Hello my loves! How is your summer going so far? I feel like you need some fashion inspo. Don't you agree? Maybe discover a new designer...? Today I have something very exciting that I have never done before on my blog. An interview!
I asked Alyssa, the designer of Alternative Fashion, a couple of questions and I thought I should share her answers with you. At the end of the post you can find some additional information about her and her brand. I don't know about you, but I just love the idea of talking to talented and inspirational people here on the blog and I'm thinking that maybe I should do it more often.
Anyway, here is the interview!
Photographer: Dan Pinard Model: Natasha Nicely Luker
Photographer: Dan Pinard Model: Natasha Nicely Luker
1. Q: What motivated you to start your own clothing line?
I love fashion. I live for fashion. I’ve always had the desire to start my own label. I think it was that gnawing, swearing, irritating voice in my head that said, “Would you actually start your brand!” I worked so many dead end jobs, at least at the time it felt that way. Fashion design, and fashion business is where my heart is, where I feel most alive. I am fortunate for this ultimately very creative cycle of fashion business. Making comfortable, chic, and stylish fashion is fun.
2. Q: Where do you draw inspiration from to create your designs?
I have a lot of different ways to feel and be inspired. Street wear is one way I get inspired. I look at what people wear, I sense their style, and observe what and why it is they wear what they wear. There is energy behind material, if you tap into the energy, it reveals a lot about how the clothing was made. I don’t judge, I observe. Not everyone wants to wear cheaply made fashion, and neither does everyone get a chance to wear haute couture or ready-to-wear that would last decades of wear.
Nature is an important part of inspiration for me. A healthy lifestyle is what moves my work. Being active, and living healthfully. I love music, poetry, culture literature, dance, exercise, nutrition, architecture, art, the ocean, etc.
Fashion icon Coco Chanel sums up how I feel about what inspires me to design: “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only, fashion is in the sky, the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” I feel this quote, fashion is life. Fashion speaks to me.
3. Q: The woman who is wearing your pieces, can you describe her in a few words?
Elegant, chic, modern, timeless.
4. Q: What do you think is the most important thing when it comes to designing clothes?
I guess if it’s not all functional, comfortable, and aesthetically appealing clothes become jaded. My focus is casual wear, and some formal wear. There’s still so much I’d like to create and so much opportunity to design for multiple different markets, and I’ll get there over time. I like things that aren’t fussy, at least for modern daily wear, when people are active and want to feel their outfit is an extension. We have all worn garments, where we pull up, we pull down we tug here and there. We clip, we pin, we stretch out, or we nip and tuck. Its not worth it to have to play battle with clothing, and it will show, the grace and elegance is not there. So function, and comfort are important, and if you feel beautiful, then the design and aesthetic is there. If something is comfortable, and ugly, it’s not comfortable, and then it does not function.
5. Q: How would you describe your personal style? Do you think it is reflected by your newest collection?
I wear a ton of jersey knit. I live in it. I move around a lot, I stay active, and I need clothing that works with me, not for me. My Ocean Collection 2015 is predominantly using jersey knit fabrics. Fabric that flows and breathes. I am so all about that.
6. Q: It seems that being environmentally friendly is a very important aspect of your work. Can you elaborate a little on that?
I create fashion that is sustainable to humans and the Earth. I make sure the fibers are natural and eco, and that the production is sustainable, so that we are co-existing with nature. The social, ecological, sustainable part of fashion business is a crucial proponent to creating a healthy lifestyle.
7. Q: Where do you stand when it comes to leather and fur?
I don’t work with animal fibers. It’s a bit exploitative to have to wear an animal, whether shaved, plucked, or skinned. The Native Americans got away with it. It was tradition, custom, and they would of died if they didn’t wear them, because they didn’t have synthetic fabric then. I think at a time where we are at with technology, it makes no sense why we do not have fabric that is not animal and synthetic, that can keep us protected through the weather.
A lot of outerwear apparel companies depend on these synthetic fibers, and this is something that needs to change, along with the boom of synthetic fabrics in the activewear apparel industry. Many synthetic fibers are promoted as sustainable, however while we are helping the Earth, we are actually hurting us when we wear synthetic fibers. If a brand makes clothing out of recycled plastic bottles, yes it’s sustainable fashion to the Earth, but not to humans! People shouldn’t be wearing plastic. It doesn’t breathe, so it’s like suffocating the largest organ of our body, the skin.
8. Q: What is your fashion mantra?
If you love your clothing, your clothing will love you back!
