable team. She said she’d totally be up for collaborating with you… any plans in the works for that yet?

Don't you just love that gal? I swear, I saw her that FIRST day of filming and said to myself, "Oh, we're totally going to get along…"  If you could peg either one of us down long enough we'd love to do it!  We both have a thousand different things going on, but every once in a while we meet in LA to hang out for a couple days and fabric shop.  That's become our "thing"…. 


Q: Do you still attend a lot of post-Project Runway events? I know they always seem to be getting all of the contestants together for these great parties in New York City…

I try to!  Unfortunately I can't usually justify a trip to NYC just to party, but I love getting the invites!  Because I lived in LA, that's my go-to big city and where I usually source fabric, etc, so I don't get to NYC as much as I'd like.  I HAVE made really great friends with some of the other "alums"- and it' s so nice to keep in touch with them here and there.  


Q:  Admittedly I’m a huge fan of Miranda Lambert’s since way back when she was still opening for Keith Urban and hawking her debut single. She seemed like one of the more fair judges on the show, too, with a lot of really encouraging things to say. You’re a Nashville girl. How cool was it to have Miranda Lambert as a guest judge?

I was THRILLED.  I think a lot of the other contestants didn't "get" Nashville and didn't totally understand why I loved it so much, so it was nice to have this killer country star show them how happening we are!  And by then I was so homesick I couldn't stand it, so I was thrilled to have a piece of home in the big city!


Q: You’ve had several fashion shows since PR. What was your favorite?

I had an incredible show at an airplane hangar benefitting the TJ Martell foundation.  Any time we can associate fashion with a charitable cause is a thrill.  It's such a flighty and often superficial industry, it's nice to have the opportunity to give back.  And the TJ Martell foundation is such an innovative and still very "Nashville" organization (a music industry specific non profit that funds innovative medical research for leukemia, cancer and AIDS).  


Q: Your brother is in Maroon 5. Does his crazy music-world-domination life ever spill over to your life? Has he ever given YOU any style tips, or do you pass on any to him?

What's funny is his fans have become my fans!  They are loyal and sweet and were so supportive when I got on the show.  My first styling gig was their very first music video, Harder to Breath (I assisted their stylist).  So I really have him to thank for getting me into the biz!


Q: You make such wearable, beautiful pieces. If a fan wants to buy one of your pieces, where should they visit or who should they contact?

I sell some pieces at the Trunk (mobile fashion truck and at their East Nashville location).  I also sell through my website amandavalentine.com.  I'm having a huge trunk show/pop up shop December 14th at Urban Outfitters- along with other designs, vintage and food trucks!  It's going to be a blast!


Q: What’s the best way for your fans to keep up with what you’re doing these days?

I am an instagram fiend.  It's my favorite of the social networks.  Look for me @valentimes.


Q: Wacky question time! Which Disney cartoon character do you think you're most like?

A combo of Cruella Deville and Ariel.

Q: If you had to bake a pie for Gordon Ramsay or complete a challenge for Tyra Banks on America's Next Top Model, which would you rather attempt?

Make a pie!  I'm a maker of things, not a model.  Having my picture taken is torture.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Interview With Model Khloé Webster






Today's Kendry Bird blog guest is the lovely model, ballerina and Miss Hawaii Teen contestant Khloé Webster! I had the honor of chatting with her about her aspirations in modeling, her favorite Starbucks drink, designers she loves and much more.

Q: Aloha! How old were you when you first realized you wanted to model?


I was 17 when I realized that I wanted to model. Ever since I was young, I remember lots of people telling me that I should be a model. I think it’s because I am 5’11 and Euro Asian. Many people call me the “Universal Asian” because they think I am Japanese, Chinese or Korean. Since I was training in ballet, that was my main focus, but one day when I was looking through Vogue and I saw all of the beautiful models and designs they were wearing, that’s when I said to myself  “I want to be a Supermodel."






Q: Who would you most love to model for?


My biggest dream is to work with Karl Lagerfeld and to be his new muse for Chanel. I absolutely love his work and artistic view. I have been a huge fan of Karl for a long time so it would be a dream come true to work with him! 




Q: You seem to do a lot of traveling- where are some of your favorite places in the world?


