Calvin Luo’s most recent collection, for Fall 2018, took a walk on the wild side with 50s subculture rebel inspiration – think photographer Karlheinz Weinberger, a Ponyboy favorite. Young and eclectic, we just love it!
Calvin Luo’s most recent collection, for Fall 2018, took a walk on the wild side with 50s subculture rebel inspiration – think photographer Karlheinz Weinberger, a Ponyboy favorite. Young and eclectic, we just love it!
Christian Cowan is the young, super-talented British born designer who is opening eyes with his ultra fun clothing. The handsome boyfriend of Paper mag owner Drew Elliott, Cowan is all about F-U-N! There were so many great looks that we went gaga.
We first stumbled upon Michael Ward’s colorful fashion illustrations on Instagram. The beautiful drawings sketched by the New York native caught our eye and we knew that we needed to share his drawings with Ponyboy readers. Ward’s no newbie to the world of New York high fashion; he has been a designer for Burberry, Rachel Zoe and Diane von Furstenberg. We look forward to seeing much more of his talented work for years to come! https://www.instagram.com/michaelwardnyc/
PONYBOY: Hello, Michael. We just love your fashion illustrations. To begin, tell us about your background.
MICHAEL WARD: Hi, there! And thank you! I’m super excited to be a part of the Ponyboy world. I’m a Brooklyn born, Long Island raised New Yorker. I have a BFA in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design, and have been a women’s fashion designer since graduation.
PONYBOY: We read that since the age of 15 you have dabbled in fashion. Can you tell us in what aspects?
MICHAEL WARD: I was obsessed with the world of fashion and design from an early age. High school trips to NYC and witnessing Bruce Weber/Calvin Klein billboards had me hooked. There was no turning back. I even worked at our public library to have access to Vogue Magazine. At 15, my parents brought me into Manhattan to meet with both FIT and Frank Rizzo, Fashion Chairman at Parson. Frank Rizzo was paramount to the decisions and life I am living today. I am forever grateful to him.
PONYBOY: You have a background in design. That’s how you got into illustrating? Who have you designed clothing for?
MICHAEL WARD: I’ve been fortunate to work for several fashion labels including a beautiful start at Carmelo Pomodoro, Burberry, Rachel Zoe, and most recently as the interim Creative Director of Diane von Furstenberg.
PONYBOY: You’ve basically switched over from being a clothing designer to fashion illustrator. What’s the transition been like for you?
MICHAEL WARD: Honestly, the illustration has taken on a life of its own. After DVF, I made a vow to ground myself in something I love. I decided to basically do “a sketch a day”, while looking for my next design job. It’s been such an “outside my box” experience, and quite a healthy one. I’ve loved it. Through social media, I have met some extraordinary people, artists and opportunities.
PONYBOY: For what clients have you done illustrations?
MICHAEL WARD: My biggest illustration job to date has been the 2016 campaign for Magic trade show in Las Vegas, Australian accessories brand Oroton (currently my illustrations are in over 42 locations in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia), Salvatore Ferragamo, Hugo Boss collection men and women, Yommme (food guru Christine Wong), and my illustrations have appeared in WWD throughout my career.
PONYBOY: Where do you find inspiration for your illustrations?
MICHAEL WARD: Inspiration comes from everywhere for me. I often choose a favorite look from a house or brand I respect and admire. I have also done portraits of fresh faced models from Gucci and Marc Jacobs, as well as Sonia Rykiel, Amber Valetta and Cindy Crawford. It’s a pretty cool experience having Cindy Crawford “liking” your portrait of Cindy Crawford! I am inspired by talent, raw creativity, and beauty in all forms, including photography, art, painting and theater.
PONYBOY: And who would you say are your favorite designers?
MICHAEL WARD: Top of my list is Dries van Noten. He has cultivated a most gorgeous world for both men and women. I love his thought process, from product to casting and presentation. He respects his craft and he respects his customers. I also have a deep appreciation and affection for Alber Elbaz. I am a huge fan of Allessandro Dell’Acqua and Peter Dundas, as well. There is a love of the craft that resonates into all they do. You can feel it.
PONYBOY: If you could design for any fashion house, who would it be?
MICHAEL WARD: Tough question! I loved my time with Diane von Furstenberg. She is extraordinary in every sense of the word. I would love to work with Carolina Herrera, within the changing landscape of global/American design, my eye turns toward her. I like her language, her touch.
PONYBOY: What do you see as the next step in your career in fashion?
MICHAEL WARD: The beautiful answer to this question is, I have no idea and am thoroughly enjoying the present.
