Article excerpted from www.thefashionisto.com.
Stolen Girlfriends Club (SGC) began as an art exhibition. The exhibition titled, “Stolen Girlfriends Club” consisted of “a collection of acrylic on canvasses” and art pieces, originally taken from the windows of old houses.
At the time, SGC’s creators; fostering a desire to create clothes for themselves, were thinking about creating a line. People who had viewed their exhibit had taken to the name Stolen Girlfriends Club, so it was a no-brainer, that Stolen Girlfriends Club would become the name of their new line. Starting out, none of SGC’s designers had received an education in fashion; two had even struggled as professional surfers for eight years. However, the desire to learn and work hard was there.
Each SGC collection has been an advancement in the right direction. To date, this collection is their most complete line and a near perfect example of the type of line they wanted to create. With their fifth collection titled, “Pretty Vacant”, designers Marc Moore, Luke Harwood, Dan Gosling, and Zan Mirkin have brought “together inspiration from late 70’s punk, Marie Antoinette, Siouxsie & the Banshees and The Human Heart. In an era when nearly everything has already been done Stolen Girlfriends Club has mixed together a melee of ideas in an attempt to avoid clichés, and has done just the opposite. This collection is bordering on Punk Romanticism and unashamedly celebrates 80’s icons in the form of Safety Pins, Tartan, Lace, Hearts, Faux Fur and Animal Print.”
If the collection was a song, what song would it be?
Terror! by The Rakes!
If the collection was a person, which descriptive adjectives would you use?
If the collection was a person it would be a modern day Bunker Spreckles. Rebellious, flamboyant, and fluent in 12 languages (including french).
Stolen Girlfriends Club. What does it mean?
It is what it is to each individual. We find that everyone interprets it in their own way, it’s kinda cool cause people tend to take ownership of something they discover and can they relate to. Everyone has experienced love and loss of love, happiness and pain, good and bad…if you haven’t then you haven’t lived!
Transitioning from fall to spring, what were your goals?
We are slowly working out what shapes are going well, and what people expect from our brand in terms of aesthetic. So now we can pretty much run a shape that we always have in a new colour/print and fabric that is suited to the season/climate and the collection theme. Obviously a Spring collection for us is more about function and flow. So fabrics have to be natural, and shapes have to be loose and complimenting to the figure. Pieces need to be able to stand alone. Whereas with Winter we have this whole layering look going, the textures are heavier and the silhouettes are totally mixed over-fitting (body conscious) garments with loose layers.
What inspired this collection?
It was a bit of a mix due to the fact that there are 3 ‘cooks in the kitchen’! I would say late 70’s punk, Marie Antoinette, Love/Romance, Barbed Wire & Safety Pins.
What is your favorite piece from the collection?
For the men’s side, I would say the Leopard Face Shirt. It’s a bold piece due to the leopard print, and the ruffles but i think it’s completely wearable as it has been overdyed, muting the print. Oh and the collar is super stiff – I like classic tailored collars that don’t ‘doggy-ear’. For the girls I would say the God Save The Queen Dress. This was the key piece of the collection and i think this piece embodies the whole collection theme and spirit.
Have any of the pieces joined your wardrobe early?
Ha ha! I wish. I did get my hands on the College Dropout Sweatshirt (grey marle crew neck sweater with leopard fleece on the back). But i was only because it was an ill-fitting first sample that we couldn’t use. Yes if you see me around I will be the one wearing all the ill-fitting mock up garments!
Do you ever create clothes with yourself in mind and not production?
Every collection we do that. Every piece is designed with at least one of us in mind. We have to like the garments we are making, otherwise what are we doing this all for? It can’t just be about making money, there has to be an immense amount of passion involved. People can sense that when they pick the garment up in the store. Passion & integrity shows, consumers are not dumb.
What’s in store for Spring? Give us a hint.
