Out is searching for the next great talent on the cutting edge of fashion. Earlier this year, we asked you, our readers, to submit your designs and sketches using #OUTFashionVanguard. Now, we've got three eager finalists preparing their designs to show the world why they deserve the title of Out Fashion Vanguard at the FVAs on March 30th.
Here's a progress report from finalist Andew Morrison, a NYC-based, FIT graduate who creates modern-day "menswear" meant for any gender.
What encouraged you to submit to the contest?
A friend of mine mentioned he thought I should apply so I looked into it. Then I realized it would be silly of me to not give it a shot.
Tell us about the design/sketch you submitted. How does this represent your style and aesthetic?
The few designs I submitted are quite minimal in shape. As I get older I see my esthetic evolving while I try to simplify and improve my own wardrobe. My focus for this design submission was on making unique tailored jackets that are intended for a formal event. There is nothing better than a sexy evening coat. At the end of the day I am really just designing clothing for myself. Some pieces more fun and loud than others, everything has a purpose.
Your FVA challenge is to design and create one or multiple pieces to be worn as part of a complete red carpet look that epitomizes your own design aesthetic or references your latest collection. Where are you pulling inspiration from to create this piece/look?
Well, I'm not the type of designer that selects a period in history or one particular muse to base my collection off of. Many of my friends are infused into my collection; a different person or film may inspire each piece. My hope is that when they all come together they create a story of their own. The story evolves and creates itself throughout the design process. Right now, the story is a romantic one, which is really fun to play around with.
How are you showcasing your personal design aesthetic in this look?
I prefer to work with white and black textiles for the most part. It has really become part of my brand identity. When I do introduce a new color into my collection they tend to be deep saturated tones. For this project I want to play with reversing the colors used on a classic black and white tuxedo by having the base of the outfit in black with white accents layered on top. I may go another route of using a deep reds paired with ivory. My fabrics selected for the FVA are pretty consistent with my main collection. I tend to pair together soft and heavy structured silks.
How are you feeling about pacing and the amount of time left to finish this look?
I had a fitting yesterday which I feel really good about. I'm trying to stay focused on the end result. Sometimes I design garments as individual items. In this scenario I am trying to stay aware of the complete and final look.
Describe your vision for who would wear this piece and why?
I started my collection because I felt men are given a very limited selection of clothing to choose from and nine times out of 10 they go for a basic three-piece suit. It is very difficult for someone like myself who appreciates refined eveningwear to go shopping. I often find women's clothing that I like but they don't fit me, and I don't particularly want to wear clothing designed solely for a woman. The man that I see wearing my collection is a gentleman. He is someone who is strong, confident, creative and passionate, and he needs an outfit to wear to a formal event. He is daring and knows the importance of dressing for the right occasion. Maybe he is an artist, philanthropist, or maybe he is a banker. It really doesn't matter, what matters is that when he wears my collection he feels powerful, polished and at ease. I want to give men the option to look independent and particular. My collection is for a man (or woman) who dresses for themselves and not for others. A few icons I hope to someday dress are Hamish Bowles, Tilda Swinton and Benedict Cumberbatch. I also love the idea of dressing young musicians like ASAP Rocky and Lorde.
See how the other two Out Fashion Vanguard Finalists, Kim Mesches and Marcel Coleman Jr., are progressing in the competition, and look for more updates from all three finalists coming soon.
Interested in attending the Out Fashion Vanguard Awards in Los Angeles on March 30th? RSVP here.