Designer. Model. Club girl. Blogger. We just love creative types who wear a lot of different hats! And hat designer Stella RoseSaint Clair did just that, showcasing her festive tropical hat designs at her fashion show during New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2017, sponsored by Bullet Magazine. The designer showed 9 handmade hats inspired by tropical plants and the classic structure of the sun visor, on quirky downtown type models. Stella also created colorful dresses on the spot by wrapping her models in cellophane. Dj partners Fiends4Ever spun vintage 60s surf tunes, while attendees chugged free cans of PBR beer. The hats were fun and colorful, just over-the-top, exactly what one would expect from the kooky designer. Stella stated, “I desperately needed to take a vacation, so I decided to create a series of hats inspired by various tropical and desert plants. For the show I assembled a sort of “human garden” to give me a taste of a tropical getaway. A getaway indeed! Thanks for the much needed vacation, Stella! Photography Alexander Thompson http://www.itsstellarose.com/
Inspired by Stanley Kubrick film “Full Metal Jacket”, menswear designer Kenneth Ning featured full on military with a twist of deconstruction. The first look we spotted when shooting backstage was a model wearing an elaborate shredded hat with netting, which definitely made a statement. That was just the beginning, as we saw all kinds of interesting vests, cargo pants and camouflage jacquard suits. Many of the shirts were deconstructed in styling and cut, asymmetrical and unbalanced. Our favorite looks included the pleated sleeve detail on the black “Full Metal” hooded sweatshirt, which was also incorporated on the tan trench worn by model Noa Thomas. Ning gives us a youthful and much needed fresh approach to modern menswear. Photography Alexander Thompson. http://www.kennethning.com
Martin Keehn FW16 draws from his own first experiences arriving in New York, a blue collar kid discovering the city in an era when downtown was a esthetic junkyard, before pre-fab counter culture fashion replaced actual counter culture. What emerges is a mixture of working class meets club fantasy meets army/navy surplus.
The dichotomy of utilitarian vs luxury speaks to the aspirational theme of the collection, with single needle tailored work shirts realised in fabrics that typically evoke ivy league or the 1%. Dobby dress shirts with a hint of Lurex suggests the fantasy of the proletariat untethered. Dominating silhouettes in leather and melton overcoats give us this season’s archetypal authoritarian. Factory worn-in denim accessories are an attempt to un-fame the masses and satirise prefab culture.
Typically, Keehn is irresistibly drawn to tension and reminds us of summer in more frigid times with a palette of peachy pinks , saturated creams, dove grey punctuated with metallic and leather accents throughout for a nod to our dark side. Photography Simon Cave. http://martinkeehn.com
Here at Ponyboy we’re just infatuated with anything that’s young and cool. And twenty-year-old fashion design sensation Anna K embodies everything that is both young and cool. The talented designer, who started out as a model in her native Ukraine, has risen to become the most successful designer in the country. She sells worldwide to over forty boutiques, including Collette and Isetan. Her previous collections and personal style have been applauded by many in the fashion industry, including Vogue and Style.com.
Anna K’s first US show, dubbed “Guest from the Future”, was inspired by the young invaders taking over the fashion world, much like the designer herself. The extremely fun collection consisted of 120 pieces of colorful dresses, sweaters, miniskirts and leather jackets. A favorite look was her signature oversized trapeze dress, which one can easily see on any young girl running around town. We were also extremely fond of the leather jacket/miniskirt set adorned with a rocket ship and flames, which the designer wore at the show. She accessorized the collection with quirky long earrings and necklaces assembled from chainlink and scarves. The dynamic shoes were a great addition and the outcome of a brilliant collaboration with twenty year old designer Nicolo Beretta, founder of Giannico shoes. The styles consisted of colorful, pointy spat-like shoes, eclectic sneakers and embellished suede boots. Anna K reached high for the stars with this collection, and she successfully took us along for the ride. Photography Alexander Thompson. http://annak.fashion
Audrey Kitching. Model. Artist. Designer. Crystal worker. Clairvoyant. Energy healer. Blogger. Internet darling. With her trademark pink hair, petite frame and gorgeous face, we were thrilled to both photograph and interview this sensation. Our team gave this stunning beauty an editorial “makeover,” referencing the late 1940s – 1950s couture glamour of Christian Dior’s New Look, which was characterized by a silhouette which included broad shoulders, narrow waist and full, long skirts. Fashion Editor Xina Giatas stated, “Audrey’s personal style is feminine and bohemian in spirit, so I loved the opportunity to mix it up with her through channelling the more structured and voluminous New Look by Dior.” And our Beauty Director James Vincent said, “To bring across something new and exciting with makeup, we tapped into Audrey’s classic beauty and her beautiful, brilliant energy. The makeup feels Fellini-esque with its deep black shades and bold, feline shapes, but we have given balance by pairing black liquid liner with unexpected bright parallel lines and pops of color on the lip and cheek that range from sheer to saturated. Audrey’s beauty and spirit have a natural excitement to them and we hoped to capture that and reflect it in the makeup.” Photography by Alexander Thompson. Thank you to Laura Rebel Angel and Severly Mame. http://www.crystalcactus.com
PONYBOY: Audrey, we read that you were born in New Jersey, but now reside in Philadelphia?
AUDREY KITCHING: Yes, kinda sorta! The town I was born in is about five minutes from the center of Philadelphia, so I grew up with one foot in the city and the other in the woods. The best part about Philadelphia is you’re about an hour from the ocean, mountains, woods, country, various cities…basically anything you want is within a very close reach. But, I work in New York City mainly. I am in and out of the city all throughout the week. For someone whose heart lays with nature, being able to commute in and out of the city is beyond a blessing.
PONYBOY: What was your childhood like?
AUDREY KITCHING: My childhood was equal parts magical and tragic. I grew up building vampire traps in the woods, doing strange nature spells, pressing flowers in old library books, planting gardens, painting, collecting bugs, meeting animals in the woods, and dyeing clothing. My childhood, in that sense, was out of a fairytale. I have always been very energetically sensitive, since I was very young. As a kid you only know what your surroundings teach you. I would see ghosts and demons all the time and no one would believe me. It was pretty horrifying to not understand what they were or how to explain to adults what was happening. I have this haunting memory of being maybe nine years old at my older brother’s wedding rehearsal. It took place in an incredibly old, well-known haunted hotel with a restaurant and lounge in the historic part of the city. I spent the entire night being freezing cold, sick and followed by a little girl. I kept telling everyone she wouldn’t leave me alone and was making me feel ill and scared. Long story short, the entire family was incredibly annoyed with me and put me in time out for the rest of the evening.
