Joliegazette was invited to a fashion chat at Neiman Marcus of San Francisco, where the editor-in-chief of Yahoo Style and FABLife host Mr. Joe Zee chatted with creative director of DVF, Jonathan Saunders and celebrity stylist Penny Lovell. We also got to preview Jonathan's red carpet looks for DVF. Scottland born Saunders loved to play with colors and materials. He's graduated Central Saint Martins in London and started his career as a furniture designer. Within 48 hours of showing his final MA collection, Saunders was commissioned to design prints for Alexander McQueen. In 2003 he created the iconic bird-of-paradise print that featured in McQueen's spring/summer 2003 collection and became one of the most photographed prints of the season. Designer is known for his unique prints, one of his trademarks is his use of traditional silk screening techniques. Saunder's goal as a designer is to make women feel beautiful, modern, elegant.
Joe Zee: Straight out of college you caught the eye of Alexander McQueen?
Jonathan: It was a big learning curve for me working with Alexander McQueen. He would alwasy analyze things.
Joe Zee: In 2003, you launched your fashion label and showed his debut collection at London Fashion Week for autumn/winter 2003-4. Then you left to design furniture again, then Diane called.
Jonathan: Yes. Diane called and I assumed we'll meet briefly to catch up. Three hours later we were dangling off of sofa. Both of us. We taked about focusing on the brand, respecting and supporting the brand.
Joe Zee: Was it hard to take over the collection?
Jonathan: Diane is very respectful and supportive of me. She loves prints and design and she loves women and understands them. It felt like a natural transition.
Joe Zee: Penny, you are a celebrity stylist stars like Anne Hathaway. When you dress someone for red carpet, what do you look for?
Penny: I look for something that represents them. Something that shows personality. Stars are doing their job in that outfit, so I it has to be of good quality, design. I prefer bold and interesting looks. It's horrifying what I do. Especially when my celebrity clients get on the red carpet and hundreds of photographers yelling, taking photos, it makes me anxious. Dress has to fit perfectly.
Jonathan: Penny and I are friends for 10 years now. She knows how to stand out as an individual, create unique outfits for celebrities that can also translate to every day.
Joe Zee: Where do you find inspiration?
The process is different every time. I am inspired by Japanese kimonos or Afrigac textile designs. I tend to start with an idea about which colours are relevant and then research art. I have a few favourite bookstores that I love to go to. But then it may be someone that I meet while travelling that sparks off an idea for a character.
Check out some of the looks from the collection and some shots from the fashion show below.
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