In person, Katie Gallagher seems at once ethereal and tough. One gets the sense she knows what she likes and doesn’t bother with the rest. Gallagher grew up between a farm and forest in Western Pennsylvania and studied fashion at the Rhode Island School of Design, where her first creation was a dress constructed from handmade metal springs. It was subsequently borrowed for photo shoots featuring Daphne Guinness and Lady Gaga, and before Gallagher graduated, she caught the attention of fashion observers. She launched her eponymous label in 2009, and her dark, futuristic clothes — characterized by body-conscious lines and geometric cuts — are among the most exciting to have come from a young designer in years. Gallagher says she relishes the flurry of interaction at Fashion Week, because the rest of the year the design process is a solitary job. She believes fashion is a vehicle for personality, story and attitude rather than an end in itself.
Victoria: What's your favorite place to shop in your neighborhood?
Katie: The Sweet Life.
Q: Your DO and DON'T of Fashion Week?
A: Do go out! Don't ride the subway, Fashion Week, or not.
Q: What's your favorite thing about the fashion in NYC?
A: I'd like to think that people that strike me in the city are one of a kind.
Q: Describe your style in two words.
A: Ever evolving.
Q: What's a piece or a trend that you're seeing for fall that you want to wear now?
A: I don't follow trends!
Q: Are you doing a show this year?
A: Yes! One in February (Fall/Winter 2013) and One in September (Spring/Summer 2014). I show with Milk Made at The Standard.
Q: What was your inspiration for this season?
A: My upcoming collection is called “The Winter Froze You Away.” The concept is about becoming one with the atmosphere in which one lives; fading away and disappearing but still being physically present in space...the idea of becoming a part of the place where you have lost something you loved. The clothing and accessories create lines that move into each other and also disappear into space. Inspiration bits are mourning jewelry, David Lean’s “Dr. Zhivago”...a very Nordic and cold feeling.
Q: When you were a teenager, whom did you consider the most glamorous person in the world?
A: Fiona Apple followed by Kyoko Fukada.
Q: Have you ever had a behind-the-scenes catastrophe at a fashion show? What happened?
A: Various. Nothing too disastrous. Things ripping, models refusing to wear shoes, pretty normal things. I’m very regimented with the show prep, so everything is usually pretty thought through and worked out pre-show. I work very hard to create a relaxed, anti-stress backstage atmosphere.
Q: What are three things you want right now?
A: A Tokujin Yoshioka Cloud Couch, a clove cigarette to go with my coffee and a black Maine Coon cat.
Q: What is a style that you liked once but no longer admire?
A: Menswear on women. No.
Q: What would you never wear?
A: A fedora.
Q: How do you get dressed in the morning? Does it depend on a mood, a look you've got in your mind, or for the place or situation you will be in?
A: Well, usually I'm just in my studio/apartment working, and it's just me. So, I'm usually just in a T-shirt and underwear until or if I have go out to meet someone!
Meet the New Yorkers Who Make Fashion Week Happen
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