One of my favorite materials, and what I believe to be the most versatile and pliable material for modern day designers, is denim. Not only is this material malleable, but it is also fitting for a plethora of different occasions. From worldwide pioneering denim company, Levi Strauss, or twill cotton to denim, the material has woven itself into our everyday attire. Denim adds a bit of friendly, durable, and much need structure to modern day life and has streamlined into everyday attire. Today, aside from knitted t-shirts, denim jeans are the most acquired and widely available items one can buy.
After seeing, wearing, and shopping for many pairs of jeans, one can easily become overwhelmed and unimpressed by the large quantities of denim in the world. As a result, a large phenomenon of denim connoisseurs and denim designers are exploring the limits of this medium.
One designer in particular, whose work demonstrates the need for contemporary denim and blue jeans, is Kate Alice Falcus. Young and eager to proffer her view on what denim is today, Falcus explores the familiar and traditional details that so many denim lovers are crazy about. Whether it’s putting a unique spin on the denim slash pocket, or adding a back vent to an oxford button down, her approaches are always breathtaking. In addition to cotton twill fabrications and traditional denim silhouettes, Falcus provides her take on a few double breasted leather-like motorcycle jackets made from boil wool. Falcus’ greatest ability is repurposing specific silhouettes without compromising certain signature details that people tend to gravitate toward. For a very in-depth and inspirational interview on how Falcus keeps Infashuated with so much on her plate, read our interview below.
Images via Kate Falcus
Who are you and where are you from?
My name is Kate Alice Falcus, I am 22 years old from Newcastle upon Tyne, England. I graduated from Kingston University this year with a BA Honors in Fashion Design, specializing in Womenswear.
Talk about your schooling and education. Was fashion always a dream of yours? Or was there a major turning point?
Being in the fashion industry has not always been a dream of mine, although it has always been something that I was drawn to without even realizing. I attended an all-girl Catholic school, and the uniforms we wore consisted of knee-length pleated kilts with tank tops and blouses. I would relentlessly attempt to customize and alter my own uniform as well as my classmates, in an attempt to salvage some style. So much so that I won ‘Best Customized Uniform’ title in my school yearbook!
I always knew I wanted to be in a creative industry. I originally tried my hand at photography at A-level, although I managed to scrape an ‘A’ grade, I knew it wasn’t for me; taking a photograph was too instantaneous and distant for me, I wanted create something 3D and tactile that I could develop over time. I found myself excelling in the fashion rotation of my foundation diploma course. However, I would say that the penny only truly dropped when making my graduate collection at Kingston. I felt I had really discovered myself as a designer, and came into my own through this process. Up until that point, I felt I had been treading water and was constantly questioning my ability.
What do you feel is the hardest part about being a Fashion Designer?
What is the easy part? Haha. I mean it is obviously extremely hard to get your work noticed and create a niche for yourself in such an already saturated industry. It also helps if you have somebody bankrolling you through the time you spend attempting to do this. I also find it difficult to be creative on cue, some days it happens, some days it doesn’t, however deadlines have to be met.
I also find it hard to constantly strive for newness in my designs. I can be pretty hard on myself if I think it has been seen before. I know now that it probably has been, more than likely, and have come to realize that I need to stop trying to reinvent the wheel in each collection.
How do you feel about the current state of fashion?
To be honest I don’t really have an opinion about the current state of fashion. I quite liked the rise of the bloggers and the power shift this created in the industry. It is not solely an unelected handful of middle-aged women dictating what we see in magazines and therefore buy and wear. The bloggers champion the fashion underdogs and open so many doors for people, who would not have normally had a look in.
How would you define your personal style?
My design aesthetics for my collections are contemporary interpretations of recognizable classic pieces, updated with innovative detailing and tonal colour palette. My personal style as in what I wear, is anything over-sized!
What inspires you most? (Magazines, museums, artists, music, books, etc.)
I always get most of my ideas from looking at new design in interiors, furniture, objects and architecture; from this I get ideas for silhouette and surface techniques. I also look at artists, mainly sculptures, and read into their concepts and messages, which in turn makes me think of mine.
Every Fashion Designer has a specific way of working; describe your general design process.
As I mentioned before, I usually begin by pulling out books at random in the architecture or interiors section of libraries until I see something that strikes a chord. I then sketch out rough ideas and experiment in paper. I always choose the fabrics early on in the design process, this then dictates the colour palette, which season it will be, and the overall general look and feel of the collection.
What advice would you give to young aspiring designers?
I am still a young aspiring designer myself, and what helps me to stop questioning my ability is realizing that taste is subjective, and what one company or customer may think is dreadful, is what another will think is perfect! And also understanding that if it was easy … everybody would do it!
Special thanks to Kate Falcus for taking time out of her busy schedule to talk to us. Interview by James Buford, and edited by Alicia Fairclough for Infashuated © 2012. No part of this content or information included therein may be reproduced, republished or redistributed without the prior consent of Infashuated.