Check out one of our favorite designers in the store who recently interviewed with style bite!
S.B.: You just finished working on your sixth season I believe, and probably getting ready to design your seventh. How does your business differ now than, say, a year or two ago when you were just starting out? Is your design process the same; is the stress level just as high or does it get a lot easier with time?
C.M.: Things are very different from when I first started the company. As well as designing everything myself I was printing all my own fabrics and making all of the clothing. I now have printers that I am working with, a pattern maker that I use for some pieces, and I outsource the production. The design process is a little different. I have to spend a lot more time dealing with the business/administrative side which is integrated into my work day (lots of paper work and emails and talking on the phone). My stresses are just kind of different from when I first started). I guess the stress is a little less since I have so much help on the production end of things. I have more time for designing and researching which is great. I would say that things are getting a little easier because I have learned so much over the last two years.
S.B.: One of my favorite parts of Mociun is your use of quirky, hand
designed textiles, and its no secret that they are their own art in and of themselves. Do you have a background in textile design, or are you "self-taught"?
C.M.: I went to school for text design. I am self-taught in garment construction and pattern making.
S.B.: When designing a collection, what comes first, the textile design or the actual pattern design? (the print or the cut)
C.M.: I do them together. I usually start playing around with the silhouette of the garment then design the prints as I continue tweaking the garments.
S.B.: I noticed you use a lot of bamboo and natural fibers in your clothing. What kind of role does "organic" or sustainability play in your design process or collection as a whole?
C.M: This is very, very important to me. The production of textiles is very bad for the environment, those who make the fabrics and us as consumers. There are a lot of really interesting things going on in the textiles world with the development of new eco fabrics. I am looking into using a synthetic fabric that is made from recycled airbags. It’s a beautiful and interesting fabric, which simultaneously cuts down on waste. That’s another thing about the fashion world that I think needs to be changed. It’s such a wasteful industry; from clothing that is made so cheaply it has to be replaced after only a couple of months of wear, to the amount of scrap left over from cutting. I am actually looking into finding quilters to make quilts from all my tiny scarps left after cutting out garments. I really think the market it so open for eco and sustainable design, it’s really exciting to be here, in what I see as the onset of sustainable practice in the fashion world.
S.B.: For fall '07 you used a lot of native inspired prints like feathers and adaptations of odd landscapes. What were your references for your spring '08 collection? Any music, era's, genres or aspects of nature that served as an inspiration?
C.M.: For spring 08 I was inspired by the work of Kiki Smith. My interest in Native American art and costume, and growing up around nature always do find their way into there though. Working on Fall 08 now I am really heavily referencing Native American art, textiles and costume. It’s so much fun. I love the colors and all the different textures and embellishments.
S.B.: When you aren't wearing your own designs, what else are you rocking?
C.M.: I am actually so close to my design that I often choose not to wear them everyday, its like a spend too much time with them. But I do my best to integrate them into my wardrobe its good for business. I wear a lot of stuff I find at thrift stores. When I can afford it I try and get pieces from Belgian designs like Dres Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, and A.F. Vandervorst. I also love Martin Margiela and Balenciaga. Unfortunately they play a very small role in my wardrobe but I greatly admire their work and would wear it every day if I could.
S.B.: Everyone seams to have a favorite season, mine is fall for example, I love sweaters and coats. Do you have a seasonal preference?
C.M.: I don’t really like cold weather all that much. But I really like designing for fall. I love to layer things and I feel like you can really be more experimental with fabrics. With spring and summer you can’t use wools or heavy fabrics so much but with fall you can use them and all kinds of other fabrics from super light weight things that can be layered, to thick quilted things.
S.B.: Last but certainly not least, when you aren't designing clothes and textiles, what else are you up to?
C.M.: I love to cook. I like dancing so I do that a lot. I try and go to museums, art shows and music shows whenever I can. I find those things very inspiring.
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