My Fashion Sketchbook with Kristen Ginn

FSF scholar and SCAD graduate Kristen Ginn talks accessories design, The Royal Tenenbaums, and the surreality of watching her designs on the Max Azria fall 2011 runway.

FOF: So tell us about yourself!

KG: I am a 23 year old fashion/accessories designer currently living in Los Angeles, California. I am originally from Dayton, Ohio. I graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design last June and moved to Los Angeles in July. I love the West Coast, but my  heart is in the East. In my spare time, I study former United States Presidents, practice my stand-up comedy routine, and look for things to feed my creative monster.

FOF: When did you win the FSF scholarship?

KG: I won the scholarship in the winter of my junior year at SCAD. I interned for Nautica the following summer, then returned to SCAD where I worked diligently on my senior collection. I made shoes, accessories, and an apparel collection, which was featured in the SCAD 2010 Static Fashion Show.

FOF: How did you use your FSF scholarship?

KG: I used the scholarship to fund my summer in New York in 2009 where I interned for Nautica Women’s Wear. (An opportunity provided for me by the YMA FSF!)

FOF: Glad we could give you the opportunity! How did you break into the fashion industry after you graduated?

KG: Right after I graduated, I booked a one-way ticket to LA and called BCBG to ask for an interview. I got the job the same day, learned everything from an amazing head designer, Shannon Figgins, and got to design for Max Azria and Herve Leger runway. Seeing my personal designs, from conception to realization, walk the runway in New York was literally the thrill of a lifetime. Now, I am looking for a new position that will fuel my creativity, and not stifle it.

FOF: Did your career take off at BCBG?

KG: My role at BCBG was Design Associate, but my boss quit three month into my employment. I then took over design of the fall runway looks. I communicated daily with Korean and Chinese factories, as well as worked hands-on on mockups and examples. I collected trend and inspiration images for concepting and met directly with the design director, Marie Mazelis.

FOF: What a great experience! Tell us more about your blog-meets-digital -sketchbook and its interesting name…where did you come up with it?

KG: My blog is called “They Rode On Through The Friscalating Dusklight,” and it features my sketches. The title of the blog is taken from a movie called The Royal Tenenbaums, directed by Wes Anderson. It is one of my favorites. I must have seen it 100 times. I was watching it one night and got to a scene where the character Eli Cash, played by Owen Wilson, is at a reading for a book he wrote. The full quote he recites is: “‘Vamanos, amigos,’ he whispered, and threw the busted leather flintcraw over the loose weave of the saddlecock. And they rode on in the friscalating dusklight.” I heard the last line and immediately went to make my blog.

FOF: Love it! Your designs are beautiful, and it was very smart of you to create a digital space on your blog for them to live. What inspired these?

KG: The first sketch is inspired by Alexander McQueen’s last triumphant collection. I saw the beautiful close-up shots of the garments on his website and was immediately inspired. “I think there is beauty in everything. What ‘normal’ people would perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it.” – Lee Alexander McQueen.

The second is a quick triptych I did featuring a girl and a flower, the inspiration here was a collection I was designing based on modern florals.

The third is the second piece in the triptych. She is very Lara Stone looking, I guess my inspiration here is pretty transparent…

The fourth girl is the final piece in the triptych. I used a dhalia as the flower featured in this sketch because they are my favorite flower of all time.

The fifth sketch is from my senior collection at SCAD. I was inspired by the Twilight Zone, so the girls are very alien-like. The entire collection was made of spandex, so the draping was very important. I also designed all the accessories and show pieces as seen in the sketch on the right.

The last sketch features some new designs that I am working on for a personal project. It’s inspired by a futuristic Ana Karina, something very bleak with dark tones. It’s still coming along, we’ll see if I ever finish it!

FOF: These are all amazing! So what’s next for you ?

KG: I couldn’t tell you! I’m actively looking for work, in either apparel or accessories. I’m currently soaking up the LA sun and running around celebrity hunting until I find something new.

FOF: You’re so talented. (Hopefully a designer will read this and hire you right away! Good luck with everything!)


View Kristen’s Max Azria handbag designs on (Looks 4, 5, 10, 15, 18, 24, 25 and 26)


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