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. []

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. []

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.[]

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: 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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