Chic Report

Back to Black: Designer Catherine Quin on How to Dress Like the Fashion Pack

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Black is the unofficial uniform of the fashion set and the go-to hue for many a chic New Yorker. That said, consider Catherine Quins chic new line of all noir essentials (as media insiders, we approve) just the ticket.

What inspired an all black collection?
It’s all trans-seasonal pieces that are meant to work as easily in L.A. as they do in New York, Japan, or London. It’s for the woman who is busy, purposeful, traveling, and wants to look smart but always relaxed. Black is timeless, versatile, and sharp.

Do women have decision fatigue?
Yes—it’s about simplifying a woman’s daily ritual of getting dressed. You don’t have to panic that you have this meeting, have to take the kids somewhere, and then go to a cocktail party. This was the first season I started doing accessories. I am slowly introducing the perfect clutch and next season it will be a shoulder bag and then jewelry pieces—two necklaces and a bracelet. Eventually, I’ll do shoes, one perfect pair of flats and one perfect pair of heels so you can throw it all in a suitcase.

Who is the Catherine Quin woman?
It’s for women who love Céline or The Row, but prefer to invest in four affordable versatile wardrobe pieces and then splurge on that Céline dress.

Where is everything made?
Everything is made in L.A. at the same factory Rodarte uses. The craftsmanship is beautiful and everything is made of silk, cashmere, or calf skin and it’s all lined with silk, so it feels great on the body.

What were you doing before you started the line?
I was a lawyer in London. My law firm was right by Central Saint Martins, so I used to do evening and weekend courses and I eventually went to work for Vena Cava in L.A. and then a production company that collaborates with Alexander Wang jeans, Theory, and Elizabeth and James. It was an amazing experience to learn the technicalities of how to make the clothes.

What is your starting point for design?
It’s really about me, my life, and what I like to wear, so I test everything a million times. That kind of stuff wouldn’t happen if I was just sending a sketch to China.

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