My favorite place in the world is the Big Apple. I went there for the first time last summer for a summer intensive at the Joffrey Ballet School for six weeks and I had the best time of my life. I enjoy New York so much because it’s the perfect place for fashion, the arts and ballet. I definitely hope to go back there soon! I would love to sign with a top modeling agency in New York City!




Q: Oh, NYC is the dream. The destination for almost everything America has to offer. So, what is your normal day-to-day style like?


My normal day-to-day style is elegant and chic. I love lots of pinks, creams, pastels and bright colors! And of course, black is always chic.





Q: I know you like One Direction. Who is your favorite(s) from the band?


Yes, One Direction! I love all of the guys from the band. They are so talented and I think that they are all cute and funny in their own way, but Harry Styles would have to be my favorite. I love Harry’s hipster style and his humor. And when he sings my heart melts, sounds silly but it’s true! Haha! I would love to meet One Direction someday and attend their concert as a VIP.




Q: What magazine would you most like to grace the cover of?


Vogue. I adore Vogue so much. It is one of my go-to magazines to see the latest style trends. I also enjoy looking at the international Vogue magazines from all over the world. To grace the cover of every top fashion magazine would be amazing!


Q: Who are some of your favorite clothing designers?


Some of my favorite designers are Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Dianne Von Furstenberg, Betsey Johnson, Dior, Dmitry Sholokhov, Miu Miu and Kenzo.



Q: How can your fans keep up with your career?


For modeling I created a Twitter account. My fans can follow me at https://twitter.com/KhloeWebster

I also have a Facebook Fan Page. Fans can follow me there at https://www.facebook.com/KhloeAWebster



Good to know! And people liking your facebook fanpage will also show support for you, so everyone should click that LIKE button! Alright... You know what it is next! Wacky question time!

Q:  I know you’re a Project Runway fan, like I am. Which Project Runway designer would you like to go on a fashionable adventure with? 


I would really enjoy going on a fashionable adventure with Dmitry Sholokhov. I love his designs because they are so elegant and classy. It would be fun to go shopping with him and discuss how life is as a designer. I would also love to hear about his experience on Project Runway. He seems to be a very kind and fun person. And he is also very handsome.


Q: If you could be one other person for a whole day, who would you be?


I would choose to be Cara Delevigne. As a model, she is someone I really look up to. She is so young and unique. I’ve seen her in all of my fashion magazines, modeling for every top designer. I also enjoy seeing her on the runway for fashion week. Being Cara for a day would be an amazing experience as a model and I would gain a lot of knowledge about modeling since I am fresh.






Q: If you could only drink one drink at Starbucks for a year, but it would be free, which would you choose?


Starbucks has so many wonderful choices! I would order a tall, green tea frappuccino with soy milk. Green tea is one of my favorite flavors and is always a yummy treat!  

Thank you so much for joining us, Khloé! Anyone reading this who would like to learn more about Khloé should follow her on twitter and like her fanpage.


Friday, November 8, 2013

Help Angie Bacskocky Win a Grant!

You may remember that I interviewed Angie for my blog a while back- she was the very first interview for the new Kendry Bird blog, in fact!

Angie needs 250 votes to be eligible for a grant. You can help by taking just a moment to vote for her right here:

https://www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/business/detail/35814

Feel free to pass this information on and help out an indie artist!

For more about Angie's work, visit her website: http://angelabacskocky.com/res/

New Interview with Project Runway Season 12's Kate Pankoke

I had the pleasure of interviewing Project Runway Season 11 & 12's Kate Pankoke. Listen in as we talk about weddings, princesses and Zac Posen:



Make sure to follow this blog for lots more interviews and fashion goodness!

IIMUAHII Debuts Innovative "Koji" Bag

Project Runway S10/All Stars S3's Elena Slivnyak has just debuted a truly badass and innovative accessory, the "Koji" bag. The Koji bag features a detachable bracelet and can be worn several different ways. In addition to being fashion-forward and fierce, it has been created with sustainable consciousness from locally (to San Francisco) sourced materials.

This is a bag I would love to have in my closet...