PONYBOY: You also lived in Los Angeles at some point. What was that experience like for you?
AUDREY KITCHING: Los Angeles can teach you a lot about yourself very quickly. My lesson was finding out this place was not for me at all in any way, shape or form. It’s this strange bubble, a completely distorted reality. The people who live there and revel in it have become so embracing of that delusion that they see nothing outside of it. The thought of the real word is a very scary thing to them. I do know there are a few exceptions to this, but I’m just being generally honest here. I’m in a strange paradox because I’m sort of the anti-industry, while still working within it. Everything Los Angeles stands for is against what I live. It’s a very toxic place that feeds on souls of the desperate. My advice to anyone who is an artist with integrity would be to accept the lesson and save your soul.
PONYBOY: How did you get into the world of modeling?
AUDREY KITCHING: I really just fell into it. I did a lot of artistic projects for friends when I was younger and when my online teenage rants grew in popularity, companies started to notice. They would book me because of my reach and what I stood for at that time. When I look back to the start of all this I had no idea how much influence and power I was beginning to harness back then. I was just a kid complaining about things I thought no one could relate to. It was kind of like my personal diary, but public. I’m not your normal model by any means. People meet me and the first thing they always say is along the lines of, “Wow! You’re so tiny. I never would have thought!”
PONYBOY: You’ve been photographed for many magazines. What’s been your favorite editorial to date?
AUDREY KITCHING: I did an editorial for ZINK and they flew out all the McQueen gowns straight from the runway in Paris a few days before. I am such a fan of that label, so for me that was a pretty memorable experience. They also made me look like the Queen of the Underworld, which is very McQueen in its own right.
PONYBOY: Would you say that modeling is ultimately your passion?
AUDREY KITCHING: Any kind of art is my passion, and right now modeling falls into that category. So, in a sense, yes. I just love to create, whether I’m the one in front of or behind the camera, painting, gluing things together, or mixing up oils. As long as I’m bringing something beautiful to life, my soul is satisfied.
PONYBOY: You’ve been described as a huge social media star. Did that originally come about from you being a blogger?
AUDREY KITCHING: It did, for sure, but it was never a goal or intention of mine. It was my outlet. I never fit in with other bloggers. I was never the girl doing the $100 Instagram posts about teeth whiting, face masks and diet teas. I was writing more about real life situations and wearing what I wanted, not what I was paid to dress up in. During the peak of the blogging days, this was a dangerous tactic. I isolated myself, but created my own path at the same time, ironically. Being authentic and going against the grain does eventually pay off, as long as you believe in what you’re doing.
PONYBOY: Are you still an editor for Buzznet?
AUDREY KITCHING: I’m actually not. I worked for Spin Media for almost ten years. I did a lot of their music and fashion columns online. I look back and it’s kinda wild to think about some of the situations it granted me. I was paid to just go on tour with my friends and take photos the first few years I worked there. It was completely out of control to be honest, chaos at the deepest level. Once I had enough of the music scene and touring, I switched over to the Style Editor role and focused more on celebrity interviews, red carpets and fashion week events. It seems like a whole other lifetime, looking back now.
PONYBOY: You’re also a designer. Tell us about the clothing projects that you’ve worked on in the past.
AUDREY KITCHING: I have done major clothing collaborations in the past. We had showrooms in Tokyo and were doing incredibly well in the market. But, I sort of saw how dirty that side of the industry was, and chose to step away from it all. I didn’t want my day to day life to be so consumed with trends and what was popular at that moment. It started to feel like a big game that I didn’t want any part of. Whenever you can make other people money and they know that, you must be incredibly careful with your talent and ideas before they are exploited. After choosing to step away from that side of design, is when I created Crystal Cactus. Now, we curate full moon ritual bath soaks and crystal healing jewelry.
PONYBOY: Explain to our readers the concept behind Crystal Cactus.
AUDREY KITCHING: Crystal Cactus is really a lifestyle brand to expand minds and bring in beautiful products that assist it. It was a way for me to show that knowledge and consciousness can be beautiful. They don’t have to be isolated concepts.
PONYBOY: You’ve been dubbed a style icon. Describe your personal style.
AUDREY KITCHING: My style is a mix. I love my lace and my latex. I always say it’s feminine, but not girly. I think there is a difference. I love muted colors, textures and layers. I grew up dyeing my own clothing from thrift stores and I’m still doing that today. I dye my clothing all the time. I might be addicted to it actually. I just like to take something ordinary and make it feel special, different, one of a kind.
PONYBOY: What designers do you favor?
AUDREY KITCHING: Galliano, McQueen, Prada, and Ashish.
PONYBOY: More than anything, you’re a successful business woman. What do you have on your horizon next?
AUDREY KITCHING: I have so many projects going on, but my main focus next is my top secret aura project. I cannot wait to bring that to life! It’s been in the works for a while, but it will be worth the wait. I promise.
