Zac Posen
Fashion Designer
04:35

Re: What inspires you?

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Yves St. Laurent created modern fashion, Posen says.

Zac Posen

Zac Posen is an American fashion designer. Born in 1980, Posen grew up in New York City and received his fashion education at Central Saint Martins in London. After internships at the Metropolitan Museum and Nicole Miller, Posen rose to prominence as one of the new names of the Gen Art Fresh Faces in Fashion show. His fashions are particularly popular with the young Hollywood set, and his designs have been worn by Natalie Portman, Claire Danes and Rachel Bilson.  Posen’s work has gained respect for its increasingly streamlined aesthetic of forties-inflected tailoring, mermaid-esque gowns, and itty-bitty cocktail frocks. He enlisted his mother Susan as CEO (she has since stepped down, and serves as Chairman) and his sister Alexandra as creative director, and in 2004, Sean Combs became a much-publicized backer.  In 2004, Posen was awarded the CFDA Swarovski-Perry Ellis Award for Ready-to-Wear" after his first major runway show.  Fragrance and diffusion lines are on the pike for 2009.

Transcript
My creative process is really exploring ideas that I’m interested in at the time. And then intensive research, which can become literal research or abstract in terms of just form, or texture and shape. And then I build on a woman three dimensionally with fabric, and form, and textures, and sewing techniques that I build in my studio. And then I work with my team on sort of building that up into a collection. I treat it in acts in a very theatrical way in terms of the sequence of our collection and our show, and where it starts and where it begins, or does it go in reverse or backwards. It’s like cooking a meal. It’s so varied. I often find my inspiration through play. Gene Kelly. ‘Cause he persevered, and he was. . . he had no fear.. Before . . . Well there’s certain pieces before clothing. There’s the snake goddess, sort of page 4 of Gardner’s our history book. And you know, there’s great clothing and _______ paintings, _______ paintings. And there’s . . . Of actual designers, which is only about 150 year old idea – fashion designer – I really have an incredible admiration for designer Madeline Vionet. And then it goes to Crystal Balenciaga. I mean so from there, we’re going from really fluid, foreign, sort of the invention of glamour, of looking at goddess-like women into sort of goddess forms, because they’re just totally constructed simplicity. And from . . . And then they became quite abstract. They’re large gestures of personality in the clothing, where Vionet was about bringing out the character of the woman. Then from there, I go to Issey Miyaki, and then to Yohji Yamamoto, Yves St. Laurent. He sort of . . . Yves St. Laurent created modern fashion – the idea of what a collection should feel like about haute couture versus ready to wear; and the formula of what a fashion show should look like and being in touch with the culture – brining street clothing into high fashion. He was, you know . . . I like the dreamers. Then I go to John _______, who sort of revitalized romanticism and dreaming. And fashion, besides the utilitarian part of it, is not a necessity for people. I mean it is a thrill of life. It’s not something necessarily necessary in order to live in any way. It’s an art form. It has patronage. It has financial signifiers attached to it. So you know, I like the designers who sort of surpassed that, or make fun of that, or have that humor – or just great sculptors _________. Well I think it’s an amazing time in fashion. We’re at a transition moment, which usually happens after the turning of the century. You know, I think, you know puppies, babies, and you know, plastic surgery are the new fashion.

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