Elite Editorial: Kara Laricks and NBC Fashion Star

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Designer Kara Laricks, winner of NBC’s Fashion Star season 1, has an undeniably unique aesthetics. Her ultra-feminine designs have a menswear inspired androgynous flare, giving fashionistas the option to dress impeccably while breaking gender boundaries. In a very honest interview, Ms. Laricks talked exclusively to The Haute Frugalista, about her journey from school teacher to rising fashion phenomenon, how she gets inspired to create her designs, and much more! I learned that dreams do come true if you work hard, stay true to who you are, and believe in yourself!


I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I did and stay tuned for the next edition of Elite Editorial! What do you think of her reflections about her life and designs? Do you like any of the styles? Remember: It’s Always a Matter of Class Not Cash! ♥Follow Me On Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Bloglovin & Tumblr: HauteFrugalista♥
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Dee Trillo♥
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DT: When did you realize you wanted to become a fashion designer?

KL: I have always loved styling clothing and standing apart from the crowd – but growing up, my mom encouraged me to choose a “safe career,” so teaching fourth grade was my career and my love of design and clothing was a hobby.  At the ten-year mark of teaching, I thought to myself, “I am not getting any younger, I am going to go for it!”  I eased my way out of a fourth grade classroom and into a classroom at the Academy of Art in San Francisco where I learned how to drape, draw, design and sew over the course of three and a half years.  Though the past year of my life has been pretty amazing, I will always cherish the three and a half years where I really gave into my passion – I was a sponge – it felt amazing to be learning and growing day by day in a direction I knew I was meant to go.

DT: What was the first thing you designed and created?

KL: The first item I designed and created and SOLD was my signature collar + tie.  I started designing and selling accessories in NYC because they were what I could afford to produce.  I showed my collar + tie during the first week on Fashion Star because it really is my signature piece – a perfect combination of quintessential menswear elements combined for a man or a woman… Not to mention, my collar + tie is the basis for my subsequent designs on Fashion Star.

DT: What are your main sources of inspiration?

KL: I get inspiration from EVERYWHERE – honestly, it doesn’t take much – anything from the geometric nature of a sidewalk block to a mural of graffiti.  However, no matter where I draw inspiration from, the end result always ends up with my signature menswear inspired twist.  In terms of other fashion designers, I look to Yohji Yamamoto, Jil Sander, Rei Kawakubo – oh the list goes on…

DT: What do you like best about designing?

KL: The freedom.  Building an entire collection around a concept or idea that I find inspiring.  Fabric.  Dreaming up the entire vision – the runway, the music, the progression of the collection from start to finish…  I love it all – and I love that I get to repeat this process season after season.

DT: What environment do you prefer when sketching, designing or sewing (music, lights, people, etc,)?

KL: First – I am not a sketcher.  I will if I have to, but I much prefer to work with fabric on the form.  My ideal way of working is directly with a pattern maker – so that creating a garment is a collaborative effort from concept to completion.  In terms of atmosphere – I play music to suit my mood or the theme of my current collection – and I love to be comfy when I am working.  Recently, my sweet intern said, “Nice 90s cargo pants, Kara.”  I think I really did have those pants back in the 90s!  The horror!  But they are so comfy…

DT: Is there any cause that you support and if so, what inspired you to do so?

KL: Yes – as a former closeted teacher, I feel like I may have let both gay and straight students down in terms of the chance to have an out gay role model.  I am doing my best to right that wrong and am very fortunate to have the platform to now advocate for GLBTQ youth.  My partner, Melissa, has always had a very soft spot for rescued animals, so I have a feeling that one day our home will be a refuge!

DT: Is there anything in particular that you, as a designer, and your line stand for?

KL: Yes – I believe so strongly that dressing is a way to express our unique selves.  I believe that we all have both characteristically “feminine” and “masculine” aspects to our personalities and that we should honor and celebrate both.  If I can encourage women (and men, for that matter) to take a little bit of a risk when getting dressed and to then enjoy the positive consequences of stepping outside of a comfort zone, then I have done my job.

DT: What advice would you give to aspiring designers or someone wanting to start a career in the fashion industry?

KL: Stay focused.  Stay determined.  Be kind.  Be curious.  Above all, believe in your vision.

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Hola Frugalistas,
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La diseñadora Kara Laricks, ganadora de la 1ra temporada del show Fashion Star de NBC, tiene una estética innegablemente única. Sus diseños ultra-femeninos tienen un estilo androgeno inspirado en la ropa para hombres, lo que le da a todos los amantes de la moda, la oportunidad de lucir impecables mientras rompen las barreras de género. En una entrevista muy honesta, Kara habló exclusivamente para The Haute Frugalista acerca de su travesía de maestra de escuela a fenómeno de la moda, de como y donde encuentra inspiración para sus creaciones, y mucho más. Aprendí que los sueños sí se logran si se trabaja arduamente, se mantiene fiel a su visión y si se cree en sí mismo.

Espero disfruten llegar a conocerla como lo hize yo y estén atentos para la próxima edición de Editorial Élite! Que piensas acerca de las reflexiones de Kara acerca de su vida y diseños? Hay algún estilo que te haya gustado? Recuerda: Es Siempre Una Cuestión de Estilo No De Economía! ♥Sígueme en Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Bloglovin & Tumblr: HauteFrugalista♥
Disfruta y Comparte!!
Dee Trillo♥
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