Q: First off let’s start with what or who inspires you fashion wise?
A: Many things. Lately travel, nature and other cultures have been very inspirational. Fashion history, art history and other design areas also are very inspirational. We often see trends, for instance, in interior design before fashion designers interpret them. Magazines, periodicals, industry trend reports and web sites are also wonderful. Magazines geared to the general public that I think are particularly good are Lucky and Instyle magazine. Materials, fabrics and trims themselves can also be very inspirational. Sometimes even limitations to design can inspire you in new ways. Sometimes “problem solving” can take you in amazing directions that you did not think possible.
Q: Okay, so what do you think of what your students wear?
A: My students and all the Saddleback students are very inspirational – both their work and what they wear. Southern California is at the center of skate/surf industry. The entire world looks to us as the leaders of what is “cool” in casual/sports wear. The industry has actual “Cool Hunters” that comb Southern California for “cool” young people who are starting the trends on the street, beaches, clubs etc. They take pictures of what is being worn and sell that research to apparel companies all over the world as “inspiration” for their lines. Often we think of N.Y.C. and Paris as the center of fashion. They are still important markets, but for casual wear, which is what most of us are wearing these days, Southern California is it. This is one of the reasons our fashion department at Saddleback is so fortunate and strong!
Q: The students on campus definitely express themselves with their style, but let’s talk about you. What is your favorite item of clothing?
A: My favorite item of clothing? What? Just one? You must be joking! If I had to pick one item it would be something that I actually have never worn. Unfortunately I have never had the place. It is couture Vivienne Westwood bustier. It is a wild and wonderful piece that I was lucky enough to find at a designer resale place. I have brought it many times to class to share with my students. They all marvel at it and one of my fellow instructors threatens to steal it from me.
Q: A piece like that will always be in style, what is the trend that you dislike the most?
A: I am not a big fan of skinny jeans or ubble skirts yet. They can be cute in some instances. I’m probably showing my age by that statement. I wore them in the 80s and I am just not ready for them yet. Of course, I reserve the right to change my mind! I know I probably will with some time.
Q: It sounds like you are in the know, When did you become interested in fashion?
A: I have always been interested in fashion. I must have inherited it from both my grandmothers. One was a great seamstresses and the other a professional costume designer. My entire family is very artistic so it must be an example of both nature and nurture.
Q: What is your favorite part of fashion?
A: I love everything about fashion. Designing, patternmaking, draping, are especially interesting to me. I also like to create my own fabrics by dyeing or weaving. I adore costume history as well as the psychology of dress.
Q: I have to ask, what is your most embarrassing fashion faux pas?
A : I was in high school in the ’80s. There was an entire decade of acid washed, big haired, spiked, flash dance fashion faux pas – but in a bit that will all be back and those fashion faux pas will be fashionable again. Horrible but true – but that is one of the reasons why fashion is so fun.