We were lucky enough to get an exclusive sitdown with relative newcomer Jen Kao. For her Fall/Winter 2011 collection, Kao channelled the cosmos with her aerial galaxy prints and out of this world metallics. Born in Los Angeles and raised in Kansas, Kao moved to New York City where she debuted her “easy dramatics” approach to designing in 2008. Bullett caught up with Jen to talk astrology, life beyond planet earth, and, of course, fashion. And if that isn’t cosmic enough? Take a look at our exclusive backstage photos from her S/S 2012 collection HERE.
Of the three cities in which you’ve lived, which do you feel has influenced your work the most, Kansas City, Los Angeles or New York?
A professor of mine once told me that if your mind stays in New York, you’ll never be able to create anything that is honestly original and that there’s just too much stimulation coming from every direction for it to be possible to not be inspired by what everyone else is doing, which is why I do most of my creative work in my own version of solitary confinement.
I think LA and Kansas City have both influenced me in indirect ways. LA inspires the romance of “easy dramatics” and growing up in Kansas gave me a definite sense of perception of all kinds of personalities.
Who’s the Jen Kao girl?
She knows what she wants to wear and how she wants to wear it. She may be a minimalist or a maximalist, but understands that dressing is always an expressive and personal moment.
Which designers do you personally wear?
Dries Van Noten, Isabel Marant, Dior Homme, Givenchy, Ksubi, Margiela, Haider Ackermann, Alexander McQueen, Missoni, Balenciaga, Tsumori Chisato, Nike, Stella McCartney for Adidas, Bernhard Willhelm, and my own collection, of course!
Do you believe in astrology?
I believe there’s a strain of truth in astrology, but I mostly believe that a person is defined by experiences and time.
What is your astrological sign?
Do you believe there’s life outside of planet Earth?
If I say no, I’m feel like there’s a strong possibility of having a rude awakening tonight, so I guess the answer is “maybe.”
What was your personal favorite piece from your fall/winter 2011 collection? From any of your collections?
There are many pieces I love from the fall/winter 2011 collection for different reasons. I love to do opulent collections once in awhile, but I suppose my favorite is the kimono. There is something undeniably sexy about a well draped airy fabric that floats over your whole body yet reveals just enough silhouette through transparency and shadows. The sheer volume of the piece gives a level of drama and theatrics that I always love. Look 31 from Spring 2011 may be my favorite piece of all time. I could party, sleep and even wed in this dress. The icing on the cake is that the garment breaks to a drape that allows you to eat a 10 course meal and still feel just as confident.
Photographer: James Orlando
Stylist: Evren Catlin
Model: Kamila, Ford Models
Make Up: Brit Cochran
Hair Stylist: Jillian Halouska, Maxine Tall Management
Location: CVLT Studios, NYC