Interview with Zac Posen @ Saks Fifth Avenue

Models show off to stunning Zac Posen S/S 2010 dresses in canary yellow and sea green. Print designed by Rosson Crow
This afternoon hip young designer Zac Posen paid a visit to Saks Fifth Avenue, Naples, to meet fans and show off his new S/S 2010 collection.
For those unfamiliar with Zac Posen, he is a US designer who studied at Central St Martins as well as Parsons the New School for Design and made his name in his home town of New York, establishing a cult celebrity following and winning a host of awards for his colourful and feminine designs since he stepped out onto the scene in 2001.
Posen has won both citizen and celebrity fans over with a mix of bright colours, detailed prints and silhouettes that celebrate the diversity of the female form: from 1930s inspired monochrome in A/W 2003 to delicate floral prints in his 2009 Resort collection.
Today at Saks, Posen’s S/S 2010 collection was alive with colour, figure-hugging dresses and exotic prints teamed with bright feather sleeves and cover-ups. The abstract floral prints were designed by Rosson Crow, an American artist and illustrator famous in art circles for her decedent use of paint on the canvas and rich, bold colours.

Yazbukey brooches and jewelery used in the NYFW show are on show at Saks alongside the rest of the S/S 2010 collection

The collection had a mix of short cocktail dresses combined with longer, Grecian-inspired gowns, see top photo. There were also some fun lattice two-tone pieces that looked like chicer versions of cheerleader uniforms. Posen, who has previously favoured tailoring from the 30s and 40s in his collections, has managed to evoke nearly every inspirational decade for Spring/Summer.

The acid yellow colours and shorter mini dresses looked reminiscent of Mary Quant designs of the 1960s while the mannequin sporting the long pink gown embellished with beading could have walked straight out of a 1070s cocktail party. Posen has obviously enjoyed putting together this new collection and collaborating with other artists and designers – something that is reflected in the fun use of colours and choice of fabrics (everything from feather to silk).

The colourful and tongue-in-cheek lip brooches that feature in Posen’s S/S 2010 collection were designed by Turkish design duo Yazbukey, see image above. Laser cut lips and manicured hands came in black, bright green and mirrored pink and blue, reminding me of the London based jewelry company Tatty Devine, a Ship-Shape favourite, who specialise in quirky, fun acrylic designs.

Above: Zac poses for a photo in his rather dapper navy suit
As well as a sneaky peak at the new collection, the designer was also meeting and greeting fans, both the two and four-legged variety! Once the gushing group of high school fashion followers I was with had cornered Posen for a chat, I was lucky enough to be able to pick his fashionable brain about his new collection, Mark Ronson and his list of A-list followers…
Ship-Shape: What inspires you when you design a new collection?
Zac Posen: I am constantly researching. I’m into people who self-style: women who know their character and personality and know how to express it.
SS: Were you happy with your show and all the glamorous parties at New York Fashion Week?
ZP: Well my show was at 9am so I didn’t get much partying before then! The show went well and was mixed by [English music producer and DJ] Mark Ronson who played some fantastic independent bands such as The Like. Ship-Shape also heard tunes by Santigold and Florence And The Machine made an appearance as models sashayed down the runway.
SS: You’ve dressed a lot of celebrities for the red carpet – do you have a particular star you’ve enjoyed working with?
ZP: I could never answer this question!
SS: (with a cheeky smile) Is that because there are too many favorites to choose from?
ZP: Ah, I’ve had so many amazing experiences with every [celebrity] I’ve dressed! I love it when I can work closely with them during the fitting process.
SS: You’re a New Yorker but you spent some time studying in London, what are your favourite things about the city?
ZP: Well I met so many great people there and lots of my friends are in London. I love the British Museum, the John Soane Museum, Sussex…
SS: The people of London and New York dress very differently, what do you think about UK style?
ZP: Oh absolutely! I think England has embraced eccentricity. (SS nods enthusiastically and mentions a potential move to the capital) If you’re going to work in fashion in London you have to make a statement, look at the likes of Isabella Blow – maybe not that extreme but you have to create a look for yourself and stand out from the crowd.
A huge thanks to Zac Posen and the Saks Fifth Avenue team for a fantastic event, and for E for letting me borrow her camera phone!

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