With the news that the label Bill Blass is folding, we look back at our interview with their former designer Peter Som, who spoke with British Harper's Bazaar Deputy Editor Sarah Bailey about his fashion influences and Fall collection
- Q: Peter, for your Fall collection, you were inspired by the photography of Diane Arbus–what drew you to her work? - Sarah Bailey
- A: I love the sense of off-beat quirky eccentricity that she captures in her work, it's dark and odd. I wanted to imagine what her images would look like if they were in color.
- Q: You produce clothes for incredibly chic women and yet you have a keen appreciation of life's eccentrics. Why do think that is so? - SB
- A: The constant search for perfection is overrated. I was looking for beauty in the 'imperfect' for this collection
- Q: Who are your eccentric idols? - SB
- A: Peggy Guggenheim, Auntie Mame, Diana Vreeland, Daisy Fellowes, Elise de Wolfe, Iris Apfel.
- Q: Your parents were both architects, does an architectural sensibility inform your work as a fashion designer? - SB
- A: I would say there is an element of geometry to clothing design, it just happens to be in chiffons and cashmeres instead of wood and plaster.
- Q: What is the most beautiful building in the world? - SB
- A: There are so many amazing buildings in the world–Ronchamp by Le Corbusier, Sainte Chapelle in Paris, the Seagrams building in NYC, each beautiful in their own right.
- Q: Was there a particular episode or moment in your life that really turned you on to fashion? - SB
- A: My first trip to Paris–it was the early 80's and I discovered Claude Montana and Thierry Mugler in the pages of Paris Vogue. At that moment, I knew I wanted to be a part of that world.
- Q: Who was your first fashion muse? - SB
- A: My mom.
- Q: How do you design your collection, do you sketch your ideas, pin fabric on a model? What is your technique? - SB
- A: I'm a sketcher.
- Q: If there's one thing a woman can do to update her look for fall, what would that be? - SB
- A: Invest in a chic pencil skirt that accentuates the waist–it's back to the body-conscious tailoring for fall!
- Q: Can you give us an insight into your direction for Spring '09? - SB
- A: It’s an evolution from fall with a heavier dose of sexiness, that’s all I can say at the moment without giving too much away
- Q: Sir Paul Smith always says you can find inspiration in everything, what is the last thing that inspired you? - SB
- A: The last thing–believe it or not–was a memorable meal I made recently. The colors of the food were beautiful and well, actually quite delicious.
- Q: What is the worst fashion mistake a woman can make? - SB
- A: Looking like you've tried too hard.
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