Design with a voice

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Katie Eary is a new designer with guts and gusto. Her work is demure, crafted and of true statement and strong intentions.

Graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2008, Eary rose to the top of her class as a young designer through her beautiful creations. Mario Testino shot her graduate collection hats on Kate Moss. Her collections have since been featured in Dazed and Confused and ID magazines, to name just a few.
Katie’s pieces are contemporary and wearable. They speak to what the male youth of today are actually wearing on the streets. Yet, her work is incredulously cool. Eary’s AW13 collection was dark, historical yet modern, emphasising gothic themes of vampires and decay. The print techniques pulled the collection together and included tongue-in-cheek gestures such as vampire fangs, Nike Air Jordans and gold chains.
Glass meets with Katie ahead of men’s fashion week to talk inspirations and the future.
Did you always dream of being a fashion designer?
No, I wanted to be an artist
What has been your proudest moment since graduating in 2008?
Every year bigger and better things happen, my most recent “proudest moment” – my clothes selling out in under a day on Mr Porter. This has happened in almost every store since SS13 hit, so much so that we are doing SS13 re-orders.
Your AW13 collection was beautiful. Any particular look/piece that you show favouritism towards?
The neoprene biker piece as well as the first and last looks were my faves … Also love the pony skin hoodie.
You have designed for women and men, besides taking on that extra challenge do you approach mens/womenswear in different ways?  
I have two very different characters for men and women. The guys are young, energetic and a bit naughty. Women, on the other hand, are so much more glamorous, expensive and strong. The only weakness is, of course, the boy. I work it so that it all makes sense at the last moment.
Every designer has a different approach to building their collections. How do you start the process when thinking of the next collection or is it an ongoing process?
It can be ongoing, for the last two collections I’ve been focussing on quality. This is something I will continue to do for a few more till I’m 100 per cent happy. We are also working on the branding also. My design process is to have a break for at least one month. I need to clear my head in order for new ideas to come in. Sometimes I start with a book.
Being based in London must somewhat influence your aesthetics and collections? What other cities do you find inspiring?
I’m loving LA at the moment. In fact I’ve been obsessed with it over the last year.
Do you ever envisage a particular person when designing collections?
Not usually, but now it’s Jaden Smith. I didn’t have him down as a muse till a few weeks ago, but he looks great in it!
Your prints and techniques are unique. Is this something we will see for the SS14 collection?
Yes, I am just trying to push something new right now. I obviously can’t say what, but it will be a nice surprise.
Baroque, vampires and the eighteenth century were referenced in your last collection. Will SS14 be as dark?  
Quite dark yes, but more in theme than in clothing form.
Other than increasing the brands profile, what things would you love to do with the Grow. 
I’m thinking about NYC and Vegas for the next lot of sales showrooms. It seems time for a bit of a push. Also, I want to push women’s a lot more.
Famous for her intricate print designs, Katie’s next SS14 collection will be shown on June 17 at London Collections: Men.
by Calvin Baillie
The London Collections: Men takes place from June 16 − 18.
Katie Eary is showing her collection at on 3 pm on June 17,  at BFC Show Space: Victoria House

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Glass Online fashion writer

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