Describe your creative process and thoughts on your Spring/Summer 2018 collection.
Zoe: We’re always pushing ourselves and try not to be so self-deprecating. And then we show it to the world and we feel so supported and people are being really positive and we’re kind of shocked, because when we’re that close it’s hard to think one way or the other — could be garbage or could be the best thing we’ve ever done.
Mike: I think we’re really happy with the collection this season. I think this collection speaks to a lot of different points and is more multifaceted perhaps than other collections we’ve done in the past. I think it’s really dynamic and exciting. Looking back at it and the things we’ve done and how we’ve pushed ourselves technically and creatively; it feels good.
Zoe: I think we’re just trying to explore more, and something we often do is get over things too quickly. And this can (after a while) when you do this now four times a year, can become schizophrenic. Learning what is doing well and deserves to live on and get better is a new feat for us. It has been like this over the last year. Now that we feel that some styles are on their own two legs, then we can continue to keep playing and keep pushing.
Mike: I think it’s also certain senses of growth for us and how we’ve grown as people and designers. The care, and spending so much time perfecting fits – that starts to inform the language of design and is really exciting rather than it being sometimes about surface and attitudes and taking pleasure that the clothes feel really solid now.
Zoe: Yes, and once we feel like certain styles are solid then that allows the others to be beta experimental phases.
How would you describe your creative process between the two of you at the beginning of each season?
Mike: We hunker down together and we’ll be searching for materials for months. We’ve already started sourcing materials for next season.
Zoe: This season was particularly funny. We had a weekend lockdown and we were obsessed with everything ‘modular’ and then all of the sudden we’re on these walks talking about modularity.
Mike: And then we started in the studio and started draping things and we’re like this looks totally bad, haha.
Zoe: This season was particularly funny because we usually don’t have that ‘Aha!’ moment. This modularity was one of those moments, so it’s funny that it happened this time and then we completely hated it.
What was your inspiration for Spring/Summer 2018? (Except for modularity, ha.)
Zoe: We don’t usually work that way, that’s why this season was funny. And if there is ever a reference, we usually end up going really far from it. The whole inspiration mood board is not really our forte. We write poems after we make each collection and before the show because we feel like it’s really diaristic and it’s when we’re at a point where we’ve just been constantly making stuff. It’s a reaction to how we’re feeling along with a lot of technical challenges we faced. This season was just another growth of this exploration.
Mike: These past few seasons have been more about fluidity and the process of putting things together and designing them. Certain concepts will form and an idea – or an idea of a silhouette. But in the end it often becomes about clothes we’re personally interested in, or through certain concepts, materials, or structures. It’s never been about this nucleus and moving around it.
Zoe: It’s also never about a kind of person.
That was my next question, because the cast of your shows is always so great – including other artists and peers. You have such a great community built around you, do you find inspiration from that?
Zoe: How we cast, it’s more inspired from the way those people wear clothes – whether it’s our designs, from a thrift store, another designer, or they personally make them. It’s always more inspiring about an energy or vibe that they embody. But we’re not trying to make clothes so that people can emulate them, more like honor it.
Mike: Our relationship with clothing is so much about the relationship with the people who are in the clothing, because they are not an autonomous object. We take them into consideration, and that’s why our shows have a breadth of different body types, races, genders, ages, and sexualities. With representing that, there’s a confidence within themselves we are drawn to.
What are you looking forward to in the future?
Mike: Plenty of different things, both personal and business-wise.
Zoe: We’re just really honored to be where we are right now, and to be able to grow the way we have been. All these things are really exciting and just continuing on the trajectory. And the way that it feels like it’s been going would be awesome.
Mike: Also, just to grow in ways that are exciting and are manageable and makes sense for us, really, I think is important — we’ve been conscious of that always. And just excited for next season because we love a good fashion show.