What role does fur play in your collection(s)?
Each season I try to imagine I am in a privileged situation of creating a memorable play. Like all good stories, there are the stars and the sporting cast. For VERRIER winter collections, fur would fall into the character of a starlet.
Why do you like working with fur? Which fur technique and/or treatment are you into lately?
Many young design companies are doubly challenged with their own restricted budgets compounded with today’s struggling global economy. As a young designer, trying to maintain poise and avoid a current popular concept of disposable clothing, I think the extinction of luxury goods would significantly disturb this desired balance. I do believe purchasing fur holds the responsibility of understanding what one is investing into. It becomes an intellectual activity, as complex as Darwin’s theory reflecting on evolution. The luxury of social discussion for best understandings is a favored inspiration for me as a designer and the use of fur has engaged this type of pensive dialogue.
My fur treatment must start with the premise that kindness is not precluded at any level and the fur piece in a VERRIER design is origin assured with production and standard regulations. Once this foundation is clearly understood and if I had the luxury of an affordable budget, I would explore techniques that would strictly address construction of feminine designs through close attention to flattering proportions using fur in given signature VERRIER silhouettes.
Which fur types do you favor? Why?
When I create a VERRIER design, my hope is to have one of my original pieces be valued as an investment that will withstand the test of time. The fantasy is to envision the VERRIER purchase as a favored piece treasured for generations to follow. Fur has proven to be naturally one of the most durable materials used in clothing and well addresses the concern I have of wanting to provide years of enjoyment for the wearer, lasting fashionably into two or three more generations. I have not had enough experience as of yet with the wealth of all fur types to narrow a limited focus for creating heirloom treasures. I hope to gain future opportunities to become more rehearsed on the specific advantages of all types of fur for capturing certain given designs.
What are you thoughts on dyed fur?
As a young teenager, I had what I refer to as THE VOYAGE EXPERIENCE. This was my hook, line and sinker into the magic world of design. VOYAGE was a London based fashion lifestyle during the late 90s that screamed of color in the most celebrated manner. I think this early lure of European fashion has left a permanent excitement for the euro-chic with painting it up. Beyond the color, creating patterns with dyes can offer stylish flair. So live and let dye is a welcomed motto for VERRIER designs across the board!!
As a rule, who is today’s fur customer? Do you see a specific age group? A lifestyle?
The fur customer of today is the person whose wallet can afford the investment. This investment can be entered at different levels, ranging from the luxury of a full-length sable to a more somewhat modest touch of a mink collar. Friends have actually found some great fur bargains in consignment shops, proudly owning that everything old is new again. Embracing comfort and warmth is a welcomed concept for all.
Hipsters and socialites are all wearing fur nowadays, why do you think this is?
Aside from the obvious of fur offering the possibility of tailored elegance to outright funky fun, I want to believe hipsters and socialites are alike in subscribing to the common cause of respect for our planet. With resources becoming exhausted, the idea of recycling is to be valued. Fur is the ultimate sustainable resource for readily reworking clothing designs. So a socialite piece from yesterday can be transformed into a hipster style for today or vice versa. There are no limits for this slant on an earth-friendly unique expression.
How do you see fur worn today versus a generation [or two] ago?
Today’s technological advances have open windows to the sky being the limit on designs and how material is artistically created for fashion. Fur has been reinterpreted into a plethora of presentations. What is revolutionary with the current generation of designers is that they are now showing fur in spring collections, as fur magically becomes as light and delicate as a piece of lace or tulle.
Why do you think fur has been growing in popularity among designers? consumers?
This question is leading me to be a little redundant, but a chance to reiterate the popular notion of saving the planet to perpetuate all life forms. Discussion is warranted for designers and consumers capitalizing on words such as; renewable resource, durable & recyclable, biodegradable, sustainable, origin assured, modern conservationist, nature’s surplus, endangered species, land fill concerns and a host of other reflections with the ultimate goal on all sides striving for ecological balance.
As a designer, how do you like to see fur worn?
A sincere hope for all of the VERRIER designs is to imagine the wearer feeling happy and self-assured with putting her best foot forward. I like to see fur worn as a celebration of one’s extended self as a kiss of perfection.
Since your days as a student and now as designer, how has fur /fur fashion evolved for you in the last few years?
Being invited to Saga’s Fur Vision exhibition that showcases the undeniable limitless fur fabrications has displayed an unbelievably spectacular designer visual array. This opportunity has been so insightful to stretch my imagination well beyond my student days.
Who is today’s key fur customer? Why do you think so?
Today’s key fur customer is the individual who is secure with self-convictions. As the world becomes more sophisticated, intellectual content rather than a blind allegiance comes to play. It would be shortsighted to ignore social or political stances, but even more ignorant to not make an educated decision for one’s own beliefs. I think the customer who wears fur today has made a calculated decision to do so.
What is today’s fur/fashion customer looking for?