It’s still early days, but for some reason i have been thinking of Cigarettes & Smoking in general. I’m not sure of how it is overseas but here in NZ & Australia smoking has almost been outlawed! You cannot smoke in or near bars & restaurants, forcing all the smokers to inhale outside. You drive past a club and all the smokers are huddling outside in the cold like outcasts. I thought it would be cool to design a collection with all this in mind.
What do you envision for the future of SGC?
We are really striving to get our brand into other countries. Export is hugely important and a necessity if the brand is to survive. The NZ fashion market is tiny, I think it would take like 75 New Zealands to equal the US market – to give you an idea. We have been going for 3 years now so making the 5 year mark will be good also! We are learning more and more everyday about design and i think our collections will continue to develop in cut and detail. There will always be that High-Casual feel to the collection with a base of jewelery, tee shirting and denim (shit you can wear everyday), but the stuff that gets me the most excited are the pieces that are conceptual…that push the envelope. Maybe you can’t wear this stuff every day but when you do wear it you get stopped in the street by random strangers asking where you got it from. That’s why I am making clothes!
Complete the list:
2 songs you love at the moment
Mer Du Japon by AIR & remixed by The Teenagers.
The Bomb by New Young Pony Club & remixed by The Teenagers.
2 guilty pleasure songs
I dont have any guilty pleasures (apart from Lemon Meringue Pie!!).
5 websites you have to visit everyday
Facebook, ultimate-guitar.com, surf2surf.com, runwayreporter.com, stolengirlfriendsclub.com
2 current sources of inspiration
Music & Romance.
What are you wearing right now?
White skinny jeans with light grey tie-dyed patches, an oversized silk tee shirt with an angry peace face badge on it, a super baggy old GAP plaid shirt, with 10-up black Military Boots….and lots of jewellery!
How would you describe your typical style? Does it work hand in hand with the line?
Part Rocky, part sporty, part fruity. I am really into slim jeans with baggy loose tops for some reason – probably looks a bit odd?!! The collections are always inspired by what we are into/feeling at that particular time. Our tastes in style differ from season to season. Depends on what songs we are loving, who we are loving, and where we are going/visiting.
What designers do you personally dig?
Luella Bartley, Kris Van Asshe for Dior Homme, Christophe Decarnin for Balmain, Stefano Pilati for YSL, Jun Takahashi of Undercover.
If you could collaborate with any designer, who?
I’d love to do a jean with Christophe Decarnin!
“Models strutted down the concrete catwalk of a raw inner city warehouse in barbed wire heeled ankle boots created by stylist Karen Inderbitzen-Waller to an idiosyncratic mix of Post Punk with New Wave Rock (with tracks from Interpol, New Order, Presets, Gang of Four, The Rakes and Siouxie & the Banshees). Busted-up denim and tongue-in-cheek t-shirt prints, while still a staple in the collection, take second stage this season with the expansion of the fashion component. Tailoring features for the first time in the form of the men’s super long deconstructed blazer, women’s lace trimmed Bye Bye Baby Blazer, Heart-Lace Bustier and the shredded lace and tartan tutu for the punk-bride in all of us.
The knitwear perfectly illustrates a juxtaposition of raw and luxe with 100% silk cobweb tops and leggings, the merino two-tone knit shirttail sweaters, and fine gauge barbed wire knit scarves and beanies. Key fabrics featuring throughout include the heavy-weight wool hessian, the overdyed tartan and velour leopard print in key Stolen Girlfriends shapes…But don’t worry, Stolen Girlfriends Club hasn’t gone all serious on us. The men’s asymmetric cardi in velour leopard print and the faux fur Lumber Jacket lighten the punk politics just a little. Heart detailing completes the collection, threaded through in the form of oversized tartan bags, giant appliqués on sweaters and red velvet Pretty Vacant lace trimmed badges. This season Stolen Girlfriends Club wants you to wear their heart on your sleeve.” [Stolen Girlfriends Club]
Globetrotters, get ready! This collection hits stores March/April. Check out the official Stolen Girlfriends Club website for stockist information.