New York womenswear designer Erin Fetherston is known for her incredibly romantic creations. And this season she stuck within her element of gorgeous designs for the young bohemian girl. Fetherston sent models down the runway in to-die-for floaty, dreamy dresses reminiscent of a fashionable 70’s girl. Our favorite look was the orange floaty stunner that opened the show, a pleated chiffon A-line dress with bell sleeves that just screamed out for the girl who loves vintage. The baby pink version with a capelet was pretty terrific, as well. Denim culottes made there mark, as well as the oh-so-cute needlepoint embroidery minaudiére, part of a capsule collection. Runway hair and makeup were kept clean and effortless with flowing curls and dewey skin, lending to an angelic feel. Fetherston’s clothing is about being beautiful, chic, young and feminine. And we just love her for that! Photography Alexander Thompson.
German born designer Robert Geller’s Spring Summer 2016 fashion show was a highly anticipated show during Men’s New York Fashion Week. For this collection he drew inspiration from the North Sea. Geller’s runway was filled with muted beach tones and the layered, lightweight silhouettes gave movement on the boardwalk runway. He used Tyvek reflective printed material, as well as a squiggly “rain” pattern throughout the collection, which included blazers, trenches, jumpsuits and shorts. The rope necklaces and woven cummerbunds gave a nautical feel to the clothing. Some of the models faces were hidden in what appeared to be a men’s version of the 1920’s cloche cap, lending an overall dramatic event. We loved the rope-tied bags, a collaboration with Siwa from Japan, as well as the oversized envelope style briefcases. The designer stated, “I am very happy with this collection. It feels close to home and the next step in the right direction for the brand.” Indeed, it is the right direction for the very well dressed, modern man. Photography Alexander Thompson.
“For Spring 2016, we continued to explore the balance between subversive youth culture and clean tailoring. Inspired by faraway desert lands, we found ourselves drawn to the vibrant energy and chaos of the bustling medina.
We immersed ourselves in the unfamiliar: colorful spices set the palette, while patterned tapestries influenced the use of unexpected fabrics such as floral jacquards and lace. Graphic elements were extracted from traditional motifs. Ornate mandalas were reimagined as statement prints and applied using innovative techniques to disrupt classic suiting fabrics such as the pinstripe.
Proportions were pushed to create updated silhouettes with fitted shoulders and full sweeps. The end result is a bold statement of cultural art reinterpreted for modern sportswear and executed with expert tailoring, for the sartorial enthusiast with a youthful spirit.”
We first met a young David Dalrymple in the nightclub scene in the late 80’s, standing taller than the rest of us with his then unfamous sidekick RuPaul, go-go dancing his way around town at all the New York City hotspots. Since then, David has gone on to design for Patricia Field’s collection named House of Field and celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker on Sex and The City, as well as Bette Midler, Britney Spears and Beyonce. Never one to conform, David always seems to have a new trick up his sleeve, what with all his fabulous super sexy creations. Studio photography by Aaron Cobbett. Backstage photography Alexander Thompson. Additonal photos courtesy of David Dalrymple.
PONYBOY: David please tell Ponyboy readers about your background.
DAVID DALRYMPLE: I was born and raised in north western New Jersey, just a one hour drive from New York City. My family’s home is located in a very rural area. It’s a very beautiful place and surprisingly remote for being so close to Manhattan. Now when I visit home, I appreciate it so much. But when I was a kid, it felt like torture. It was the 70’s and everything I would read or hear about that was exciting or interesting to me was happening in New York. So I paved my way out there.
PONYBOY: Did you go to school for fashion design?
DAVID DALRYMPLE: In the 80’s, I studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. But, it was in the glittery nighclubs of New York that I was truly educated. I studied style, expression, originality, and mainly how to stand out in a crowd of people who stand out.
PONYBOY: Were New York City nightclub legends like RuPaul and Larry Tee your partners in crime?
DAVID DALRYMPLE: Yes, I met RuPaul, Lahoma Van Zandt, DJ Larry Tee, The Lady Bunny and Linda Simpson out at night in the clubs. Long story short, I treasure the memories I have from those years of working and going to clubs. These people are family to me, perhaps what a family tries to be but often can’t because of whatever reasons. A safe place for me to be me was provided, with no conditions. I was able to express myself. I had people in my life I could share my feelings with for the very first time. This was a gift and I had support.
So, I continued to make clothes and I go-go danced all over town on stages, bars, the tops of boxes, speakers, and in cages. It was very liberating! And it was a celebration of the body and sex in a club scene that was shaken by AIDS. I didn’t experience the clubs in the 70’s, but nightlife was incredible in the 80’s and 90’s. Sexual energy was channeled in other directions. RuPaul and I would always come home from the clubs in the very wee hours and religiously watch CNN’s “Style with Elsa Klensh” at 6:30am. It was everything to us, as it was a different era. There was no style.com and no streaming fashion shows. Fashion was in no way democratic. Immediately following the intro, she would say “I’m Elsa Klensch reporting from the worlds of fashion, beauty and decorating.” It definitely had a “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” air about it. And it was inspiration for a vogueing ball, if there ever was! Well, we could just not get enough!
PONYBOY: So, it’s safe to say that you get inspiration from your early nightclub years?
DAVID DALRYMPLE: Yes, of course! I remember that some time later RuPaul produced my first fashion show at a club called the Red Zone. He came home and told me it was booked for the following Thursday, and that he, Lahoma and I would model the entire “collection.” And, we would also be making a few hundred dollars, which we would split three ways. I, of course, responded that I was not ready, that it was not possible. RuPaul’s response was, “You better get ready!” He called it the “Hot Black Hooker” fashion show. These were my formative years. It’s a part of me that I’ll always tap into during my creative process.
PONYBOY: How did you end up designing for Patricia Field‘s House of Field?
