We're in the midst of a female uprising, and Poster Girl wants to call you to arms, and dress you for battle. The one-year-old British brand has already gained a fast following for its Studio 54-inspired styles, which have inarguably become the party staple of 2018.
Central Saint Martins graduates Francesca Capper and Natasha Somerville are natural rule breakers, creating four collections per year, using just one fabric for each line: chainmail. Their designs already have fans like Dua Lipa and Halsey, as well as Instagram superstars Joanna Kutcha and Sita Abellan, and are intended to be layered, accessorized and deconstructed to high heaven.
In Poster Girl's new collection, "Series 1.2," the brand departs from their candy-colored couture (that might have clad Paris Hilton at one of her many 21st birthday party celebrations) to explore a new look that is as animalistic as it is apocalyptic. For the lookbook premiere, PAPER caught up with the wildly talented creatives to chat Poster Girl's role in propelling fashion into the future.
Poster Girl privileges deconstructed pieces that really evoke the '90s party scene. What do you think our obsession with nostalgia says about us?
It's an interesting cross-over of nostalgia from the generation growing up and partying in the '90s, combined with this newfound appreciation in the millennial scene — it's almost like an amalgam of admiration of the trend from all angles. It's also reminiscent of a carefree, trashy-but-extravagant lifestyle that seemed like a fun escape from seriousness and pressure. Maybe right now people are looking to find that escape again by adding a bit of fun into fashion? Wearing Poster Girl, you can definitely re-live that with a touch more luxury.
You're also famous for your glittery evening wear. What would you love to see the brand expand into?
Unconventionally our idea with PG is to choose a specific fabric each year and run with that for four "Series," updating as we go. Chainmail became a natural starting point for us, realizing no other brand were really pushing what this incredible fabric was capable of. We have one Series left working with chainmail, and then our new fabric will begin.
It seems many designers are becoming "seasonless," and forgoing shows or formal campaigns. What direction do you think fashion should be taking?
"Seasonless" is a word that gets thrown around so much these days in fashion. For us it is definitely important to break rules, both coming from Central Saint Martins, this was all we were taught to do. But at the end of the day you have to fit around the buying seasons. So we came up with a strategy for Poster Girl to stay rebellious yet follow some traditions. Instead of two collections per year, we do four. I know we think we're crazy too! But at the pace fashion is moving these days you have to keep up. People are needing constant wardrobe updates, so refreshing our pieces is crucial. Longevity and quality in the clothing goes hand in hand, so although we are setting the pace we want to also set the bar high.
So many incredible women have worn Poster Girl, how do those collaborations come to be? Who would be your dream to be seen in your designs?
It's crazy for us to see so many amazing women wearing the label, especially as we only launched last summer! Knowing how the dresses make you feel — bringing out this inner sexiness and confidence — we had a premonition the pieces would be popular between our friends, but seeing the dresses on so many girls on stage, in magazines, on Instagram is mind blowing. It would be a dream for us to see our garments in a sci-fi movie by director's like Luc Besson or Ridley Scott. They generally happen to be a huge influence in our design process.
Describe the Poster Girl girl.
The modern day Poster Girl is a tough heroine, independent and mysterious. She also has a very good sense of humor.
What impact has social media had on Poster Girl's exposure?
It has been so great in helping us reach out to people as a young label, spreading the word and letting it be seen by everyone means we can extend to so many new customers and fans. It has really helped connecting us with them and the best part is seeing people out, having fun and looking incredible in our pieces.
How would you love to hear one of your consumers describe Poster Girl?
Well our motto has always been "we make it easy for you to stand out" and this generally is the rule when we hear back from our customers about how they felt wearing the clothes — they spotlight you in all the best ways. On the flip-side, it's still very wearable if you want to be more low key, like when Winnie Harlow styled our Trinity Dress with a simple hoodie.
How would you describe the fashion landscape for emerging designers right now?
We feel a lot of the trends these days are coming from the bottom up. Plagiarism has become far more common for top-end luxury designers, and it's usually the young emerging talent that become the victims. But maybe a large reason for this is because we are the target market, so who better to design for us than us? There's always been a lot of pressure to break through creatively and make a mark.
What would you love to see more of, from yourselves and fashion as a whole, in 2018?
We'd love to focus on the accessories around the clothing with our upcoming Series': footwear, eyewear, jewelry. We think there is such a strength in collaborations these days, especially exposing hidden talents that are sometimes left in the dark. We were really excited to be working with Kazutosh Shimizu this Series, who is Jeremy Scott's right hand man and gifted graphic designer. With this in mind, 2018 should be about bringing new talent to the surface.
Check out Poster Girl's 1.2 Series look book, below.