To learn more about the bag: http://iimuahii.com/iimuahii-koji-multi-purpose-handbag/ To purchase the bag: http://iimuahii.com/shop/koji-multi-purpose-handbag/

To see Elena on Project Runway All Stars, tune into Lifetime on Thursday nights!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Interview with Project Runway's Alexandria Von Bromssen

Here's the uncensored interview I had recently with Project Runway Season 12 Runner Up Winner Alexandria Von Bromssen:



Remember to subscribe to my channel for lots more interviews: http://www.youtube.com/user/KendraLSaunders and follow this blog for print interviews, updates and lots more!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Kendry Bird Interviews Project Runway's Gunnar Deatherage

Recently I had the honor to speak with Project Runway Season 10's Gunnar Deatherage. Since leaving Project Runway, Gunnar has kept quite busy with his passions, delighting customers at his salon and taking part in creating photospreads for NFOCUS Magazine Louisville.

Here's the interview in full:


Q: Hello, Gunnar! First of all, I have to say- and I’m not the only one to think this- I think you have the most epic name not only of anyone on Project Runway but of a real person on TV. You sound like some really cool character from a dystopian novel or something. How do you feel about your name? And as a novelist myself, would you be okay with me using the name Gunnar at some point in tribute…?

A:I actually really enjoy my name! I never actually put much thought into what my name consisted of growing up, so it wasnt ever a big thing. When I moved away, the hype on just the name itself was unreal. And I promise, it is my birth given name! I just have cool parents I guess! And by all means, you can most definitely use the name in one of your novels!
 
Q: You seem to have been up to a lot since your appearance on Project Runway Season 10, including providing some much needed (and much appreciated!) hair love for friends and fans at your salon. Can you tell us a bit about that?

A: Well, I have always been a hairstylist. Even before people knew me for fashion I did hair. I went to beauty school, in hopes of supporting myself on my hunt for fashion, and it did exactly that for me. Upon returning home from Project Runway, I was super burnt-out on sewing, so I focused my attention on my roots, which were in the salon. I'm also the creative director for NFOCUS Magazine Louisville. I put together their fashion spreads and cover photos. I find that it allows me to still remain in the fashion world without having to kill myself behind a sewing machine!
 
Q: Many people might not realize this, but your appearance on S10 of Project Runway was actually your second time on the show, isn’t that right?

A: Yes! I was on season 9 as well! Although my efforts didn't get me nearly as far, I think going to New York for Season 9 prepared me for the gruesome process that is reality tv.

Q: I was so touched by how sweet you were with the gal you made over on Project Runway. I think that sticks out in all of our minds, considering someone else there didn’t give his client quite the same treatment! Have you had other experiences like that since leaving the show… just really making someone’s day with a great outfit or make over?

A:The attention from that episode was so overwhelming in the best way! I feel that's how I was best represented on the show. That's what I enjoy doing at home, and in the salon. I listen to what someone wants, and I interpret it in my own way without losing their initial vision. I think to be successful in anything you must learn to listen. One of my favorite moments with someone who had watched was at the Lord & Taylor event at Fashion's Night Out last year. The makeover challenge had just aired, and we were out walking the red carpet and mingling. When I had to go to the restroom on the lower level, I was stopped by a Lord & Taylor employee who proceeded to cry and thank me for how I made my client feel, and for standing up for plus size women. That is hands down my favorite memory post-Project Runway.

Q: Have you kept in contact with your fellow contestants from Project Runway?

A: I still keep in contact with a few of my fellow contestants! One of my favorite people was Elena, and I'm thoroughly enjoying watching her on Project Runway AllStars!
 
Q: Are you still designing clothes?

A: Not at the moment. I think I'm waiting to be fully inspired and for the timing to be right. Fashion is my art, not my job, and I want to make sure to distinguish the two of those.
 
Q: What is your absolute favorite piece of clothing or accessory that you own?

A: My prized possession is a black and grey vintage Michael Jackson-esque jacket! I wear mostly black and grey, and that is my fall staple!
 
Q: I love InStyle magazine… do you have a favorite fashion magazine?

A: Well I worship W Magazine, and V. However, I look to Vogue to see what people are actually wearing. I much prefer the editorial side of things but I think that the street style is just as important!
 
Q: Any of your fans you want to give a special shoutout to?

