A couple of fashion seasons ago, I set up shop at Atlas Showroom at the Cooper Building in downtown LA. I was helping a line launch on the West Coast with showing them off at Los Angeles Market Week. We were only a few designers showing in the same room, and when a rack full of black was all set up and ready to go, my heart stopped. I had, along with many buyers and personal friends who strolled in, formulated an attention deficit disorder – Witches was what they called this masterpiece that I gawked over, and 18-year-old designer Gabby Applegate had a lot to do with it.
Sifting through the collection time and time again, I almost could close my eyes and tell you which piece was what. I had memorized my favorites, for the fabric and wealth of passion put into Witches had definitely put a spell on me. Was it the hocus pocus potion of black lace, velvet, silk and spandex, or was it wanting to wear floor length velvet cloaks and lace cocktail dresses in a hurry? My fashion g-spot had found a winner as I visualized running through the woods, being captured by a Werewolf. To think that Gabby Applegate and Lauren Alexander thought up this collection in just two weeks is still blowing my mind.
Almost two years later, Gabby’s creations now make me feel like the little red riding hood in me can step up her game and play it a bit more couturesque, to say the least.
Some of the wool and leather jackets she’s designed for her eponymous label remind me of what I constantly visualize myself in when thinking up what to wear to the next power dinner meeting, while some looks just scream the highest shrieks of the confident and effortless style-owning city girl. I’m happy to see that she still executes hoods on capes, velvet fabrics, and lace leggings for me to squirm over as well.
Gabby is talented enough to not only let her imagination come to life and executing the right looks, but also making us feel like a superhero in the process…
LF: What was your vision when you decided to become a designer?
GA: At first, I was trying to make clothes that were missing from my wardrobe. Things that I could find in stores, but couldn’t pin point what I wanted to change in them. When I decided to put my own twist on things is when it turned into creating full pieces.
LF: Your previous collection, Witches, although not for everyone, somehow spoke to the every day female. How did you accomplish this?
GA: It was a different collection. Really fun to work with all the laces, and channel someone who is a night walker – so to speak. I think it spoke to the everyday female because black is such a basic, slimming color that works on everyone. The cuts of the dresses were flattering, and the leggings were something different.
LF: What makes you tick as a designer?
GA: Fabric. I love looking and feeling different fabrics anywhere I am, whether it’s at a fabric store, upholstery store, or even antiques.
LF: Who is your muse? We want details on this, since we are bouncing off the walls from your collection.
GA: I don’t really have one specific muse. Many people inspire me and I try to surround myself with them as much as I can.
LF: What are you working on that we can look forward to?
GA: A bigger collection that involves more intense fabrics, cashmere, and some fur! The inspiration behind it was the really somewhat cold summer we had in LA and how it made me excited for fall. I love cold weather, and I wanted to make everyone feel stylish and sexy during the next season… especially with more options.
LF: How do you, Gabby Applegate, LIVE FAST?
GA: I’m really spontaneous and can’t ever say no to a dare. I really want to go skydiving soon! We only live once so I want to take advantage and not let any minute go to waste.
LF: Fashion talk – Tell us your biggest let down – turned – uprising in your design journey.
GA: It’s weird to design a piece that people don’t like and some stores don’t buy. Every piece is a part of me and I love it so much. I guess it’s taught me to have tougher skin and know that it meant something to me, and that’s all that matters. It also pushes me to try new things and push new limits.
LF: Art talk – Who is your favorite artist or piece of work?
GA: Cowboy Kate from Sam Haskins. I’m obsessed with his iconic pictures!
LF: Sex talk – Tell us the number one situation that can also describe your collection/expression. What kind of sexual appetite does the female that you design for have?
GA: Ha – well I guess her sexual appetite is aggressive and at the same time submissive… ready for anything and truly being confident in letting go and enjoying the moment. It’s the greatest feeling to feel sexy and have people comment on it. I love walking out of my house in the evening and having my boyfriend tell me how gorgeous I look. It gives me those butterflies.
LF: Travel talk – The number one destination that has you head over heels. Does it muse your creations in any way?
GA: I would have to say Venice, Italy. Everything is so old, and every time I’m there I just marvel at the beautiful buildings and landmarks. The air is so sensual and warm. I absolutely love it. It inspires my pieces because it reminds me of love and warmth in every person.
Find the Gabby Applegate collection at Diavolina on W. 3rd Street in Los Angeles.