We delve into the creative mind of young Designer, Karolyn Pho.
“Day one since I’ve started the line it’s been about rolling with the punches. I’m young and so new to the game that I don’t know what to expect a lot of the time”, says American fashion designer Karolyn Pho. Perhaps one of the most alluring qualities of the budding soloist (Karolyn Pho launched her line in 2012) is her adaptability as a designer. Karolyn continues, “You have the highest of hopes of course like anybody does, but there’s so many reality checks that happen every single day where you’re just like, ‘Okay well, that’s not gonna work. Let me find another avenue.’”
Although Karolyn’s minimalist details are her signature, she allows her surroundings – “another avenue” – to be the right amount of influence to inject into her collections. The designer adds, “As soon as you land in a new country where the language itself is not the same, you can’t help but be effected by the environment around you.” Hence, the birth of the vagabond theme of the Karolyn Pho Spring-Summer 2015. The romantic, lightweight frocks are inspired by wanderlust and what Karolyn describes as “the nomadic feel”.
Pho showcased her Fall-Winter 2015 “What Remains” Collection at Capsule New York. Reflecting on her extensive background in costume designing and wardrobe styling, the inflection in Karolyn’s voice still resonates with new girl-esque excitement. “Both of those things affect who I am today, the way that I create clothing, and the fabrications that I choose, and just the story that I’m trying to tell. I think with both of those avenues of work, it really forced me to have a concept and direction towards everything that I do,” she states.
Much like the distinct story of last season’s collection, the direction behind “What Remains” is both fluid and unique. Her approach to “effortless androgyny” comes in the form of skateboard culture, a hint of gnarly Mexican woven textiles, and heaps of tastefully structured outerwear. In reference to her minimalistic sig on the collection, Karolyn says, “It’s something I subconsciously gravitate towards. I like to create beautiful things without being fussy or overly complicated. I think a well-designed product should be elegant without explanation.”
Karolyn cites the thoughts of her first collection as a moment that still gets her giddy. “It was my first opportunity to really, like, do everything on my own as my vision, not tainted by anybody else for the first time in my life. And seeing it through from designing the collection to directing the look book and hiring the talent for the look book, the execution of the layout. All of that was just amazing to me. It was amazing to see for the first time in my life where I stood and all these ideas I had in my head, scribbled in a journal, actually on paper – it’s physical now. You can see it now. It’s tangible. I just felt really empowered. For the first time in my life [I’m] validated by myself which is really rare.”
Karolyn Pho recently presented her FW15 collection at Capsule New York. The collection will also premiere at Tranoi Paris on March 6 – 9, 2015.
Words: Gabrielle Pharms.