My tumblr and Twitter fans are awesome!!! My tumblr fans are always making the funniest gifs of me, and writing cool things! My twitter fans are cool by listening to me actually vent! I use twitter to be really honest about things I feel strongly about and I like that they not only support but also get a laugh from it!
 
Q: How can fans keep up with what you’ve got going on these days, Gunnar?
 
My website www.GunnarDeatherage.com always has my newest and up to date work on it, and I'm always on my social media sites that are also linked up to my website!
 
 
For those reading who would like to make a hair appointment with Gunnar, you can do so through facebook or you can call his salon to make an appointment.
 
Thank you so much for joining us, Gunnar! We all wish you the best (and if I'm ever in town, I'll definitely make an appointment at your salon ;) )
 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Miranda Kay Levy's Kickstarter Has 5 Days to Go!

Miranda Kay Levy, a recent guest of mine on IPMNation, has only 5 days left of her kickstarter. You can help her out by donating anything or by sharing her kickstarter link. She only needs to raise $580 more to make her goal... come on guys, you can help her do this! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1375067643/miranda-levy-of-project-runway-2014-collection 

Miranda's offering custom lipglosses, cool scarves and a lot of other great stuff as pledge prizes. Plus, if you donate $50, she may or may not make me a killer hot plaid pencil skirt. (And really, I need one of those!) Tweet, reblog, repost and share!

In case you don't know about Miranda, she's a Project Runway Season 12 contestant, a veteran and all around a very cool gal. I hung out with her at Fashion Week and we talked about super heroes, clothes, high heels, expensive wine and lots of other great stuff.

Get to it, fashionistas!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Upcoming Interviews and Much More!

I'm excited to announce that I have some REALLY great interviews coming up with fashion designers and models! I'm thrilled to have these guests on my blog and you'll want to hear what they say, so make sure to follow the blog for updates. I'll be interviewing Alexandria Von Bromssen and Kate Pankoke for IPMNation soon and will make sure to post youtube links from those interviews as well, once they're up. Congrats to Dom Streater for her win on Project Runway Season 12!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Dmitry Sholokhov at Panama Fashion Week

Dmitry Sholokhov, Project Runway Season 10 winner, just showed a collection at Panama Fashion Week 2013. You can see photos of his new pieces on the runway and for a photoshoot over at his facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dmitry.sholokhov Seriously fashion-crushing on that gold jacket with the fringe sleeves!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Interview with Project Runway's Karen Batts



Here is the recent interview I did with lovely Karen Batts. Karen is one of the friendliest people I've had the pleasure of chatting with, and you will love hearing her talk about her passion for vintage, Drew Barrymore and how she felt about Michael Kors' guest appearance on Project Runway.

Enjoy!


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Dress in progress...

My sister, who works under her Payton label, is creating a special dress for me, just for my signing at New York Comic Con! I'm so excited. I asked her for something with a post-apocalyptic vibe. She's totally making it happen! Here's some sneak peeks as it's being constructed into something awesome...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Interview with Project Runway Season 12's Miranda Kay Levy




Novelist Kendra L. Saunders interviews fashion designer Miranda Kay Levy for IPMNation.com about her kickstarter program, her plans for 2014, her time in the military, her feelings about Mondo, what she'd dress Zac Posen in and much, much more.

Make sure to check out Miranda's website: http://mirandaklevy.com/
Miranda's twitter: https://twitter.com/mirandalevy
Miranda's kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1375067643/miranda-levy-of-project-runway-2014-collection

For more of Kendra's interviews with creative professionals, subscribe to this channel and visit her website www.kendralsaunders.com

Kendra's twitter @kendrybird / instagram @kendralsaunders

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Half Lucid Jewelry

So... I did it. I did the thing. I finally, after loads of requests, opened an etsy account. http://www.etsy.com/shop/HalfLucidJewelry?ref=l2-shopheader-name Half Lucid is so named because the lovely Fabio Costa made a comment to me about some earrings I made while recovering from sinus surgery, and the name stuck. The jewelry has magical, colorful and somewhat melancholy themes. The main attraction, though, now and probably forevermore, are the "Babecatcher" earrings. They can be made in a variety of colors, and all of the details are on the etsy page. Enjoy! :)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Cool Fan Art of Dmitry Sholokhov

Here's the awesome fan art my comic artist sister made for Dmitry Sholokhov, called "Dmitry Takes Over the Fashion World." Very cool!

