My latest Not Just A Label article!
I did it with my editor Hanne as unfortunately this was the time I was really wasn't exactly able to hand in my best work, so she kindly added quite a bit to it :)

The interview behind the piece was with Papusza Couture - she is the most amazing New York designer, featured as a NJAL designer and I absolutely adore her work. She made a real effort to answer all my questions in full and so I just couldn't refrain from sharing it with you all!

1. Do you think street style has had an effect on new and emerging designers, rather than just the big name designers? If so - how?

Absolutely. Especially as emerging designers, still building a name for ourselves, we have to consider marketability and how we are gonna pay the bills. Street style represents how people are comfortable presenting themselves on a day to day basis. As much as it may be creatively fulfilling to make pieces that are unconventional or impractical it is important to balance that out with things people can wear in everyday life.

Also, as not only a designer, but as an artist, I think it is my responsibility to push boundaries, and compel people to step outside of their comfort zones and break the mainstream mould. I use street style as a tool to inspire me. I observe what people are comfortable wearing, and then I try and play with it, and see what I can do to make it more interesting. I believe this type of mentality is what makes fashion evolve.

Personally, I spend a lot of time observing what people wear in the city in their everyday lives. One of my favourite things to do on the subway is look at peoples' shoes. I don't design shoes, but I love them, and perhaps one day I will... I have spent a lot of time in my mind culminating the ideal shoe, that is both beautiful and street appropriate. Hopefully one day I can make it a reality.

2. Is any of your work inspired by what you see on the street - if so could you give an example?

Sure, my work is very inspired by what I see on the street, especially living in New York. People are not afraid to express themselves through what they wear here. That being said I think a lot of the influence to my aesthetic comes from my having grown up in close proximity to Portland and Seattle. The idea of grunge, punk rock and vintage played a huge role in my personal love of fashion.

The area where I think this influence is most apparent in my aesthetic is in my use of deconstruction and disintegration. For example, I think there is a certain beauty, and representation of process, in finding a basic pair of tights, shredding them up, and dying them in a manner that makes them appear discoloured, and weathered. It gives them more texture, and makes them more interesting to look at, in giving the appearance of how time can impact and add character a very basic article of clothing.

3. When looking for ideas for your collections, do you ever look at street style blogs such as The Sartorialist?

I enjoy looking at fashion blogs, and of course I get ideas when looking at them. That being said, I can't say I specifically seek them out to gather inspiration for my collections.

The Sartorialist is great, and although I don't look at it as much as I should I often see things that stimulate new ideas when I check it out. I also like seeing how street style in Europe compares to street style in New York. I particularly enjoy keeping up on fashion in Japan. One of my favourite blogs to look at for inspiration is STYLE from TOKYO. I love Harajuku, and I think the Japanese are bold in their willingness to be playful with everyday fashion.

4. Does any of your current collection relate to street trends - if so which would you say?

The new collection I am creating to show in September '10 has a lot of inspiration from street style. I am working a lot with leather, and doing lot's of separates and more pants than I have in the past. Although I am still creating a handful of fun, avant garde dresses (which is one of the things I enjoy most in my design process), I am also doing a lot of separates to balance them out. For example, I am making lots of little vests, bustiers, pantaloons and leggings that can either be layered with more theatrical pieces to dress them down, or that can be worn with day wear, like jeans and t-shirts, to dress them up. These are the pieces that resemble an aire of timelessness, and one of my more recently acquired design philosophies is to make having them a part of a collection be a priority.

5. Have you seen any trends on the street that are now being replicated on the catwalk?

Sure, I see things on the catwalk all the time that are variations of styles I see on the street. One of my recent favourite examples of this would be some of the gowns in the Viktor & Rolf Spring '10 collection. They had a lot of tulle in their garments (which I LOVE), and some of the pieces resembled tutu's that had been worn out on the town and torn or chopped up. To me this is very rock and roll, and filled with body and texture. I love how interesting and creative the beautiful imperfection of the concept is.

Another favourite is the reworked punk rock t-shirt, seen in numerous variations on the runway. When I was a teenager we used to always take our beloved band shirts, and cut them up, fringe them, cut holes in them and weave strange objects into the fringe. I still see this expression of DIY everyday on the streets in Brooklyn, and have seen it recently in many varieties in the collections of Gaultier, Westwood, Rodarte and Comme Des Garcons. It has inspired me to pull out some of my old favorite shirts! I guess it's a good thing I still listen to a lot of the same music.

My current favourite Papusza piece: the Bird Skull Butterfly Dress; simply stunning.

Photo credit: NJAL / Papusza Couture


Claire said...

great post x.

MOLLYKT said...

hey lovely,
i'll print this one out too ;)
but from what i can see, you've asked some good questions, i like the one about looking at 'the sartorialist'.
can't wait to read it!

Hannah @ LONDON--ROSE ♥ said...

great post, and what great answers she gave! you always write such amazing articles... I'm v jealous!



Becca. said...

congrats on the article milly!
and what do you mean see you at LFW.
i've not been invited. have you?

Ruth loves said...

great post!
i love the writing on your blog, its very aspirational. xxxxxxxx

Mila said...

Love this post!

Ruth loves said...

ahhh im silly hahaha
heres the link! :) xx

divine bunny said...


love it.

obvioulsy knows whats up

Taylor Sterling said...

yes, very pretty!

Platform Princess said...


Great interview dear, you're just racking them up!

You deserve it.

Will email you tonight.

Love xx

Anonymous said...

yees,great post:)

TIFFANY thegirlwithafeather said...

This is a really great interview! I enjoyed reading it!

kirstyb said...

im off to email people now! what shows you going too! great post by the way! xxx

FashionJazz said...

Congrats!! Really good post! x


MOLLYKT said...

i still need to read this!
luckily i'm on half term now so i'll have all the time i need :)

fadetoblack said...

ooh i love!
and i def agree about the street style!!
its where its at yo aha!!

kirstyb said...

hey millly u won my give away - drop me an email with your address on it -