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Calling Calla!

Print designer Calla Haynes puts a new spin on the Liberty floral print in her Autumn / Winter 2011 collection

There’s a growing trickle of fresh blood pouring into Paris Fashion Week and back in March, Calla Haynes was certainly part of that trickle. The Toronto-born, Paris-based designer who has previously collaborated with the likes of Nina Ricci and Rochas on their prints confesses that Paris is a hard nut to crack but the rewards of course are, that much greater. For her A/W11 collection, she has once again constructed a series of prints that started of with her desire to put a new spin on the ditzy Liberty floral and she did so by putting a freeze effect on her watercolour florals.

Added to the floral mix are painterly textures in soft tones of peach and blush pink, a vivid blue crystallised print and smokey grey moon crater surface patterns. We speak to Haynes about this season’s print stories as well as her decision to use non-models in her fashion week presentation, accompanied by an exclusive backstage video.

Dazed Digital What was the starting point for the new collection?
Calla Haynes:
My first idea was to do a LIberty-esque Print in a Calla way.  We painted the flowers in watercolour and then added layers of cracked ice giving it a winter-y frozen feel.  I also felt very strongly about using deep red wine colours and contrasting them with light greys and strong blues.  In terms of silhouettes, I want to focus on a more distinct silhouette, highlighting a woman's hourglass figure but in a relaxed way.

DD: How do you evolve the prints from season to season?
Calla Haynes:
Each season, I'm inspired by texture and nature photos.  My muse is almost always an artist, whether a sculptor, a studio painter, an actress... She's definitely a creative being. My first season, I was very inspired by painterly textures: brushstrokes and blending of paint.  It seemed suiting to bring these ideas back again, as my muse this season was a landscape painter. The prints always tend to have a romantic and soft feeling, but by experimenting with colour, textures and new themes I hope to bring something fresh each season.

DD: Why did you decide to street cast the girls for your presentation?
Calla Haynes:
My fit models and showroom models are cool, young Parisian art students. They're so inspiring and it's a pleasure to see them in my clothes. They were great at the presentation, smiling and swaying to the music. I think they really enjoyed themselves and that made the viewers feel more relaxed and hopefully made them smile too.

DD: is it still quite challenging being a young designer in Paris or is it changing?  
Calla Haynes
: It definitely has its challenges.  I knew going in that Paris was going to be the hardest city to launch my collection, but I did it anyways - so I shouldn't complain! It would be nice to have more support during Fashion Week. London and New York are so lucky to have all that sponsorship.