As an economy tightens, so does one’s budget. With this in mind, designers are trying to be more sensitive to offering versatility in their designs of styles transitioning from day to evening. I believe there is a likelihood of this mentality for the fur customer. Fur should not be kept in storage only to be taken out for the holidays. It should be a wardrobe stable covering occasions of a grocery store run to that once in a lifetime invitation.
On a side note, as a NYC designer, I am personally sensitive to the need to keep the life of our local fashion industry/factories alive. Several customers appreciate that VERRIER is manufacturing goods locally. Having the materials come from an overseas notable source is acceptable and many times necessary for quality, inclusive of fur, but the actual sewing of the designs should be centered in the USA so we do not lose our hometown fashion edge.
What is the fur type you’d recommend for a first-timer? Why?
A couple of season’s back, I worked with a stylist who arrived in my studio on a wet cold day with an oversized trench. When she removed her coat, she flashed a mink vest as a layered undergarment. To this day, that chic piece haunts me. It is no wonder that a fur vest surfaced as such a popular trend. You can wear it as a lining for warmth or as an updated look over a favorite coat. It can be used in all seasons for all reasons. I can picture the same vest well sported at a campfire or a modern spin of a mink stole under a chandelier.
What is the most “on trend” way to wear fur today?
In referencing what I have mentioned above with the usefulness of a fur vest, I would venture to say this trendsetter can be worn in all seasons for a multitude of occasions. A fur vest can become even more of a creative personal statement by being worn backwards or inside out, especially if designed with a fun patterned silk lining and fastened by a reversible two way zipper.
What are the key fur pieces/silhouettes for the coming season? The key trends in fur fashion for the upcoming 2011/2012 season?
There is a dilemma as a designer to not stunt my own direction with the influence of what the masses are holding as relevant trends. As we all become more globally aware through the world of the Internet, I think we are less and less self-contained in our own little worlds. This expansion allows for a larger platform of acceptable styles and the widening of ideas in any given season. For me, the evolution is to try to perfect my knowledge of how certain silhouettes provide flattering proportions for the feminine body form. Think I have already alluded to this personal desire for the VERRIER signature garments to personify. I do want women to view my clothes as a statement for today and in saying this, I think today’s trend is not to be too locked into a trend.
If someone were investing in only one fur piece for the coming season what should it be?
The versatile vest as detailed in prior questions could certainly fill this one piece offering of so many uses. If a consumer viewed this as too big a leap, I would suggest a fur collar that could be a cautious investment worn on a casual or dress coat, as a hair band or draped over a sweater, blouse or dress as a necklace.
What is the first time you ever remember designing something? What was it? Who was it for?
Growing up I would cut fashion photos of ladies resembling my mom out of magazines and copy in the most simplistic stick figure style drawing. I would leave these design attempts on my mom’s nightstand and suggested that we both should wear something similar while planning our day’s outfit!
Have you ever regretted a design? Fur or not!
I sincerely try to own each design with pride, but pride has gotten in the way now and again. One spring season I had some beautiful Italian striped blousing material in a white and navy. I designed a full skirt dress with puff sleeves, alternating pattern pieces with the stripe and a solid navy silk. The outcome would have won first place for milkmaid of the year! This mistake put me on a mission to be more aware to develop a better sense for the art of proportions. I kept the dress as a bold reminder of how to not wear pride.
Have clients made you blush with a private order? What was the request? Did you do it?
I am blushing that a dear friend just commissioned me to design her bridesmaids’ dresses for her wedding. It turns out she is getting married Saturday of the September SS2012 NYFW. It is feeling special that someone has chosen the VERRIER aesthetic for a romantic once in a lifetime venture…hyber-blush!
How would you recycle/rework grandma’s mink coat?
By shortening the hemline, making the sleeve more voluminous and adding a cinch waist! Proportion, proportion, proportion is the key to fashion real estate investment.
What is the most extravagant item of clothing you’d like to design?
An uber-glamorous red carpet silk gown embellished with Swarovski, maybe even the decadence of Swarovski and fur sequins that are embroidered with real gold thread! Have worked with a company in NY that owns vintage sewing machines that create the most breath taking embroidered patterns that you can imagine, particularly for theatre costume development. I would love to do a full out well-conceived designed gown, fathoming a modern take on the genius of what these machines are able to delicately accomplish.
What is the most extravagant item of clothing you’d like to design in fur?
I remember seeing a gorgeous Issac Mizrahi fur bolero made out of mink that was hand-cut to create an incredible intarsia print. Would envision doing my own extravagant take on that intarsia concept and work it in a way that it would be offered in several styles in the essence of a VERRIER collection.
Which celebrity is your “muse”? What would you design for them? What kind of fur garment would you put them in?
Have had the pleasure to dress a significant number of celebrities as posted on my website. The list does not as of yet include one of my favorite celebrities, the ever-classic Ms. Dita Von Teese. VERRIER has perfected a signature corset, but never in fur. I think I would tailor a corset in fur for Ms. Von Teese that mimics all things boosting beauty with finely worked fur as the new lace to mirror the feminine mystique.
Click on a topic to view all articles related to that topic.