HER SO-CALLED LIFE
What do you look for in a garment?
I look for designs that are streamlined with a subtle tweak to the proportion, fabric, or construction; the classics can be amazing when done very well, but they can get boring fast. I like it when pieces can be styled in multiple ways. I keep a very small wardrobe, but like to play around with it to create all kinds of different looks depending on my mood.
I keep a very small wardrobe, but like to play around with it to create all kinds of different looks.
What inspired your Fall/Winter 2012 collection?
I was the only girl in my high school who refused to wear a plaid button-down and, since I like to set design challenges for myself, this season I revisited those days and set myself the challenge of creating a plaid button-down that I could love. The collection went from there: a mix of the ’90s layered look from My So-Called Life—a total cultural touchstone for me—with the tough, structured construction of medieval armor and the geometric sea- creature illustrations of Ernst Haeckel.
Has anything changed since you won the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Award for Sustainable Design in January?
My goal is always to find new ways to make each collection sustainable from one season to the next, but the award has given me a lot of new responsibilities this season, namely planning and promoting the show. My hope for the award is that the increased exposure for my line will help inspire more designers to make sustainable choices in their own work. When I was starting out, I was incredibly inspired by Eviana Hartman, who won the first EDFF sustainability award for Bodkin, and I hope to be able to share that excitement with the next generation of young designers.
When I was starting out, I was incredibly inspired by Eviana Hartman, who won the first EDFF sustainability award for Bodkin.
What got you started on this path to sustainable fashion?
I grew up in super-liberal Ithaca, NY, where recycling was mandated by law, and where the waterfalls and woodlands are so spectacular it’s unthinkable not to protect them; so I was an environmentalist long before I became a designer.
Even after design school, I had to reconcile myself to the idea of producing more “stuff” to add to the world, but I decided it was possible to run a company in a way that could have a positive impact, and so I launched my line in 2009.