Thursday, November 25, 2010

Interview with : Kay Weston of Push It Magazine ( part 2 )

Ann Demeulemeester - Nilupul Hettaiarachchige
 If you haven’t read the first part of this new segment, I advise you to do it. You will learn more about an inspiring young person named Kay Weston, the Contributing Print Editor of Push It magazine, who has a lot to say about fashion journalism and the industry in general. This second part will incidentally be devoted to Kay’s view on fashion and to her personal favourite things.

In some previous articles, I have already questioned a particular phenomenon of fashion, that is to say the comeback of past decades in nowadays’ collections. So I have asked Kay if she thought that fashion was constantly repeating itself or, instead, if new things were genuinely created. “With fashion, you can’t reinvent the wheel completely,” she answers. “In a certain sense, fashion is quite cyclical. The same trends do keep coming around, but there’s always a different ‘take’ on it each time it re-emerges.”
She also slips in that the trend of vintage has somehow changed the deal, “it’s not so much of an issue if you do wear something from a previous season. It’s becoming a lot more relaxed. It’s not so much what you wear, it’s how you wear it.”

Lina Österman - Hannah Marshall
But, Miss Weston definitely believes that the industry is moving forward. Personally, she is not the kind of person who likes to reflect on the past in terms of fashion, and she doesn’t think that a time period or a country should deserve more attention than another. She is rather thrilled by new designers and she praises initiatives such as those of NEWGEN, Fashion East and the Vauxhall Talent Scout, who are “so important in launching the careers of designers who perhaps otherwise wouldn’t have had a chance to bring their designs to the masses.”
Kay is confident about the future of United Kingdom in this area. “I do think that the UK has some impressive and diverse design talent, and both London Fashion Week and Graduate Fashion Week really demonstrate this.”
Speaking of young talents, she is glad that they are receiving more support and media coverage, “as it can be incredibly difficult to make your name as a designer, especially right now with the recession.” I guess that she gives her approval to the website ‘Young British Designers’, another initiative that proves that the British fashion industry is looking to the future.

Rick Owens - Laura Theiss
 “What marks out a good designer is [his] ability to take something that has been done before and put [his] own stamp on it”, she says. “The really great thing about emerging designers today is that they are utterly unafraid of pushing boundaries, experimenting with ideas and challenging people’s perceptions of fashion.”

Her favourite young designers all fit that description, and she jokes about how her goth roots influence her picks, who all work incorporate darker elements into their designs. “They’re not exactly ‘new’, but I love Viktor and Rolf for their innovation,” she starts. Following the Dutch famous designers is a list of the rising stars of the moment. Gareth Pugh, of course, and Belgian designer Ann Demeulemeester. The other names may be less known for you: there are the avant-gardists Lina Österman and her rock’n’roll rag dolls’ silhouettes, Californian Rick Owens, known for his subversive point of view, the London designer Hannah Marshall and her sharp and aesthetic creations, and also the Finnish designer Heikki Salonen, who mixes a certain solemnity with boldness.
Derek Lawlor - Gabriella Marina Gonzales
 “I love knitwear too,” she continues, “so I’m going to say Derek Lawlor, Laura Theiss, Craig Lawrence and Mark Fast.” She insists on Markus Lupfer’s name being added to the list, even confessing that her dream is “to own one of his sweaters, I’m obsessed with them.”

I can’t help saying that the creations of Lawlor remind me of the liquorice rolls of my childhood, which is not necessarily negative. The sweaters and dresses of English designer Lawrence are truly Dantesque, with some likeness with Sandra Backlund (you can read my article about her ). His fellow-citizen Mark Fast is more obsessed with transparency and crochet. It is pointless to introduce Theiss and Lupfer, well-known in the industry for their cunning and vivid creations, considered as fashion statements. In Kay’s list, there are also the fascinating newcomers Katie Eary and her love for Vanitas ( another of my article you can consult ), plus Cuban-American and London-based futuristic designer Gabriella Marina Gonzalez.
Also quoted : Ziad Ghanem and his ‘creatures’, the promising yet tongue-twister Nilupul Hettaiarachchige, shoemaker Atalanta Weller and Swiss-German Stefanie Biggel.
“That’s loads, isn’t it?!” laughs Kay. Don’t worry- the more, the merrier, and I mean it. The Contributing Print Editor is not skinflint with her answers, and her passion is visible, which is very pleasant to see !

Ziad Ghanem - Katie Eary
Since we were talking of clothes, I took the opportunity of asking her some tips for a warm and classy winter : “Winter is actually one of the best times of year to experiment with your look,” she tells me. “Layering up to keep warm means that you can work several trends at once, and add in extras such as over-the-knee socks, patterned tights, hats and scarves to brighten up an outfit.” Obviously, she is obsessed with knitwear, which she says “is also great for playing around with textures. There’s no rule that says you have to stick to boring jumpers. This year there have been a lot of variations available in terms of fabrics, prints, embellishments and cuts.

Atalanta Weller for House of Holland - Markus Lupfer
 And a good coat is an investment, so choose something to see you through several seasons. Faux fur or feathers are always a winner.” Kay seems incidentally to have her eye on a specific coat : “a gorgeous faux fur coat from Miss Selfridge !” she confesses. Now we’ve got the picture !
I am really glad that Kay Weston took the time to answer my questions in so much detail. I hope you have found this first interview as interesting as I’ve found it. There will be more to come hopefully, if I meet people as open and nice as Kay!
Miss Selfridges

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