We featured Kate Moross on Rise back in January 2007, as she was on her way to becoming one of the most sought-after young illustrators in London. Since then she's worked with everyone from Klaxons to White Heat to Nike to (of course) Dazed & Confused, and her highest-profile project so far, a range of clothes for Topshop, launched at the weekend. To celebrate, she spent two days drawing in the window of Topshop's flagship Oxford Street store.
Dazed Digital: What was the idea behind the installation?
Kate Moross: The basic idea was to create a manic black and white doodle that could cover the walls and the floor. I used some of my reliable patterns and doodle fills, but brought in some symbols from electrical circuits (like resistors). I also started experimenting with disconnected lines and areas of empty space to contrast those that were built up.
DD: How much planning was involved with the design - were you nervous about being on display on the world's busiest street?
KM: No planning - It was reckless! It was my first mural too. I have done a ceiling at a party at about 5 o'clock in the morning, which was the trigger for suggesting the project to Topshop. I was the most nervous I have ever been, I am not used to having people watch me draw, but I soon calmed down after the first 30 minutes of drawing.
DD: How much involvement did you have with the design of the clothes themselves?
As for the shapes, I wanted simple silhouettes, nothing fussy or fancy, tees, jumpers and vests. I wanted boys to be able to wear at least two of the cuts, and I saw a few taking them home so that made me really happy. A lot of the process is about what is popular and what sells, so I focused on the drawings, and Topshop worried about the rest. I wondered if people thought I was going to come out with some really edgy shapes! Any one who knows me, only sees me in tees and hoodies. I wanted something wearable, affordable, bright and intricate. It was great, though, that I got to design everything - the logo, the tags on the clothes, even the type that said what size each garment was, and they did it all exactly to my specs!
DD: Are people still confusing you with Kate Moss?
KM: Erm - certainly not in person. I do think a few people were expecting to see her - they must have been really disappointed. I think she did a press meet on the friday at the Topshop offices, I wonder if it was planned on purpose?
DD: Anything else exciting coming up this year?
Lots! I am trawling through the last few months of my degree, and in the meanwhile, I am working for two clients, Nike and New Era. The projects are really different, and am really excited to see what happens with them, so keep your eyes peeled.
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