Stolen Girl­friends Club

Fashion Quarterly - - Profile -

L’en­fant ter­ri­ble of the

New Zealand fash­ion scene, Stolen Girl­friends Club is as renowned for its fash­ion week af­ter­par­ties as it is for the di­rec­tional de­signs it sends down the run­way. This year, the

brand will re­veal its spring and high­sum­mer col­lec­tions in an off-site show. De­signer and cre­ative di­rec­tor Marc

Moore tells what to ex­pect.


MARC: A ti­tle, for me, ei­ther comes first, or right at the end. This one came first. For our show last year we got lo­cal artist Michaela van der Laan to cus­tomise all this leather stuff. The brief was re­ally sim­ple: look at Kurt Cobain’s di­ary and chan­nel all his weird doo­dles in that sort of style. One thing in his di­ary that’s al­ways stuck with me, and Michaela hand-painted it on the back of one of our leather jack­ets, is the phrase ‘Safer than heaven’. It sounds beau­ti­ful, but a lit­tle bit cut­ting too. I think Kurt Cobain was al­ways hav­ing a lit­tle bit of a dig at things, es­pe­cially, dare I say it, Chris­tian­ity. So any­way, as soon as I saw Michaela’s work I was like, “That’s go­ing to be our next col­lec­tion ti­tle.”


With the word ‘safer’ in the ti­tle, I im­me­di­ately knew we had to have a lit­eral play on that, and of course mo­tocross and safety-wear came to mind. So we’ve got a few leather pieces that are in­spired by moto-wear, in­clud­ing a red and black moto-jacket and some pan­elled leather pants. And we also played with our sheer mesh ba­sics, ap­ply­ing safe­ty­seam work, so all the seams look like they’re float­ing on the body.

And then flow­ers. I spend a lot of time on Tum­blr and I’ve no­ticed that plants have trends. A few years ago, mon­steras were trend­ing, then it was bird of paradise, and now it’s roses. They’re ev­ery­where — all the kids are putting roses up on their Tum­blrs. And the more [a trend] im­prints on your mind, the more you want to do some­thing with it. So roses make their way into some of our new T-shirt prints.


I have two imag­i­nary muses in my head, and he and she are these con­fi­dent peo­ple… I al­ways like to think that our per­son is re­ally good at some­thing, and they’re in­flu­en­tial be­cause of that, and be­cause they stand for some­thing. I also think of this per­son as be­ing re­ally charis­matic and cool in real life — be­cause there’s a big dif­fer­ence be­tween be­ing cool on the in­ter­net and cool IRL. But they don’t have to tell peo­ple how cool they are, or how amaz­ing they are at what they do — they just let their work do the talk­ing.

In terms of who I want to dress? The lead singer of the band, as well as the groupies. Fuck yeah, I want the dude on stage to be wear­ing the crazy stud­ded jacket that looks like a pea­cock, but I also want the peo­ple in the crowd to be wear­ing our moto-jacket and our T-shirts.


Leather is very im­por­tant to the brand. It’s that ul­ti­mate sym­bol of re­bel­lion and rock ’n’ roll. The word ‘rock ’n’ roll’ feels so clichéd and I al­ways think of Mick Jag­ger or what­ever. So when I say it, I mean it more in spirit, not like you’re in The Rolling Stones. It’s a modern take on it.

T-shirt prints are an­other good one. They’re so strong for us. It would be cool to be known for sexy evening dresses, but we started out with T-shirts in 2005. Our first-ever col­lec­tion was five T-shirts, three pieces of jew­ellery and two pairs of jeans, and it’s nice to know that we’ve sort of stayed true to that. Plus, ev­ery­one loves a good T-shirt, and any­one can wear one. And we can go pretty crazy as far as the prints that we do. There’s a strong ’90s-al­bum-cover-art vibe in this col­lec­tion, be­cause I was think­ing, ‘Imag­ine if Stolen Girl­friends Club was a band, and Safer than Heaven was the al­bum ti­tle.’ I do that quite a lot — imag­ine Stolen as a band. It’s me want­ing to be a wannabe rock star, I guess.


We’ve got Se­bas­tian Hunt and Dy­lan Richards styling the show again, which is awe­some. I thought I was go­ing to lose them be­cause they do a lot of work for Kanye [West] now. I’ll think I’m hav­ing a meet­ing with them and then see on their In­sta­gram that they’re at the air­port go­ing to LA! It’s a bit like that — they’re al­ways back and for­wards, but I’m re­ally ex­cited to have them back. I’ve known them since they were 17, so we’ve kind of be­come fam­ily — they call me Dad, which is a bit weird, but we work re­ally well to­gether. Last year was the first time we’ve worked to­gether di­rectly on a show, al­though they’ve been us­ing our stuff for years. They were the only peo­ple we’d ever let come in and pull from our ar­chive room.


Apart from the styling, ev­ery­thing is done in-house. So right now I’m in the stu­dio at Red Bull record­ing a sound­track, meet­ing with light­ing guys to work out the feel of the show and where the run­way goes, cast­ing with Seb and Dy­lan… I like to be across it all to make sure we have the Stolen look rep­re­sented.


The bands we’re in­flu­enced by each sea­son change, but the mu­sic is al­ways sim­i­lar in spirit. I’ve been lis­ten­ing to quite a lot of weird shit, un­for­tu­nately for the team here. There’s this band called To­mor­rows Tulips, they’re pretty low-fi, part of that LA — what do you call it, surf psych-rock scene? That lazy, surf vibe of Bob Dy­lan, Lou Reed. It’s pretty cool. And Ty Se­gall, Thee Oh Sees — the type of guys who wear ripped jeans and Vans with long hair. They maybe live by the beach but they might not surf — they’d wear leather jack­ets and shit.

Then there’s some lo­cal stuff. Death and the Maiden from Dunedin are re­ally cool. I was hear­ing all these bands with a dark, in­dus­trial sound; a lit­tle bit elec­tronic, too. So I emailed my friend An­drew, the Die! Die! Die! singer, and I was like, “Man, what is this genre? I re­ally like all these bands” — and listed them off. He was like, “That’s dark wave, man!” I was so stoked.

Marc Moore takes in­spi­ra­tion from mu­sic and hopes to see Stolen Girl­friends Club worn by both the bands and the fans. @stolen­girl­friend­sclub stolen­girl­friend­

Stolen Girl­friends Club will raise the .CO.NZ roof at New Zealand Fash­ion Week on Wed­nes­day, Au­gust 30. Af­ter the show, watch FQ ed­i­tor Sally-Ann Mullin ac­cept their styling chal­lenge at­lenge.

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