Q&A With David & Phillipe Blond
Tonight is the night! The Blonds will be celebrating their tenth show with an homage to the larger than life characters that have inspired their art from the start (Tweety bird included!). In celebration of one of the most consistently anticipated NYFW shows (not to mention ambiances), I give you a little interview flashback I did with the design duo back in March (stay tuned for the full, mag published article!)…
Your SS13 NYFW show presented something of a hybrid Barbie funhouse pool party, mixed into celestial space age glamour (or at least that’s how I saw it). What was the inspiration behind this collection? What made you choose a Brigitte Bardot angle for the beauty?
“Spring for The Blonds was all about beauty and the beach. It was sort of a mix, like Esther Williams reading Madonna’s “SEX” Book at Barbie’s Malibu Beach House surrounded by 90′s Supermodels mixed with the style of Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele. The Bardot reference is there but it’s more fetish Bardot because those were latex hoods. We really wanted to frame the face and punctuate our version of that “90′s look” with the make up. Latex was a thread throughout the collection because of it’s slick wet appearance. We collaborated with an amazing latex designer named Jac Langheim to make these incredible latex pieces like gloves and leggings with 3D shark fins on them.”
Your collections have become notorious for the fierce Louboutin pairings that effortlessly appear as one with your creations. Do you collaborate with Mr. Louboutin to develop new pairs exclusive to your fashion shows, or modify and style pre-existing models yourself (and if so, would you consider creating a collection with him in the future)?
“We collaborate with Christian Louboutin every season and work together on making a statement with every look. One of a kind pairs are created in Paris and brought in specially for our Corset Girls. It’s always head to toe, always over the top and ALWAYS GLAMOUROUS!”
What are each of your biggest indulgences?
“David’s is definitely bacon! Especially Candied… Phillipe’s has to be Ben & Jerry’s Phish food Ice Cream and Circus Peanuts (but never together ).”
Describe your creation process – is every piece completely unique and custom made by hand? How long does it take you to perfect all the detail that goes into every garment?
“We could work on a piece forever, unfortunately fashion week and deadlines don’t allow for that! So it can take anywhere from 4-12 weeks depending on the piece.
Phillipe and I are inspired by film, dreams and the feminine form.
Everything starts there and whatever is around us at the moment stimulates other ideas as we work.
It’s very organic and all of the corsets are one of a kind.”
What is luxury to you?
“Being allowed to do what you love for a living, and Louboutins of course!”
The Blonds were born when you both became life partners. What are the most challenging and rewarding obstacles you continuously face overlapping and entwining business with pleasure?
“It’s all seamless. It’s life. It’s Magical!”
Your inspirations are often based on iconic, larger than life historical popular icons. Would you say the art of personality/image is a lost one in need of revive?
“Our core inspiration comes from these legends of stage and screen, Marilyn Monroe and Marlene Dietrich to Josephine Baker, who all had amazing personalities translating into those iconic images. Now in some cases with modern dressing, it becomes watered down because you don’t have to choose one look and cultivate it in the old school way or look the part. The great thing about style now is that everyone has the options and opportunity to express multiple facets of their own personal style. So in some ways this makes up for the lack of or mass commercial expression because you can have more fun with fashion and are free to experiment. However it would be really exciting to see a starlet who coins and owns her look like Bette Davis or Joan Crawford.”
CND and yourselves have come up with some pretty awe-inspiring nail art together (with an equally impressed following). What brought along the come-to-be-classic Phillipe Blond printed nails, and the summer seasons’ stunning caviar nails?
“Working with Jan Arnold and CND has been an incredible experience. The nails become an extension of the clothing and complete the look. We’re blown away every season with their nail art. They are able to take inspiration from the collection and create these mini versions of the corset on a nail scale. Some of them even defy gravity like the flying dragon nails from our Forbidden City collection designed and created by Kristina Estabrooks. Phillipe and I were working on prints, one of them was his face on a T-shirt, so you can imagine how excited we were once CND said they could create nail prints! The applications were endless and we went on to print other nails to match other corset looks exactly and give a different option for people who can’t necessarily run around with full scale sculpture on their nails.”
Fashion can be a very deceptive realm where everything is not always as it seems. How much discipline is involved, and what sacrifices do you/have you made in pursuit of the evolution/success of your art?
“We do things our own way and sometimes that can be more challenging than playing by the “rules”. This industry is highly competitive and like everything else takes it takes hard work and determination. However we don’t consider any of this a sacrifice, it’s the total opposite and we feel very lucky to have the opportunity to work in this field and make a living. There can be tremendous highs and lows but it’s so worth it when you love what you do!”
Your shows have created and attracted an incredible celebrity/socialite guest attendance, as well as provided an ambiance for free spirited glamour goddesses of every realm. An ambiance where individuals can really shine and become their most favorite versions of themselves while taking in some visual candy. How important is it for you to play a part in the movement of self acceptance/love, and open-mindedness?
“What an amazing description! That’s precisely the idea and our shows are meant to be just that, a SHOW! The pieces we create and show are made to inspire our clients, public or private. It’s meant to be an experience, we strive to create an escape from the mundane and the plain and bring the viewer into a world where everything is possible, no matter how over the top. There is no shortage of people trying to box everyone in. So it’s extremely important to keep an open mind and continue promoting self acceptance, especially for the youth in this culture.”
The lipstick cutouts throughout the SS13 collection screamed cosmetics collaboration campaign! Would branching out into beauty ever cross your minds as a future possibility?
“Absolutely! We’re so thankful for our collaboration with MAC Cosmetics. Since the very beginning they have been a huge support and inspiration. Our last collection was directly inspired by our favorite shades of MAC lipsticks shown in the prints and giving face is what it was all about.”
You’ve worked with Playboy and Mattel (and released a Barbie in collaboration! Congrats!). How much did the collectible Barbie auction for, raising money for the MAC Aids fund?
“Thank you! The Blond Diamond Barbie was a huge success and sold out within weeks of it’s launch. In connection with this doll, we created the Pink Diamond Barbie Doll with Mattel to benefit the MAC AIDS Fund and I believe the Pink Diamond Barbie raised around $8,000.00.
We’re very passionate about this cause, it is still an epidemic, and the fight isn’t over. Even buying a Viva Glam Lipstick helps! show your support by going to www.macaidsfund.org.”
You recently showed one of your collections at Puerto Rico fashion week. How is the vibe there different from NYC, and why was it important for you to present there?
“The environment is completely different and it was an amazing adventure. Puerto Rico High Fashion Week invited us to show as the finale of the week as they have with other Hispanic designers like Isabel Toledo. The event is always tied into a charity and Phillipe is originally from Puerto Rico, so that made it all the more special.”
Any special projects currently in the works? Inside scoops?
“We have some exciting projects coming up and fashion week is always right around the corner!”
PS. Want to watch tonight’s show live? Catch the livestream at 9pm here.
P.P.S. FW13 backstage and runway photo’s courtesy of CND Beauty
Posted under Beauty, cosmetics, designer, fashion, fashion show, inspiration, Interviews, makeup, Uncategorized by Robyn