Sipping PBR’s in Trans Pecos’ back patio this summer, Brooklyn designer Olivia Galov revealed to me she’d developed an obsession with Chico’s moms—the type of women that live for lunch dates with their “girlfriends,” salivate over a natural color palette and overuse the statement, “That’s different,” to describe “the arts.” Always one to develop a tongue-in-cheek narrative for her independent brand Daimorf, Galov’s middle-aged muse this season followed a Freaky Friday scenario, where she escaped from her candy-raver teen at a Miami resort, but eventually switched bodies with them after an ultra-glam night at the club.
This transformation manifested in Daimorf’s spring ’17 collection as a balance of Chico’s-imbued silhouettes and hues with more subversive, nightlife undertones. There were still elements of Daimorf’s previous work this season, from the brand’s campy denim tops to wide-legged trousers with tie detailing and diamond-shaped patterns that recalled Galov’s earlier references to clown culture. Strong editorial pieces were present throughout—perhaps her strongest yet—like a pair of fuzzy green assless chaps, worn by Dick Wagner, but Daimorf also introduced more commercial ready-to-wear looks, like a Chic(o’s) cream cocktail dress, worn by Maya Monès.
BULLETT caught up with Galov after her NYFW presentation to learn more:
How does this collection build off your previous work?
This collection was an attempt to carry out the high points of every past season—highlighting the nuances that make up Daimorf’s DNA from every aspect of silhouette, construction, deconstruction [and] wear-ability. This meant sticking to a lot of natural and neutral tones, but incorporating minimal pops of color with the fabric choices [and] keeping silhouettes gender-nonconforming, but sleek.
Where do you find a balance between underground clout and mainstream accessibility?
I’m interested in making Daimorf accessible to a wide range of markets, but I think that—with previous collections in mind—the slight shift into incorporating more wearable pieces this season keeps it in line with an underground mentality. I’d truly love to have people who wouldn’t normally come across Daimorf be able to stumble across something they’d wear everyday, and then possibly explore the rest of our collections. Meanwhile, [they can] subconsciously explore themselves and open new doors to their personal self-expression [through] our brand.
Casting is always important to you. Talk about this season’s model lineup.
This season’s casting—as we always attempt to do in some respect—included a wide range of up-and-coming NYC models and contemporaries. I love including people I respect creatively no matter their artistic means to be included in each show, whether it be music [or] fine art. I also think it’s important to make sure each model feels comfortable in their look, so that played a major part at each fitting—feel good, look good.
What challenges have you experienced as an independent designer?
Daimorf started with the same mentality I have today—the non-conforming attitude toward gender [and] fashion-biases—but has developed into so much more aesthetically [and] functionally than I could have ever imagined. Financially, there are definitely set-backs considering how much time and personal money is invested in each collection and show—it’s hard without backing from the jump. Thankfully, I’ve found amazing support since Daimorf has grown, between collaborations, casting [or] location scouting. More importantly, emotional hardships will always arise; there are definitely moments where you’re your own worst critic or feeling less than or under-appreciated. All of that [compares] to any ‘struggling artist,’ though.
Talk about your presentation space in Chinatown’s Foxy Production.
The show was poised to be shown in a minimal environment, with subtle set design that allowed the collection to take over the space and become focal. Foxy production, with its new location in Chinatown, was the perfect fit. The gallery was rectangular with a central wall partition, creating a perfect ‘runway’ for each viewer to be within eyes reach of the models as they walked. Either end had multiple ‘grass’ carpet circles to portray a sort of ‘resort’ experience. Glass bowls lined one wall of the gallery, filled with water which held the custom Daimorf sponges, correlating with the summer cool down, spa and resort aesthetic.
What’re your goals for Daimorf’s brand development?
I’d like to start collaborating with a lot of artists on the outskirts of fashion design, whether it be for textile [or] knitwear. I’d also like to reach out to a range of new stockists and a market that’s wider than Daimorf has ever had before. At the same time, I’d like to allow Daimorf to continue on its own evolution, which I feel falls outside of anyone’s control, but be accepting and conscious of what that may mean as it manifests.