Dmitry will be showing a collection in a couple weeks at Panama Fashion Week. Make sure to keep an eye on his twitter and instagram ( @dmitrysholokhov ) as well as his website for more information!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Interview with Fabio Costa and Rebecca Diele of NotEqual

The last time I spoke with NotEqual, Fabio Costa and Rebecca Diele were breathlessly caught up in the hurricane that is Kickstarter. Days before their crowdsourcing deadline, they had just returned from their fashion show in El Paseo and spoke to me early on a Sunday morning with an impressive calm and focus.
A couple months on, they have completed a successful Kickstarter campaign and are busy preparing for shows and fielding media attention...

Q: Fabio, Rebecca, congratulations on successfully completing your Kickstarter. I can’t help thinking your success hinges a lot on the unique perspective you bring to fashion through gender-neutral clothing that is still enviably hip. For the uninitiated, tell us a little about NotEqual’s place in the fashion industry.


Quite honestly we're still figuring it out, a discovery we're excited to experience. Our intention, however, is to embrace the idea of the organic human form, which fundamentally is gender-neutral and challenge people to find that part of themselves in our pieces, where self-expression is not man or woman, but both.



Q: I’ve seen comments from your fans about how much they appreciate your gender neutral clothing. Would both of you say that freedom for gender expression in clothes comes from your own lives?


We did not set out consciously to express our experiences in our designs; however, growing up, we played with various concepts of style, sending a personal message through fashion of who we were and how we wanted to be viewed. This message was usually unconventional and acknowledged sexuality, gender and social variables. Now, we have a clearer and broader understanding of these topics and we aim to help people express themselves through our clothing, free from social paradigms.




Q: Tell us more about your unique sizing structure.


In nature, there is a harmony in proportions, also repeated in the human body, this is referred to in scientific literature as the golden ratio. We create designs that correspond to this ideal and have based our measuring and pattern system on it as well. This approach has resulted in a new, genderless sizing scale, with three sizes.




Q: When you’re putting together a runway presentation, what is the most important element you focus on?


Cohesion is very important. Each collection proposes something new and a runway presentation is really all about telling a story, one that brings each audience member into the experience. They become participants in our vision and by the end of the presentation are excited and inspired by it. We hope, then, that they can see at the very least, a part of themselves in our collection.




Q: What about for photoshoots?


It's an opportunity for the actual concept to come through and for the collection pieces to have their moment in the spotlight (literally!). We look at our photo shoots as a collaborative experience, relishing the opportunity to work with different artists (makeup, stylist, hair etc.) to express the concept and show off the collection details.




Q: Well, for those who haven't seen one of your incredible photoshoots, they need to check out "Proportion Studies." Such a great shoot! Now, who is your NotEqual customer?

Someone with a sense of independence, with courage, who prefers to take a risk, especially risks related to our aesthetic. But we also think our customer is very aware of styling and will fit our pieces into her/his wardrobe with a certain joie de vivre.



Q: How much influence does Brooklyn have on NotEqual?


We get a lot of inspiration from our environment and since we spend time in Brooklyn, naturally there is some influence, however it is a secondary influence, not a direct one.



Q: I can’t help thinking, Fabio, that your taste for musicians like Andrew Bird, Grizzly Bear and St. Vincent comes across in the breezy, hip vibe of your creations. How much influence does folk and indie music have on NotEqual?


When you take the digital production away from music, you get to see soul. Folk music feels more like a simple, organic expression and I think this is what I also try to capture in my work.



Q: Fabio, what is your advice to artists who have achieved a major goal- say runner up on Project Runway- to keep the ball rolling after their success?


Partner up with a good friend, because you can't do it alone! No really, it's important to find those partners and supporters who will embark on the journey with you.

But most importantly, don't give up. Do whatever you need to do, just make sure you continue to do what you love. Because there is nothing better.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fashionably spotted in NYC...

I feel quite honored to have been in at least two New York Fashion Week features!

