Interview with Kati Stern of Venexiana -Fall 2009
I had an opportunity to interview Kati Stern of Venexiana backstage before her show. I love her work and the lushness of her clothing seems to fly in the face of the international recession in a way that I welcome at the moment.
We began by talking about cities as I had recently been abroad and Kati mentioned that Paris is one of her favorite cities...
Why Is Paris one of your favorites?
It is probably one of the most beautiful cities in the world. And Venice is historical. Paris is also historical but from the architectural view, I have never seen anything ugly in Paris. It's gorgeous, the colors of Paris, the streets, the whole layout is amazing, so amazing, beautiful city. And then there is fashion.
Right of course, and you have a background in architecture.
I'm an architect.
How did you go from architecture to fashion?
To me it's very related because architecture is all about aesthetics and stature and divisions and sort of seeing the space and fashion is right next to that. You have to see the space, what you are going to do, I see right away when I see the fabric. And when I walk into a building I have to do architectural changes. It's almost an automatic thing.
So do you still do architecture as well?
Oh my god, that's amazing!
I have 20 hour days.
I read that Fortuny and Poiret are influences. I am wondering what you like best of each of them?
Well, Poiret is a long standing inspiration to me because I find him to be the first and most important influence on fashion. His choice of fabric, his ability, technical ability, is beyond, is beyond and I studied him a lot and I learned a lot.
Mariano Fortuny is my neighbor and his Palazzo was closed for renovation for 10 years. I have seen it before, just before they closed it, in the original state, which is most amazing, and I've seen it again this past summer, they reopened it, and all the stuff that I learned from him it sort of flooded back to me as I was walking around the palazzo and the garden and all of that came together and as soon as I came back, I did my summer show in September, I knew what my winter show was going to be and I hope that you will see it on the Runway.
Oh yes, I am so excited. A couple of more questions…your clothes are glamorous and beautiful, personally I think that's really needed right now in this economic climate, what are your thoughts on that?
I always like happiness. I'm an optimist. And the economic climate not only in New York, everywhere, stinks, I mean there's no other way, I really feel we are going to overcome this. Of course, it's a pendulum, it goes down, and it will go up. It will be awhile. And yes, I would like to provide a little glamour, a glimmer of hope and enjoyment for everybody.
Thank you. And last question, what's your favorite thing about being a designer? What makes you happy about it?
It makes me happy to wake up in the morning. I would not do anything else in my life than what I'm doing. It's a hard thing. And my advice for young designers, if you don't love it, don't even think about it because it will be your life. It is my life and I wouldn't do anything any other way.
Great. Thank you so much!