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Photographs by Chris Reed

Katie Gallagher A/W 10/11

Katie Gallagher’s mystical presentation at Soho Grand takes us into “the heart of the woods.”

The mood backstage at Katie Gallagher was lighthearted as models gathered around a table filled with candy hearts and other sweets. “No smiling… act like lost cats!” read a nearby poster. Despite last minute complications involving a no-show model, Katie was cool, calm and collected- and ready to put on a breathtaking presentation. With only one previous fashion week presentation to date, the young RISD educated designer has already made a name for herself with her dark, ethereal designs.

With their big teased hair, appliquéd fingernails and dramatic cat-like eye makeup inspired by Katie’s own look, the models were transformed into beautiful woodland nymphs. The icy color palette included winter white, pale pinks, neutrals, grays and black. At show time the girls drifted into the room outfitted in sheer silk tops and dresses with cut out backs, futuristic leather jackets, zipper front skinny trousers and translucent leggings with geometric panels. A long white leather jacket with a large halo-esque hood was a definite standout, although Katie’s entire collection is sure to be coveted by free-spirited fashionistas.

Dazed Digital: What was the inspiration behind this collection?
Katie Gallagher: It started mainly with a painting that it did. I usually do paintings and drawings, so they inspire everything that make. It was a landscape full of pastels: greens, pinks, grays and whites.

DD: How are you styling the hair and makeup?
KG: The hair and makeup is like an extreme version of me: the big hair, the lines on the eyes. The faces are pretty pale, but not as white as last season. It’s more pure, just kind of whitening the models’ natural skin tones. As for the hair, we wanted it to be pretty big with lots of teasing. Because I’m doing a hood, we wanted it to look like a halo around the hair.

DD: I love your dark, gothic aesthetic. How have you developed it since last season?
KG: I don’t really consider it gothic; I usually just make what I would want to wear. I try to transform my two-dimensional drawings into 3-D. Right now I’m wearing most of my own clothing from my last collection.

DD: What designers are you most inspired by?
KG: Right now I really love a lot of Japanese tailoring, so I love Comme des Garçons, Rei is one of my favorites. And I always like Balenciaga.

DD: What made you want to become part of the fashion industry?
KG: I don’t know… I didn’t really know I would end up being in the fashion industry. I didn’t go to school to be in fashion, I went for painting. At RISD you do four years and the first year is foundation, so you have to decide during freshman year what you want to do. And I was always like, “painting, painting… or maybe I’ll do sculpture,” and then I became interested in apparel because I wanted to learn a new skill. I decided that I didn’t want to sit around in a studio and wait around to have someone tell me how to paint, because I already know how to paint. I just wanted to learn how to make clothing, and I just went from there.

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