Who needs to look toward the future when all the inspiration we need is in the past? That's at the heart of Lisa Perry's aesthetic and it was all the more obvious at her Fall 2013 presentation. For her first ever Fall Fashion week showing, the designer set up at her eponymous Madison Avenue boutique on Thursday afternoon and Examiner.com was on the scene.
This season, Perry wasn't inspired by a singular artist, but by a collection of broader themes: "mazes, twists and doodles." The line featured 25 looks including her signature mod dresses, separates and outerwear in rich fabrics like silk, cashmere and wool.
Perry transformed her sparse all-white boutique into an art gallery and performance space, where the models became works of art or mannequins on display. Models were grouped by theme (mazes, twists or doodles) while one model posed in the store window. Pop rock music from "Phoenix" and "Metric" kept the vibe fun and relaxed.
This season, Perry focused on separates for the first time. Littered throughout the collection are turtlenecks, cashmere sweaters, twill pants and mini skirts (because what better says '60s than a houndstooth mini and matching coat?). That's in addition to her signature item: perfectly-shaped shift dresses in bold colors and graphic patterns, which popped up throughout the collection to pull the separates together.
Highlights included a reversible double faced wool coat and dress with brightly colored circles on one side and Glen plaid on the other. Another favorite was a black and white silk maxi dress inspired by an optical allusion. Manolo Blahnik supplied the shoes, which were custom made with Perry's brightly colored and patterned fabric on a classic Manolo pump.
Examiner.com was lucky enough to get an exclusive with Perry as she talked about her inspirations, vintage shopping and what artist she's collaborating with next.
Q: What were your inspirations for your Fall 2013 collection?
LP: So this season, I was inspired by mazes, twists and doodles. It was about finding these great prints that were pop art-inspired and very graphic. This season, we're broadening our offerings and doing more separates. It's not only about a great dress a woman would want to wear out and to work, but also when she wakes up on Saturday, we have comfy lounge pants and a cute sweater.
Q: You're known for your love of pop art and '60s inspired clothing. Do you take into account current trends when designing?
LP: I think my design will always be based on the great design of the '60s, but in order to keep it modern and today, I want to be relevant, so I look at what's happening. If this is the season where everybody is loving leather, I'm going to put some leather in, but I'm going to give it my own spin. I always make it so that it's not trendy, but current.
Q: Was there anything specifically in this collection that is at least somewhat inspired by a Fall 2013 trend?
LP: I had heard a lot of about houndstooth and we found a way to do giant houndstooth to make it more fun and to make it our own. It's not like I have blinders on, so I see what's going on, but I'm very careful about what I'll pull in.
Q: If you could pick anyone, either someone current or historical, that you'd love to see your clothing on, who would it be?
LP: It's so cliche to say Audrey Hepburn, but how can I not? There were great models from the time like Jean Shrimpton that I love, but I have to say Audrey. I think people don't want to say Audrey because it's cliche, but it's Audrey!
Q: What do you love about Fashion Week?
LP: There's so much nervous energy right before. I think that keeps everybody very alive and creative and on their toes and I love that. It's exciting for everybody on my team to get involved. And then the day comes and it's just a huge sense of accomplishment.
Q: Are you already thinking about your next move?
LP: So we're thinking about resort and spring. So the way I work is that I come up with an idea for the collection whether it's based on a great '60s photographer or a painting or whatever it is. So I have to think ahead. We're also working on our next artist collaboration. But it's a secret!
Q: We heard that you're really into vintage shopping. Any tips?
LP: I think that there are all different levels of vintage. You could shop for vintage couture where you're only looking for high end designer pieces. Or you could thrift shop, which is how I started off in high school. But I think that you have to know your style and come up with a look you like, whether it's cowboy fringe, for example, because otherwise if you walk into a vintage store and you're not focused, you leave. So it's good to have a sense of the style of the era that you're drawn to.
Q: What is it about the '60s that you're so drawn to?
LP: I think that it's all about being modern. It's when you look at Pierre Cardin and André Courrèges from the '60s and it looks so modern and fresh, like you can't believe that they designed that then. They were so ahead of their time and I feel like we haven't even caught up to that yet. I don't think you could say that about any other time frame.
Additional reporting by Alexandra Finkel