DAVID DALRYMPLE: I became acquainted with Patricia Field through our mutual friend, downtown artist JoJo Americo. I had been working with Paul Alexander, selling my clothes on consignment at the outrageous Patricia Field boutique in Greenwich Village for about a year before I met her. We became friendly out at night. And she also became more familiar with my clothes as she saw them on our mutual friends who were entertaining or attending the clubs. She scheduled a studio visit to see more. Patricia had been recruited to add her image and do the buying for a boutique in Harajuku, Tokyo named “Sexy Pop by Patricia Field.” This was my first official order. It was twenty pieces and I was very excited. I delivered the pieces and continued selling my designs in her New York store.
Some months later, Patricia approached me to discuss her existing collection. The previous designer had passed away and the company was drifting along without direction. It was in 1994 that I was offered the position of designer for “House of Field.” I accepted the challenge with vigor and by the next season I was planning to show in Bryant Park. The underground brand made it’s way to the surface. The collection became a favorite of many top stylists including, Kurt & Bart and Lysa Cooper. The clothes began to reach highly visible people. This brought opportunities and growth I had never imagined, including the opportunity to design red carpet pieces, build custom stage wear and style music videos.
PONYBOY: Do you still collaborate with Patricia?
DAVID DALRYMPLE: I worked on so many amazing projects with Patricia over the years. We literally traveled around the world numerous times. We have done TV and print advertising for many big brands, as well as custom stage wear and costumes for theater, music and film. At the same time we were also able to design and develop our own clothing brand. It’s been validating, inspiring and rewarding, and occasionally tiring and draining. But, overall it has been an incredible, uplifting experience with no two days ever the same. We’ve slowed down a bit in the last few years. However, in early October, we’ll travel to San Francisco for an event and present a fashion show. I’m very much looking forward to it.
PONYBOY: At some point we remember that you designed costumes for a European opera.
DAVID DALRYMPLE: Yes! In 2004, I was commissioned by the Federal Stages of Vienna to design costumes for the musical version of Barbarella, with original score by Dave Stewart of The Eurythmics. I traveled monthly to Vienna for 8 months designing and collaborating with Vienna’s famous costume workshops on over 450 costumes. Three weeks prior to opening night, I lived in Vienna working through tech and dress rehearsals until we had perfected the show. This entire experience was nothing short of magic. It was thrilling to work alongside an amazing leading team, finding ways to tell the story, and entertain and make something beautiful. I am so grateful to have had the experience to work on a production of this scale.
PONYBOY: That sounds amazing. You’ve designed for so many superstars, including Beyonce, Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears, to name a few. Who has been your favorite celebrity to design for so far?
DAVID DALRYMPLE: A surprisingly rewarding, challenging and prestigious client is not primarily one of my fashion clients, but a sports team. I have been designing the Nets dancers for many years. They have now moved to Brooklyn and become the Brooklynettes. And the bar has been raised! I enjoy working with the dancers very much. These girls are true athletes, so the gear must be built to last, as well as look good. It’s a great challenge every season.
PONYBOY: Of all the celebrities out there, who would you say is your dream client that you have not yet designed for?
DAVID DALRYMPLE: I don’t like to play favorites, but I am enjoying my latest client. In the last year or so, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with Bette Midler on costumes for several events. Sometimes I have to pinch myself and ask if it’s a dream. But beyond wardrobe, I learned that Bette does so much service for New York City arts, environment and the city’s schools and parks. Often I have felt helpless and frustrated to hear that art and music programs are being discontinued or that schools and parks have fallen into disrepair. One might say “But how can I change things?” Meeting Bette has been so inspirational. Taking an interest in the community and it’s condition and keeping that awareness close to you throughout the day is asking “How can I be of service?” There is always a way to contribute. Last October I designed her costume for “Hulaween” which is the annual fund raising Halloween event that she created that benefits the New York Parks Department. It was a New Orleans themed party. Over the past ten years, as a result of her hard work, over 800,000 trees have been planted. That one fact alone is staggering.
Recently, I designed the wardrobe for Bette’s new album and shot the TV commercial for the release. It was a labor of love. She has recorded songs from classic 60’s girl groups like The Ronettes, Exciters, and The Supremes. I love what she brings to a song, such emotion and care. Look for it this fall!
PONYBOY: What will David Dalrymple be remembered for?
DAVID DALRYMPLE: Interesting, I have never thought of what I’ll be remembered for. I’ll just keep it simple. He made people feel SEXY!
Ponyboy goes crazy for redheads! So we were thrilled to photograph West Coast beauty Lola Devlin for our “Ponyboy Loves” section. Lola is not only a 1950’s styled siren, she is also a lingerie designer. We always catch Lola in the most amazing vintage get-ups, as well as some of her own creative over-the-top designs.
PONYBOY: Tell our readers about your upbringing. Where were you raised?
LOLA DEVLIN: California woman, born and raised. I grew up in Los Angeles, then Lake Tahoe and I have been happily living in San Francisco for the past ten years.
PONYBOY: How did you get into designing clothing?
LOLA DEVLIN: My Grandmother first taught me how to sew when I was six and I have been making what I want to wear ever since. After a few attempts at different career options, I quickly realized that what I can do best for the world is make clothing. For my company, I am both the designer and the seamstress, which is a blessing and a curse, as I spend most of my time chained to the sewing machine. However, I wouldn’t have it any other way. To me, it is an amazing process to make something for someone that they will wear in their everyday life, for a special occasion, up on stage or just romping around the house. Nothing makes me more excited than to see a client or a friend wear a garment I’ve made for them. It’s always icing on the cake when they feel as good as they look. It’s almost hard to describe why I do what I do, but the thrill of someone loving what they are wearing, if I’ve made it for them, is something nobody can ever take away from me.
