For Sally LaPointe, clothing is about telling a story. Her fall/winter 2012 collection, which showed at New York Fashion Week, was inspired partly by Franz Kafka’s novellaThe Metamorphosis. Emotionally moved by the story, the designer made it her own with a collection that touched on such relevant themes as duality and fantasy. Perhaps even more stunning than the structured leather jackets, laser-cut mini dresses, and flowing high-waisted pants she sent down the runway, is the avant-garde designer’s undeniable talent for creating pieces that are abstract, yet functional.
While the narrative is what strings her collection together, LaPointe never forgets the woman she is designing for. Consistently churning out designs fit for the woman who is equally as powerful as she is feminine, LaPointe sticks to trademark silhouettes—structured shoulders and peplum waists. Unconcerned with trends, the designer stays true to the “dark edge” present in her own style, emphasizing femininity—a fresh breath of air after all the menswear-inspired collections we have been seeing. We caught up with the rising star for a quick Q &A.
BULLETT: You’re still fairly new to the fashion industry. Did you always imagine you would be a fashion designer?
SALLY LAPOINTE: To be honest, no. I didn’t realize I wanted to design clothing until I was a bit more exposed to it, in my late teens. Growing up, I always was, and knew I would be creating, but it was never strictly fashion. I think it wasn’t until I really had the exposure to it, learning more about it, and seeing it, that it really hit me. It just grabbed me in a way that nothing else did, so the decision was pretty clear.
Many of your designs are highly conceptual yet still wearable. Is it difficult to reconcile these two qualities sometimes?
I think finding that perfect balance in anything is a challenge. The way my brain works is very conceptual, but at the end of the day I am making clothing, and I want people to live in it. Yes, it proves to be difficult at times, but that is where the beauty lies. I feel something can never be too much of anything. It is something I am constantly working on, and believe I will always be searching for.
Your latest collection was based on the novella The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. What about the novella sparked your interest and inspired your designs?
When I read the book last summer, it just captured an emotion in me. It was a beautiful and emotional narrative, and I wanted to show this. The story was rich and embellished and this very much sparked my interest. I wanted to tell that story from my perspective.
Your designs are very edgy but still feminine. Would you say this aesthetic is reflective of your personal style?
Yes, I think you could say that. I think that I gravitate towards that sort of dark edge in my personal dress, but I do not want to look too androgynous, or too severe, I want to look like a woman. To me that is important.
Aside from literature, what other media inspires you? Are there any particular designers you look up to or follow closely?
I am really into stories, interesting happenings, things a bit one-off. That is how I got my inspiration for my Fall collection, I asked someone to tell me a story and they told me the story of The Metamorphosis, and it really inspired me. And I will definitely check out what’s going on elsewhere in the industry, I think it is good to know what else is happening out there.
What is something design-wise you would still like to do but have not yet had the chance to?
Menswear. I have a lot of requests for it. Not only would I love to do it, but it seems there would be an audience for it.
We heard you designed and made the shoes for your latest collection. Do you think shoemaking is something you will continue to pursue?
Well for the Fall ’12 collection the shoes were Alejandro Ingelmo for Sally LaPointe, it was his shoe design with my print design. I love shoes, and think they are just as important as the clothing in itself, but I may leave the shoe making up to the experts.