9. Q: If there was a fire and you could only save three pieces from your closet which ones would you choose?
A pair of ultra soft, lightweight pair of leggings by Green Apple. I have a big collection of leggings, I wear them practically everyday. I have a blazer by Yoanna Baraschi I thrifted a few weeks ago. Haven’t had an occasion to wear it, yet it feels like an epic gem in my collection. It has squared shoulders with mini pleats, a super slim sleeve with a slight flair at the hem sleeve, and a lacing detail on one side where you can clip at the top near the side at the collar. It would be frivolous to save this because it’s not a practical garment, it’s actually synthetic even. Sometimes I wear synthetic on occasion only because I haven’t yet seen natural fiber technology reproduce some of the designs that are out there. I have this Arden B. top, it’s ultra chic, and mega casual at the same time. It has raglan short sleeves, and a hole cutout in the back. They used decorative seam lines and made an upside down V at the center front top of the neckline to the side seams, this shape is perfect. Its 100% Jersey Tencel, no pillage! I wear it a lot over a long tank top and leggings, with a mini jersey skirt. I love it. The neckline, sleeve and cutout is sealed with a satin bias tape, giving it that glossy look. I’ve literally worn it at least once every other week for several years. That doesn’t happen with cotton jersey fabric, overtime jersey knits can’t take the wear. Typically because jersey knit has a stretch to it, and people move in it because they actually can move in it! It’s the jersey Tencel fiber that keeps my shirt from pillage and tearing. No holes, rips, or tears, it’s amazing.
10. Q: I know that you've been into fashion blogging yourself. How did that experience help you in becoming a successful designer?
I love fashion blogging. I got a chance to network and connect with interesting people in the fashion industry for a brief time when I was a fashion blogger, it was fun. I’d love to start a new blog soon, exclusively for the brand. Blogging is like a virtual fashion magazine, with news, insights, tips, and it’s always current. I think blogging is so important, even if you are not a blogger. Having a blog on a website, can help people stay up with trends, news, culture. It’s the best. I think blogging is very much fashion journalism. Depending on the style of the blog, it’s always giving information that supports fashion movement.
11. Q: Do you think jewelry is just as important as clothes to create a stylish look?
I love accessories, jewelry and scarves being my favorite. I think using natural materials like wood, metal, and stones are therapeutic elements of the Earth. They have magnets, orgonite, and copper to ward off bad energy. I am personally very particular with jewelry. It has to connect with my clothes, and feel like I can’t feel like I’m wearing it, like it’s a part of me. I have some orgonite jewelry and I wear mala beads. I love anklets and bracelets made of fabric. Anklets and bracelets draw attention it makes someone look chic. I love to wrap a piece of scrap fabric around my wrist or ankle, its so effortless, yet gives importance to the overall look. I don’t think jewelry is as important though, unless it’s a wedding ring. If you look at all the fashion shows, many don’t accessorize unless it’s a part of their label and the clothing is the jewelry.
12. Q:Living in the modern world of crisis, how does that affect fashion in your opinion?
I agree with you, there is this impulse of “the modern world in crisis”, it’s quite unnecessary once we get back to our roots. There’s a war with what we wear and how we wear it. Exploitation, and some of what we don’t actually see in our own lives, like human trafficking, is affecting us in a myriad of ways. We have to claim what our purpose is and who and how and what we want to represent. We need to let the control of human warfare lose its power over our life. If we have a fashion identity problem, we cannot connect with our own life, of belonging. A lot of the niches, cults, those trying to appease a certain audience through fashion, is always a case of the loss of who we are. It’s not cultural, it’s limiting, and creates separation. Accepting who we are is so important. We are made of love, and if we wear love, it’s going to create a powerful force, and save peoples lives.
13. Q: Who is your style idol?
I have so many fashion icons that I have studied that continue to inspire me. The fashion industry is created by so many eccentric, mad fashion people. Coco Chanel would have to be my best idol. She was a serious rebel. She was the first to start using men’s and women’s undergarment fabric in her women’s collections. She wasn’t amused by uncomfortable fashion, she made clothing that worked with, not for her customers.
14. Q: Do you have any advice for the young aspiring designers?
Yes. Experiment, create and lavish in all things fashion. Read fashion magazines, study fashion. Always stay close to what you want to wear. You are your biggest seller. If you don’t wear what you sell, it’s not going to sell, because you are the connection to the clothing.
15. Q: Can you describe Ocean Collection SS15 in three words?
Ocean, fun, stylish!
ALTERNATIVE FASHION, is a womenswear line designed by Alyssa Couture. Born for the love of fashion, Alternative Fashion is made to support our heart, mind, body, soul, and spirit. Designed for everyone whom wants to feel beautiful inside and out.
All fashions are created with eco, and sustainable fabrics, all natural plant-based fibers, many organic certified.
Sustainable, zero waste fashion are our important methods of production.
Inspired by the power of beautiful, comfortable timeless fashions.
Meet the designer: Alyssa's life is dedicated to the fashion industry. She has held many different positions in fashion; from retail, public relations, visual merchandising, blogging, fashion show production, fashion illustration, and of course, her most significant work in fashion designing.
Some of her interests create the motive behind her work like; music, nature, dance, yoga, nutrition, herbs, health, literature, art, architecture, culture, and sharing moments with family and friends.
What strikes her most about fashion is the connection we have with clothing, how it makes us feel.