November 5, 2012

Q+A with designer, Robin Kaplan

Robin is a pint-sized fashion powerhouse!  She's been creating gorgeous apparel, right here on the Central Coast for nearly twenty years!  You've seen her lush, romantic, hand-dyed, skirts, tops, cardigans, and dresses showcased throughout AMBIANCE- now get to know the woman behind the seams...

Q. Can you recall your first fashion memory?
A. I remember having the most expensive taste in clothing, and torturing my poor lower middle class mother trying to make ends meet, to get me the clothes I wanted. She was so adoring of me, she did the best she could. I must have been about 11 or 12, I found this blue wool suit trimmed with red piping. Just the cat's meow. I did get her to buy that one for me.

Q. Please explain a bit about your designing process.
A. I do some drawing, though that is a tedious process for me. I work with a pattern maker, who has gotten to know my aesthetic very well. We brainstorm together and she materializes what I've come up with, sometimes discovering new and different ideas on the way.
Q. Where do you find inspiration?  And what's inspiring you now?
A. Textiles are my passion. I find them first and see what they have to tell me.
I would have to say that I'm often inspired by what I see on the street. Although my final designs don't resemble the original inspiration, that's how it sometimes starts. I'm endlessly impressed by the way people put things together.
Q. Does your studio reflect the aesthetic of your clothing?
A. Yes, it does. As time goes on, I've been adding to it. I just created a bridal salon/showroom in my studio. 

Q. When you're putting pen to paper, is there a particular woman you're designing for?
A. I design for [women ages] 20's to 90's, I have a look, that for a certain woman, spans a wide range. She is someone who doesn't follow trends, wants to be feminine, beautiful and comfortable
Q. Who are some of your personal style icons?
A. Rodarte, Yves Saint Laurent.

Q. Aside from clothing design, do you have any other hidden talents up your sleeve?
A. In my very early years, I was a sculptor of clay. My first profession was a hair designer. I have also been making jewelry to go with my collections. I'm currently in a painting class, just for fun

Q. What's the most important lesson you've learned in your career so far?
A. Personally, I believe that people need to follow their heart when it comes to fashion and wear what makes them feel incredible and beautiful. 

Q. What can we look forward to seeing from your line in the coming Season?
A. I found some woven italian wools that I'm lusting over. I've also just started working with Liberty of London prints which I've dreamt about for years. 
Also searching for the perfect knit to carry on my tee shirt line

THANK YOU, ROBIN!  Swing by AMBIANCE today to experience Robin's beautiful designs in-person.