PONYBOY: Tell us about your Lola Devlin designs. Is it exclusively lingerie?
LOLA DEVLIN: A little bit yes, a little bit no. Lingerie is the heart and soul of my company. It’s what I can design solely for, what I want to make and sell, and frankly, makes me giggle the most to create. I will occasionally do a custom clothing piece for a client and have done things like create a line of perfect pencil skirts for select stores, and so on. Lingerie will forever be my favorite type of garment to design and sew. Nothing quite compares to the attitude that comes with creating and wearing lingerie, and most certainly the attitude that comes with a good piece of house attire.
PONYBOY: Where do you get inspiration for the pieces you design?
LOLA DEVLIN: I am lost in my own cheeky world, I’m afraid. I am constantly looking for and pulling inspiration from many different places, mostly from the past when lingerie and house attire were celebrated the most. It’s not only a lost art, but also a lost lifestyle that I am hoping to bring back in a small way, one woman at a time. The books I read are old pulp fiction, most of them saucy. I am always on the hunt for old photography from way back when, of people in their normal clothes, erotica, smut and all the wonderful occasions in between. Most of my inspiration I find comes in the form of the attitudes and personalities of people I meet, or if there is an occasion in particular the ideas just dream up themselves. I have found that I can’t decide what to design until I see the fabric in front of me. It is usually then the fabric gives me the idea for what it wants to be and I just have to chop it out with my trusty pair of scissors.
PONYBOY: So, primarily the 1950’s aesthetic is your thing, design wise?
LOLA DEVLIN: The 1950’s aesthetic is my favorite for several reasons, although overall I sway between the mid 40’s to mid 60’s. I fell in love with the glamour of that time a long time ago; women’s figures were celebrated the most in fashion and fashion was both simple and extravagant. But mostly, I appreciate the effort that women had during that time period.
PONYBOY: You’re also personally very into 1950’s culture. When did you start getting into that?
LOLA DEVLIN: I have always said I was born in the wrong time period, but really only if we are musically or aesthetically speaking. I have loved the music, the dancing, the clothing, the look and design of that era for my entire life. I have a preference for clothing cut from that era or designed similar as that fits my figure best. I have a preference for the music of that era because it makes me wiggle around the most. I love films from that era for their simplicity and everything from architecture, automobiles, and everything in between – and for my design mind, it all makes sense to me. The first color lipstick I ever bought was red because that is the only color I believed women should ever wear. Still to this day I don’t know why I thought that when I was a kid, but I still believe it now.
PONYBOY: Who would you say are your favorite clothing designers from the past to the present?
LOLA DEVLIN: My favorite clothing designers are actually a mix of clothing and costume designers: Madeline Vionnet, Adrian, Edith Head, Gussie Gross, Ceil Chapman, and Schiaparelli. And may I just add that I absolutely hate Chanel – not my kind of woman.
PONYBOY: As far as music is concerned, what music is on your turntable?
LOLA DEVLIN: Nothing but the good stuff! If it makes me wiggle, then I dig it. My favorite genres of music are early R&B, blues, rockabilly, rock & roll, but I also fancy some soul, some jazz, some western and always exotica.
PONYBOY: Of the modern day bands out there, who are your particular favorites?
LOLA DEVLIN: There are some incredible musicians out there who I am lucky enough to call good friends, and I will travel the world to see them play. In no particular order or type: Nikki Hill, Furious, Eddie Clendening, Bebo, Bloodshot Bill, Josh Sorheim, The Shadowmen, Dollar Bill, JD McPherson, The Rattle Rockin’ Boys, The Caezers, Kitty Daisy & Lewis, The Bellfuries and The Reckless Ones.
PONYBOY: We see that you are buying up all the vinyl that you can get your hands on these days. Are you an aspiring DJ, as well?
LOLA DEVLIN: I never planned on it actually. I have always bought vinyl for friends who are DJ’s and record collectors, if I ever came across a song I knew they were after. Or, if it was something that I personally love to dance to, it was my selfish way of sneaking in songs I wanted to wiggle around to at shows. I swore that I would never let myself start collecting until a few weeks ago I came across a record that I could not live without and have been crying mercy ever since. I want to play the songs I love to wiggle around to and suppose the only way for you all to hear them is if I DJ them somewhere. Watch out! I might be out on the loose soon enough, clawing my way right out of the jungle!
Sophie Theallet Autumn/Winter 2014 ready-to-wear collection consisted of collaged patchwork, biased-cut frocks, and dramatic gowns. The French designer stuck to her signature chic and elegant designs, modernized and slightly eccentric. The luxurious fabrics consisted of a mix of leather, plush velvets and sparkly metallics. A favorite piece included a grey asyemtrical fake fur wrap, as well as the glittery semi-sheer deep plunging gown that closed the show. We read that the designer’s inspiration for this collection was the 1958 Louis Malle crime film “Elevator to the Gallows“, which made sense with the slightly twisted overtone. French black supermodel Anais Mali ruled the catwalk, but we always love watching the waif-like innocence of newly bleached blonde model Codie Young awkwardly traipsing down the runway. Photography Alexander Thompson.
