While most of my work is in magazines nowadays, I hopped over to Tumblr last year at Yes! A Bunny Stream of Conch –– where I post little daily snippets and the sort. My sincerest thanks for your continued readership!
To supplement between my admittedly slightly sporadic bunny BISOUS blogs here (as well as myriad other publications elsewhere) I recently founded a more casual, informal stream of consciousness-type tumblr site: yes! a bunny stream of conch!
Feel free to hop by for my quotidian musings – more often than not, simply a fit as a fiddle daily dose of frivolity – or submit a query on my newfound formspring.me account (my replies are automatically imported to my tumblr).
"Rupert Sanderson's Saddle Shoes" by Julia Frakes at Lula Magazine's Scrapbook
Be sure to hop over to Lula Magazine's online Scrapbook to peruse my recent interview with acclaimed shoe designer Rupert Sanderson apropos his charming unisex Saddled O's collection – alongside a concise chronicle of the oxfords' wide-ranging character appeal: "Rupert Sanderson's Saddle Shoes"
Julia Frakes – Contributor to "Tights Lovers" in the January 2010 issue of Vogue Girl Korea [Flickr]
My sincerest apologies for the flighty, few and far between updates as of late; I've been engrossed in a flurry of exhilarating, albeit labor-intensive projects with several magazines, photographers, designers, and organizations slated to be released throughout the forthcoming festive season!
While I cannot reveal too many details quite yet, one of my pet holiday projects is an upcoming benefit that I am co-chairing with designer Rachel Antonoff to raise awareness about animal cruelty as manifested on two fronts: barbaric factory farms (with funds proffered to Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary) and merciless puppy mills (to benefit Maddie's Fund).
Rachel Comey's signature offbeat mélange of zany prints, decidedly brainy specs (this season, in collaboration with Sol Moscot), and undemanding footwear fit for the most urbane hippies took center stage whilst St. Vincent crooned cover songs at the breezy Chelsea rooftop runway presentation (Nika's hat even went a'flying!). Comey's comely quirk was brought to the fore this season by remarkably Johnny Appleseed styling: a foray of flat-front pants, floppy hats, kooky rover pockets, trademark quotidian cardigans, and thoroughly Camden cargoes. Inspired by seaside Maine, Comey seemingly took cues from the entire coast with winsome (albeit rather utilitarian) skorts befitting a romp around the Sebago Lakes, delightful refined dresses recalling the more genteel Kennebunkport coterie, and functional trenches, windbreakers and field coats wholly fit for Freeport.
Following a stellar Fall 2009 debut hosted by Patricia Field in her personal home on the Bowery, Gerlan Jeans' sophomore presentation at the Audi Forum was a booming culmination of designer Gerlan Marcel's unconventional flair: an expectedly wacky affair chockablock with her idiosyncratic patterns (past ventures of the Central Saint Martin's '00 graduate include designing kooky, colorful prints for Jeremy Scott, Calvin Klein, Barbie, and Libertine) and prized off-the-wall insanity. For Spring 2010, Gerlan steered toward a definite '90s SoCal vibe (think Amber's PVC/plastic dresses from Clueless) – accentuated by daytime cotton streetwear recalling a distinct Clinton-era optimism and, perhaps, naiveté. Pot leaf prints galore (played up by wicked hologram laboratory glasses seemingly ideal for Ernst Stavro Blofeld or even Dr. Julius No) and clear sky-high 'private dancer' heels may have been the most immensely memorable motifs that I've witnessed thus far this recession-friendly fashion week; but the truly sellable high points include youthful Liberty-esque cotton floral prints perfectly fit for a romp in the sandbox, a dynamically spirited Dr. Martiens collaboration, and a "yes we can" fist pump pattern befitting our current healthcare state-of-affairs.
Gerlan Jeans Was an "Expectedly Wacky Affair" [PAPERMAG]
Who's Fierce (and False) at Fashion Week by Christian Siriano (featuring your bunny) [NY Post]
Julia Frakes at The SatoriaLUST, Scott Schuman's Book Signing at Barney's [William Yan]
Tim Walker's "The Lady Who Fell to Earth" [PAPERMAG]
Karen Walker Takes Us on a '60s Seaside Escape... And We Love It! [Refinery 29]
NYFW Kicks Off with FENTON/FALLON's Fancy Fête [Teen Vogue]
Fashion's favorite flanneled design duo Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra candidly returned to their roots this Spring 2010 – presenting a collection entirely composed of their celebrated and sought-after dresses. In pure and paradigmatic Costello form, the heart of the line hinged on regal drapes, structural folds, and exuberant hues – this season keeping the spirit fresh (with slickly understated Swarovski details), green (by utilizing an Earth-conscious method of printing fabrics without wasting water in collaboration with AirDye), and attainable (the two shoe styles June and Lula created in partnership with Loeffler Randall are available for pre-order). The boys intently focused on the entirety of each frock – rendering it just as compelling to study the models' garments as they approached as well as from behind – and marking a delicate balance both in silhouette and frills played up by prints forged by manipulating Jeffrey's digital lake and sunset photographs snapped around Brooklyn. Highlights of the well-edited 22 looks unveiled at Milk Studios include a freshly-flaxen Ali Stephens' tricolor moss/acid AirDye taffeta draped one-shoulder frock with seemly satin organza embroidery and Pernille Moeller's periwinkle AirDye lake print taffeta dress crowned by delicate origami jabot.
