Fresh style insights, tips and commentary by Michelle Tea, Michael Braithwaite, Leo Plass, Page McBee and Carrie Leilam Love.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

An Interview With Geren Lockhart of GEREN FORD

Hi, it's fall and all I want to do is wear pants. Like the pleated, high-waisted ones I found piles of at a Goodwill in Southern California, or any by Geren Ford, starting with these skinny, leathery Blade Runner-y gems. Geren Ford is an L.A.-based line whose FW10/11 is a bounty of interesting pants plus flouncy girlish tops and ankle-length dresses that give off a sort of somber Great Gatsby vibe. In addition to her primary line, Geren Ford designer Geren Lockhart creates the secondary HAWKS By Geren Ford for Urban Outfitters (whose sale rack gets marked down to thrift store price, broke folk and cheap people!). I've got an amazing hot pink HAWKS top that's all cute and blousy in the the front, while the back is held together by a single button at the top and is totally open and scandalous. I wore it on a date once, and as I walked away from the table to use the bathroom my date fell madly in love with me. Be careful! Anyway, in addition to these two lines, Geren Lockhart pens a great lifestyle blog for that makes me want to run away to the Shagri-La of her Southern California, loafing at artisan bakeries in Ojai and stealing avocados from her own backyard. She took a moment away from conjuring what we'll be wearing next year to give me an interview.

IRONING BOARD COLLECTIVE: What were the inspirations behind your current fall line?

GEREN LOCKHART: Francis Bacon and his work space.

Francis Bacon: Genius? Hoarder? No one says you can't be both.

IBC: Geren Ford is largely inspired by all the traveling you do. What are your top five cities?

GL: Paris, New York, Los Angeles, London, Buenos Aires

IBC: Your pieces mix elements of New York City and Los Angeles. What do you see as the dominant styles for each coast, and how do you blend them in your designs?

GL: New York for me is a lot about function, and that making things that work as well as are beautiful. Los Angeles for me is a bit more personal, and making things that tell a story. Together we strive to have things that work and are pretty, while always telling a story.

IBC: I love your HAWKS line for Urban Outfitters! How does it differ conceptually from your main line?

GL: HAWKS is all about the relationship with Urban and working off the relationships that they already have with their customers. It's a chance for us to reach a demographic that we can't except by partnering with a major retailer, and I've always loved Urban Outfitters so it's a perfect match. We get to take a few more chances and tell smaller stories more often.

That's my magic shirt, third from the left. Business in the front, party in the back.

IBC: Your excellent blog has a great list of fashion documentaries. Which is your favorite, and what documentary would you like to see made?

GL: I have to say I was most surprised and entertained by Lagerfeld Confidential, and I'd love to see the story of Alexander McQueen be put to film, or rather cross my fingers that someone's had a camera pointed at him over the last few decades.

IBC: How do you channel a new line? Do you make lists, is it intuitive, do things come to you in dreams?

GL: It's a collective process, I spend every day with eyes and ears open collecting information and allowing myself organic reactions to art and film and experiences. When the time comes to put a collection into work I put that dreamy storytelling stuff together with what we need to or want to have in our lives.

IBC: What did you dress like in high school?

GL: Six months ahead of everyone else, since my dad lived in SoHo in NYC and I did my shopping there. I was always wearing stuff that no one else was yet.

IBC: What has been your most glamorous fashion moment thus far?

GL: Being asked to be in the pages of British Vogue. And having my photo end up in the story.

IBC: Was there ever a moment when you were like - screw this fashion thing! What made you keep going?

GL: Yes, for sure. I think the response from the end consumer about how their lives are better because of the line is the primary reason for putting one foot in front of the other in moments like that, and then there's my completely crazy thought that I can make anything happen.

IBC: If you weren't a designer what would your 1st runner up dream job be?

GL: Chef, or interior designer - I love spaces even more than I love clothes.

IBC: What fictional character would you most like to dress?

GL: She's not fictional, but she's not alive. Coco Chanel.

IBC: What's your zodiac sign?

GL: Libra with Virgo and Libra risings . . . all in the balance zone of the zodiac.

IBC: What are you reading right now?

GL: Travel guides for my next few trips. I just finished The Cookbook Collector and am now making my way through Accidental Billionaires and Medium Raw.

IBC: Do you prefer to wear pants or skirts and why?

GL: No preference . . . just whatever fits my mood and tells the best story that day.

IBC: What trend are you most psyched about right now, and what would you like to see go away?

GL: Long skirts I am in love with. Bike shorts I am not.

IBC: What non-fashion things are you obsessed with right now?

GL: The food rebirth in America. Travel, always crazy for travel. Art and how it's now mainstream.

Thanks Geren! And thanks also to Beth Lisick! Here she is in another great Geren Ford dress at Litquake a couple weeks ago. The fabric looks like wood or a moth's wing and is beautiful.

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