Ponyboy photographed blonde and beautiful New York City designer Kenley Collins recently. Our fashion editor, Maria Ayala, played up her glamorous 1950’s Marilyn Monroe style by putting the ravishing talent in vintage furs mixed with some of Kenley’s own designs. We especially loved dripping our blonde model in rhinestone jewelry to give her that “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend ” look . After the shoot, we sat down with the talented designer and asked about her past, including Project Runway, as well as her current projects.
PONYBOY: Kenley, please tell us about your background.
KENLEY COLLINS: I’m from Pompano Beach, Florida, and have a marketing degree at Florida State University.
PONYBOY: How did you get into designing clothing?
KENLEY COLLINS: I started collecting vintage, fitting it to myself and then renewing and reconstructing it. And from there, I learned to construct and sew from scratch.
PONYBOY: What was your reaction when you found out you were picked to be on Project Runway?
KENLEY COLLINS: I was very excited, of course!
PONYBOY: Tell us about your Project Runway experience. Was is good or bad, overall?
KENLEY COLLINS: Fun at the beginning, it became extremely exhausting towards the end. It was tough to hear negative things people had to say about me, but overall I’m happy to have been a part of it.
PONYBOY: It obviously must have opened doors for you?
KENLEY COLLINS: No, it didn’t really at first. It was right at the time the economy crashed in 2008, so I went back to waiting tables and bartending for a few years after the show.
PONYBOY: And what are your thoughts on reality television?
KENLEY COLLINS: It’s like watching a train wreck. It’s terrible, but you can’t take your eyes off it.
PONYBOY: As far as your clothing designs, you seem to be focused on the 1950’s. Is that your vision or passion?
KENLEY COLLINS: I love anything starting from the 1940’s-1960’s! That’s where all my inspiration comes from.
PONYBOY: Tell us about your “Candy” dresses for It’Sugar.
KENLEY COLLINS: I’m so happy to work with them! They have stores opening world-wide and I’m lucky enough to know someone from the company. I mentioned if they needed any fabulous candy creations, that I could be their gal. I started with one mannequin at their Upper West Side store and now I’ve done over 20 stores! I start by looking at their candy assortments to see what the prettiest ones are. And after doing it awhile, I learned which candy is easier to work with. Then I send them sketches of my designs and they order usually 2-5 looks per store. My Gummy Banana Crop Top and Sour Gummy POW Skirt is a popular look. I also do a lot of Gummy Bear Dresses, Jelly Belly Lip Skirts and Runts tops and skirts.
PONYBOY: That sounds really fun and delicious! You also design for Ariana Grande, the teen pop star, whom is such a beauty. How did that all come about?
KENLEY COLLINS: I know! She’s such a beauty and talent that I’ve been blessed to work with. Her older brother Frankie thought we’d make a good match and introduced us. And I’ve been working with her ever since! It’s been almost 2 years now and she’s grown so much. I can’t wait to continue to grow with her as her second album comes out soon. It’s so exciting!
PONBOY: What’s in store for you in the future?
KENLEY COLLINS: My biggest and best line yet comes out May 1st on kenleycollins.com. The launch party is at SlapBack NY on May 3rd. Follow me on instagram @kenleycollins for updates!
Patrik Ervell’s Spring/Summer 2014 menswear collection “OFFSHORE”. Models walked the runway in messy pompadours. Contemporary athletic clothing. Baggy shorts and sandals. Oversized silhouettes with technical fabrics. Ocean wave prints. Bomber jackets. 90’s logo sweatshirts. Tailored suit jackets with matching shorts. All very solid menswear staples. A brilliant nautical themed presentation by a very talented designer. All for the very MODERN young man. Photography Alexander Thompson.
DARK GLAMOUR. Alexandre Herchcovitch Spring/Summer 2014 ready-to-wear collection. Polished models in side swept 1920’s bobs. Wearing a variety of beautiful dresses/silhouettes. A range of fabrics. Zebra. Leather. Pinstripes. A stunning black lace one-shouldered cocktail dress, completely sheer. Crop tops. Tunics. Shirt dresses. And some dazzling metallic purple creations. A few sleeveless dresses had matching jackets pinned to the back, giving the illusion of wings or a cape. Quite an impressive collection from the avant-garde Brazilian designer. Photography Alexander Thomspon.
Ponyboy was thrilled to shoot Los Angeles based Ashton Michael clothing collection titled “Black Heart” for Autumn Winter 2013. Styled by Ashton Michael and art directed by make-up genius James Vincent, the very modern monochromatic unisex clothing was photographed on albino “models-of-the-moment” Diandra Forrest and Shaun Ross.
Blonde. Beautiful. Out every evening. Downtown. Uptown, but rarely mid-town. Everyone’s favorite New York City club girl. And we love featuring Stella in our women’s editorials. We caught up with the talented darling between photo shoots, nightclub events, blogging and designing to ask her a few questions about her background, and what we can expect for her bright future. Assorted photos courtesy of Stella Rose Saint Clair.
PONYBOY: Please tell us where you originally hail from?
STELLA ROSE SAINT CLAIR: NYC —> Seattle —> NYC
PONYBOY: What brought you back to NYC?
STELLA ROSE SAINT CLAIR: An airplane! I came back for the fashion, culture, nightlife, and the seasons. We don’t have seasons in Seattle.
PONYBOY: You’re known as a downtown girl, model, designer, blogger and performer. But what’s your favorite thing to do?
STELLA ROSE SAINT CLAIR: I like to do Bjork impressions when nobody’s around, hug my cat, make vegan desserts and art.
PONYBOY: How did you get cast in the Lanvin campaign photographed by the great Steven Meisel?
