For Katharine Polk, the traditional runway show is a thing of the past. To reveal her Fall/Winter ’17 collection, the Houghton designer tapped nine of her friends to muse on their daily struggles in a revealing 15-minute documentary film, “The Houghton Girl.” Directed by Whooden, it features Morgan Kibby, Jenné Lombardo, Chloe Norgaard, Lisa Salzer, and others, sporting looks from Houghton’s new collection and demystifying topics such as depression, medication, body image, bullying, plastic surgery, and eating disorders. Polk explains.
Katharine, how did the film come together?
On August 1, Harper’s Bazaar published a piece I wrote about my struggle with eating disorders. There was an overwhelming response, and it put me in a place to think about what I wanted to do moving forward. I had already taken a step back from runway shows, and I had been pretty uninspired by the traditional presentation. After the article came out, I decided in an instant to do a film in which women told their raw, true stories. The only way to do it was to enlist my girlfriends. I reached out to them and sent them a link to the article and threw out some ideas on the page, and they immediately responded.
The response has been incredible—we had to move to a bigger venue a week before the show because we had so many RSVPs. First, I didn’t know how people would take it, because the film did point the finger to the factors that have contributed to this unattainable body image. But as I said in the film, from here on out, I only want to create things that are meaningful. I’m definitely not going to send models down the runway anymore.