Q&A: Abbey Glass

The up-and-com­ing lo­cal de­signer talks min­i­mal­ism, the ro­mance of her Spring col­lec­tion and how to add color to your wardrobe.


How do you de­fine your aes­thetic?

We don’t want to de­fine our­selves as South­ern style. We want to de­fine our­selves in the South as clas­sic style that could go any­where, that could take a per­son any­where in the world and they would feel like they fit in. I think that’s what good design is. It means that you can use the prod­uct that you’re cre­at­ing in a lot of dif­fer­ent con­texts. It’s not just solv­ing one prob­lem, it’s solv­ing a life­style prob­lem.

How have your de­signs evolved in the past two years?

The evo­lu­tion of the line has been hon­ing in on why I like things and what I want to achieve from them. I’m less of a fine artist and more of a de­signer now, be­cause I’m try­ing to design things for a pur­pose rather than just to make some­thing look pretty. I’ve main­tained sim­i­lar sen­si­bil­i­ties about pro­por­tions, lines and struc­ture, but I’ve al­lowed my­self to get more com­plex—to add with­out sub­tract­ing. I think my sense of color has got­ten more so­phis­ti­cated. The line as a whole has be­come more co­he­sive.

What are some trends for 2017?

This might be a big year for peo­ple get­ting the clut­ter out of their lives. We need to be more de­lib­er­ate about what we buy.

How does fash­ion tie into this resur­gence of min­i­mal­ism?

Peo­ple are go­ing to buy or wear things that are mul­ti­pur­pose. Sep­a­rates are go­ing to be­come re­ally im­por­tant. I’ve been de­sign­ing a lot of things for that be­cause peo­ple can get a lit­tle more bang for their buck, but it’s still in­ter­est­ing and not stuffy.

Color will play a huge role in de­ter­min­ing where the bal­ance is. So, if the color is wild then the bal­ance is that the sil­hou­ette is very re­served; and if the color is very re­served and more tra­di­tional then you can dig into the tex­ture and the cut and do some­thing a lit­tle more wild.

Why do you think mul­ti­pur­pose fash­ion is catch­ing on this year?

Even in the first part of the 20th cen­tury, that’s where we were—not be­cause of trend but be­cause of fi­nances or ma­te­rial re­stric­tions. Right now, I think it’s be­cause peo­ple are more aware of their car­bon foot­print. Min­i­mal­ism is be­com­ing pop­u­lar, rather than just be­ing a hip­ster thing.

Tell us about your new­est line.

The whole [Spring 2017] line is about ad­ven­ture and va­ca­tion—the Ital­ian Riviera and Grace Kelly. It’s un­apolo­get­i­cally fem­i­nine, but it’s clean lines. Every time we hit a more tra­di­tional color, we made sure the fab­ri­ca­tion was ex­cit­ing or that the use of color was some­thing new and dif­fer­ent. I know that Cinque Terra, Grace Kelly and the Ital­ian Riviera will never not be in­trigu­ing to me and that ties back to the ethos of the clothes, which is that they shouldn’t go out of style.

What are some es­sen­tial pieces for a min­i­mal­ist wardrobe?

You need a clas­sic party dress—that could go black tie, cock­tail, New Year’s Eve party. Make sure you have that and you feel amaz­ing in it. I think a leather jacket is im­por­tant to have, and that will help you edge up any dressier or more fem­i­nine pieces. Shirt dresses are worth in­vest­ing in—a very unique, cool shirt dress. They’re a re­ally ver­sa­tile, key part of a woman’s wardrobe. A clas­sic pair of trousers that can be dressed up and down is im­por­tant.

Abbey Glass

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