STELLA ROSE SAINT CLAIR: I was discovered in a Lower East Side cafe. I met with Meisel at his studio and he cast me personally!
PONYBOY: Do people ever recognize you from that campaign?
STELLA ROSE SAINT CLAIR: It’s happened a few times but I change my appearance so much that it’s not often that people spot me right away. If I dye my bangs purple again, I’m sure I’ll get recognized.
PONYBOY: As far as design is concerned, is it clothing that you design? Accessories?
STELLA ROSE SAINT CLAIR: Mostly accessories at the moment. I’m focused on hats and other small goodies. I’m hoping to move into clothing soon. I have about a million ideas!
PONYBOY: You recently launched a music/performance act called “Teen Pussy.” Please tell us more about that?
STELLA ROSE SAINT CLAIR: Teen Pussy will make you wish you’d never been born. Teen Pussy is cats in heat. Teen Pussy is terrible so don’t bother coming to see us, okay?
PONYBOY: Ha! Okay. What aspirations do you have besides the many hats that you already wear?
STELLA ROSE SAINT CLAIR: I’d like to travel for work. I traveled all over as a child but I’d like a good reason to visit overseas again, namely Paris and Tokyo. Right now most of my aspirations just have to do with my own brand and blog. I also aspire to have a bigger closet.
PONYBOY: If you could be doing anything right now, what would that be?
STELLA ROSE SAINT CLAIR: Peeing. But I can’t because the bathroom is occupied.
PONYBOY: What can we expect to see from you in the near future?
STELLA ROSE SAINT CLAIR: Felt hats, a video series, quilted things, opera performances, and clothing made out of plastic.
Ashton Hirota is the designer/stylist for the Ashton Michael label. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Ashton first sprung onto the fashion scene at the young age of nineteen, with his first LA fashion week show. That quickly led to boutiques picking up his line including Patricia Field and Fred Segal. The rest is fashion history. Ashton has gone on to making one-of-a-kind fashion forward creations for performers including Will.i.am, Nicki Minaj, and Usher. We spoke to Ashton in-between client fittings, the opening of a new shop, and prepping for his Ashton Michael Spring/Summer 2014 collection.
PONYBOY: You’re making quite a mark not only in the LA fashion scene, but universally as well. Tell us how you got into designing clothing.
ASHTON HIROTA: When I was thirteen years old I was a child model/actor. I grew up with a passion for clothing. Being able to play “dress up”, I realized at a young age the power that apparel can have on someone’s state of mind. As I got older I just fell into it. By the age of nineteen I started my first company and never looked back.
PONYBOY: Your collections seem very dark and futuristic. Is that how you would describe the aesthetic for your clothing designs?
ASHTON HIROTA: I’ve been called a few things. “Urban Goth”. “Future Punk”. “Weird”. Hahaha. The terms have been across the board. I just call it ASHTON MICHAEL!
PONYBOY: What inspires you to design clothing?
ASHTON HIROTA: TEXTURE. I love working with monochromatic texture. Creating a 3D shape out of flat objects triggers me. I typically work in black, nudes, grays, etc. There is something about these colors that will last forever in a closet and become a staple.
PONYBOY: You have a big celebrity clientele. Who is your favorite to work with?
ASHTON HIROTA: My two favorites to work with are Will.i.am and Rico Love. Will has been a long time client, and has become a man that I admire and respect so much. He’s incredibly talented, smart, and one of the kindest people I know. He really is about building an artist community and is a huge advocate in team playing. I am blessed to have him in my life and work with him on the regular. Rico Love is another whom I admire a lot. Most people know his music re-writes, and he produces. Yet not as many know the man behind these chart toppers. I can relate a lot to him in that respect. Being the man behind what people admire, but not knowing the source is incredible. Both of these men are willing to take risks in fashion and still keep masculinity paired with it.
PONYBOY: You just opened a new space in Hollywood?
ASHTON HIROTA: Correct. I had worked out of the same shop in the heart of Hollywood for the past 9 years and just four months ago I moved four doors down and opened up the first official ASHTON MICHAEL ATELIER. It’s a creative workspace and showroom/store front (with a full bar of course).
PONYBOY: Who would be your ultimate dream client to design for? That you have never worked with.
ASHTON HIROTA: I used to say Cher, just because she is so iconic and really can do no wrong. She is such a powerful woman who doesn’t give two shits about what people think about her. That mentality is what I want people to feel like when they wear my clothing. But now that I’ve worked with her this year a few times, I’d have to say my next on the bucket list is Deborah Harry. Hands down, for more reasons that I can type.
PONYBOY: Minus celebrities/entertainers, describe the customer that buys your ready-to-wear.
ASHTON HIROTA: I think my target market is the man or woman who wants to make a statement without screaming it. He/she is an individual who can catch the attention of others with minimal amount of effort, someone with a strong sense of self and identity.
PONYBOY: What designers do you look up to?
ASHTON HIROTA: Rick Owens. Most people don’t know but I worked out of his old atelier for the past 8 years in Los Angeles. I see a lot of similarities between our aesthetic and would love to follow in his foot steps. He started out LA based and is now internationally loved and appreciated.
PONYBOY: If you could design for any big name house, who would it be?
ASHTON HIROTA: It would definitely be for Balmain or Givenchy. The craftsmanship of their garments are beyond fabric and thread. They are works of timeless art.
PONYBOY: Lastly, what do you see for yourself in the future?
ASHTON HIROTA: WORLD DOMINATION