1. http://www.buzzfeed.com/maceyjforonda/street-style-surveys-what-are-the-ideal-stats-for-a-fashion

2. http://tomseyeview.wordpress.com/2013/09/08/spring-2014-ny-fashion-week-101-beautiful-women

So cool!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Interview with Project Runway's fashion designer Angela Bacskocky



Over the weekend I had the incredible pleasure of meeting Project Runway designers, including Angela Bacskocky, a contestant from Season 12. Angela, who is petite, beautiful and amiable in person, is making the best of her post-Project Runway time, launching right into a new fashion line with a fascinating theme.

Below is the interview I conducted with her about New York City, her new Martyr line and why she changed from blonde to fiery red-head…


Q: It was lovely to visit with you recently in New York City during Fashion Week. How did it feel to be back in New York?

A: It's always great to be in NY. Fashion Week and Project Runway is always so hectic. It was a whirlwind. Great to see everyone again though! My soul sister from season 12, Kahindo, had her own show and pop-up shop during fashion week and that was a highlight. [http://www.modahnik.com/]


Q: How has New York influenced your personal style, if at all?

A: While filming Project Runway, I became obsessed with the Empire State Building as it was prominent in the view from my hotel window. I drew it and painted it and photographed it and the art deco architecture is playing into my new work.


Q: Do you wear a lot of clothes you make?

A: I do wear some clothes that I make. But I'm always selling all of my stock and that often doesn't leave anything left for me to wear! I definitely always try to carry one of my leather tote bags, especially when traveling. They're perfect weekender bags. [http://angelabacskocky.bigcartel.com/product/the-cocoon-tote-in-waxed-oxblood]


Q: You recently switched up your hair color from the delicate blonde pixie we saw on Project Runway to a fierce Tilda-Swinton-esque red. What influenced the change and how has life been as a redhead?

A: I have a habit of taking on the persona of each new collection I'm working on. My last line was called Ghost and I went from my natural brown hair to white blonde because it seemed the most appropriate for the concept. My new spring line is called Martyr and Tilda Swinton was definitely an inspiration, as well as Cate Blanchet. The Martyr is fiery and feisty and she seems like a redhead for sure. I'm constantly my own muse.


Q: I love that idea of you being your own muse. I think that organically makes for more interesting clothes and art in general. Now, I noticed something about a photography collaboration you did for the Ghost line. Can you tell me a bit more about that and if you’ll be doing something similar for Martyr?

A: Everything I do is personal and each collection is a reflection of my emotional state at that time. I relate more to artists Sophie Calle and Cindy Sherman, who immerse themselves in their self-exposing work, than most fashion designers. The concepts become the most important thing, the way to keep it interesting for me and give me something to obsess over. The clothes and accessories become sellable relics of the grand idea.


Several photographers and filmmakers and I were working on a short film (and several photography collaborations) for Ghost at the beginning of this year and I have not abandoned that idea. Each collection merges into the next, telling a progressive story, so I can see Ghost and Martyr meshing seamlessly and the film (already in progress) can include both bodies of work. Martyr is just the next chapter and I'm already daydreaming about the chapter beyond that... Maybe this short film will become a feature length..


Q: I love that. The fusion of photography, film and fashion seems like the way of the future- and truly a storyteller’s toolbox! Now, you have a show coming up very soon. When and where is that?

A: I'm showing during Market Week at Coast Shows on Monday & Tuesday (Sept 16&17). I'm doing an installation/performance piece for Martyr whilst also attempting to sell spring orders. We'll have a live model presentation inside a sculptural installation that we're creating. Craziness! Should be quite cool.[http://www.coastshows.com/]


Q: What is the best way for your fans to keep up with what you’re up to?

A: My site has all the pertinent information and links to all the good stuff on the web concerning Angela Bacskocky: http://angelabacskocky.com/ I have a Tumblr and I Instagram quite a bit and I still love Facebook...

Q: Thank you. It’s truly been an honor to speak with you, Angela!
Note: You can learn a lot more about Angela’s exciting fusion of creativity on her website, which I certainly suggest you visit. Her tumblr has shots from the Ghost collaboration, also worth checking out! Please feel free to leave a comment for Angela below, if you’d like. Thank you for reading!





*Kendra L. Saunders is the author of magic realism novel Inanimate Objects and the upcoming dark comedy Death and Mr. Right (Spence City, 10/2013). She is an author, interviewer, freelancer and fashionista. Find her on twitter and instagram at @kendrybird

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