Katie Gallagher – "I've literally set up a small production house in my studio!"
Fashion circles are abuzz in anticipation of New York-based designer Katie Gallagher's dramatically sculptural garments and endearing yet contemplative motifs (think inflated cats, Neuromancer, Veronica's Veil) to be presented at her first full ready-to-wear collection on September 12. The dainty, dreamy RISD alum further refined her skills at apprenticeships with threeASFOUR and Anna Sui – garnering industry whispers of her unrivaled technical prowess and diligent emphasis on the wearer's personality. It was a pleasure to chit-chat with the fellow history buff and rural Pennsylvania native on her pixie-like upbringing, distinctive design journey, and upcoming Spring/Summer 2010 presentation.
Can you tell us a bit about your environs while growing up? I grew up in a farm town in Pennsylvania. I was surrounded by forests and I played with wild animals all the time; in fact, my mom thought I was a saint because I would perpetually approach and touch random animals and they never ran away from me! I was a forest creature, really –- I never wore shoes, and I hated wearing clothes (but always wore my cat on my head)! Growing up consisted of foraging mushrooms and berries, making little potions... and avoiding clothes. I'm not really sure how I ended up being a fashion designer in New York, but here I am!
Why are you so enchanted with cats? They're furry AND low-maintenance! I only really love novelty-sized inflated cats like my Sveater though [photographed above].
What first sparked your interest in becoming an apparel designer? When I was younger, I was always vintage shopping and altering my clothes on a little Singer machine. When I attended art school at RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) I originally had the intention of painting, drawing, and doing whatever I wanted! I was so interested in drawing and dividing up the human body into shapes – by dramatizing and adding character to it – that I majored in fashion to learn how to sew properly and make patterns to do this in a more effective, refined, and pure way. I haven't really stopped making clothes since... and now I'm launching my first collection!
Katie Gallagher Spring/Summer 2010 Illustration
How would you describe your design aesthetic? I like things to be relatively pure: fashion is as much about what's in style as it is about eloquently communicating the personality of the wearer. I'm not particularly frilly and I like to avoid things that are too confectionary or embellished... I definitely appreciate a certain hardness and drama. But that said, I want to avoid the ambiguously masculine road that is so often associated with that aesthetic. Avoiding lace and trim doesn't mean you have to start cutting up and refitting menswear! A big part of what I do with my designs is technically motivated. I'm a firm believer in non-traditional pattern-making and I avoid superfluous seaming and construction in my clothes; seams should follow a woman's body and thereby accent it... not merely use the amount of fabric that's the simplest and most inexpensive to cut in a mass market factory.
Who or what was your chief design inspiration last season?
... and for this upcoming season? Both in my last collection, Shroud, and in the upcoming collection Veil, I have followed a pretty similar focus: pattern-making, wrapping the body, and a ghostly, ethereal feel. Both titles Veil and Shroud come from historically significant artifacts – namely The Veil of Veronica and The Shroud of Turin – wherein a piece of cloth had taken on much more meaning than the sum of its parts.
However compared to the all-white Shroud, Veil embodies a much harder approach; it's mostly composed of blacks and I was affected by very dramatic butoh dancers – these really curated, focused body positions and movements. I tried to contrast that image with some of the aesthetics and moods of cyberpunk literature: novels like William Gibson's Neuromancer and Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash. This sort of high-tech, low-life world.
How has working at threeASFOUR and Anna Sui affected your personal work?
They are very different places: threeASFOUR focuses primarily on patternmaking and construction (just like I do) so it was a great place for me to learn. Anna Sui had a very focused aesthetic and incorporates everything she loves into her clothes; they're very much true to herself... and I admire and respect that.
In what manner will you be presenting your new collection?
I'm having a presentation of 22 looks and some 70+ separates at the Tribeca Grand during New York Fashion Week. I am trying to blow out the presentation as much as humanly possible given my limited resources; I have funded the entire collection out of my pocket (which is a very small pocket!) and I've handmade all of the samples, cut all of the patterns, and glued and hammered the leather all by myself. I've literally set up a small production house in my studio! It's amazing how many people have gotten behind it and helped me with actually presenting the collection... I even have a German industrial group making a custom soundtrack for the show. It's pretty ridiculous. I hope the show will be too!
Designer Katie Gallagher to Present her First Full Collection [PAPERMAG]
The lovely Tavi and I Grab a NY Nosh at One Lucky Duck [Style Rookie]
Jeremy Laing and I Discuss his Fall 2009 Campaign [PAPERMAG]
Julia Frakes: Serving on Teen Vogue Fashion University Panel October 23 [Teen Vogue]
Seeing Red with Chloë Sevigny by David Armstrong featuring Julia Frakes, Ryan McFarland, Lissy Trullie [Opening Ceremony]
Douglas Pernet casts Opening Ceremony's Reds [COACD]
Flashback! Julia Frakes, Paris Fashion Week F/W 2009-2010 [StreetPeeper]