Rebecca Minkoff wowed at NYFW with a Seventies-inspired collection that was as wearable as it was inspired. Think suede fringing, knee-high, peep-toe boots. This was a master class in boho dressing for winter. Rosaleen McMeel caught up with designer and Essie’s first Global Colour Designer at NYFW.
How are you enjoying Fashion Week so far?
I am really enjoying it, my show is over so now I can finally enjoy it.
How did your show go?
Great, the response has been amazing. Patti Smith was the inspiration. I read her book last summer and for me, I knew I wanted to do something inspired for her, but it had to be the right season and spring just wasn’t that season, so I waited for A/W.
Seventies influence is big this season already, did that change how you were planning to reinterpret it for A/W?
For me, it was about Patti, so I found every image of her I could get my hands on. Sometimes she was really bohemian and would wear these flowy, ripped up dresses and was very feminine and then other times she was very mannish, so I was trying to find the balance of those two things. I didn’t want to stray too far out of that, but also I wanted it to be modern.
What’s the standout piece for you from your collection?
I think the opening look, Jamie Bochert who I was so lucky to get and she was wearing a silk button down and a suede leather skirt. Any look that we showed with the thigh high boots with the fringe got a great reaction.
Do you work with others on your designs or create solo?
I’m pretty democratic when it comes to design because I appreciate other people’s views so when I begin a season, I go over what I’m thinking with my team and get a bunch of feedback and they send it back to me with their take on it, so it’s a back-and-forth dialogue.
You’ve been working as colour designer with Essie since 2012, how did that come about?
They’ve been doing the nails for my shows since 2012. Coincidentally or not, I always wear Essie. Even, the colour Clambake inspired the colour for my wedding. I was matching everything back to Clambake. That’s my colour when it’s warm out, so when it came to picking my wedding colours, I kept going back to that. When they’re out of Clambake I go for Fifth Avenue. I’m known for my choice of colour especially with my handbags, so when Essie said they wanted me for this role, it was the perfect way of bringing a fresh perspective.
What do you enjoy about working with the nail brand?
The funnest part of designing for me is the inspiration and the colour and with Essie, that’s what I get to do. I don’t have to worry if it looks good on her hips or if it’ll fit her butt, does she need a bra with that? If it’s a good colour, we’re good!
In terms of nail trends, we saw a lot of plain nails on the catwalk, but you opted for something a little more exciting at your show. What was the thinking behind that?
Yes, I had a chevron. I think there’s still room out there for nail art. I don’t think it’s dead. I think some people maybe overdid it in the past, but I feel like it’s still a way for a woman to express herself.
Now that your show is over will you be attending any other shows or just recovering?
Because my show was on Friday, I take the weekend to be with my family because I’ve been missing my kids and then I’m not going to any other shows, but my friend is a designer and he’s having a party so I’ll go to that.
How do you balance motherhood with being a designer in demand?
It is a constant struggle and a constant push-pull. You could work 16 hours a day and never be done. When I decided to have my first child I didn’t want to be a mom who was gone all the time so I try to balance it although it’s not balanced.
Top tip for surviving fashion week?
The day of my show, I’ll exercise for an hour and that gets my blood pumping and tempers my anxiety. Sleep is key too. I try to get at least seven hours. At this time of year my skin gets really dry too so I put lotion on my face two or three times a day.
Rosaleen McMeel is editor of IMAGE Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @rosiemcmeel