Responses by Emma Hall & Steven Sheldon

Words by Kimberly Haddad 

BASIC: Tell us about the meaning behind this collection and what inspired you to bring it to life? 

STEVEN: Being costume and textile majors we decided to go back to our roots. A nod to Queen Victoria and 18th century British dress. This season we took the advice of one of our mentors which kind of stuck in my mind. He thought my sketches were bigger than what we were actually producing, so he was like, just go for it this time. No apologies.

BASIC: When an artist develops an idea in their head, they typically have a very particular image that goes along with it. Did this line stay close to what you had originally envisioned, or did it expand into something completely different.

STEVEN: The idea for this collection did change quite a bit. We went through hundreds of drawings and research images. Colors got bolder and shapes got bigger.

EMMA: We’re pretty good at realizing Steven’s sketches, but collections develop, pieces are cut and new ideas develop. Naturally, things change. Sometimes it’s all you thought, sometimes it’s absolutely nothing that you expected and sometimes, it’s better than you expected. The black gown of the collection was a last-minute addition. 

BASIC: If there was a soundtrack to your fall 2019 collection, what three songs would we hear?

STEVEN: I listen to music constantly. It’s probably my biggest motivator in everything. I walk to and from work, strutting about the sidewalk, going through every look as it goes down the runway! I see everything—the stage, models, the crowd’s faces, what they might be saying. When I get to track that it all makes sense. Typically, it’s old-school house music I’ve been obsessed with these tracks all season: “Stand Up” by Wilder & Clarke, “Take me Away” by Mix Factory and “Deep Inside” by Hard Drive.

BASIC: What is one of your most defining moments in life and how has it influenced your career? 

STEVEN: I think this collection is probably pretty defining for the both of us. It just really made people look at us.

EMMA: Probably when Steven spilled water all over my work in college. It’s how we met. Things might have been a little different if he wasn’t so clumsy! Oh…and having a supermodel like Adwoa Aboah wear your clothes. That’s pretty defining.

BASIC: What kind of emotions or reactions do you hope people will have when wearing your collection?

EMMA: People are always telling us how amazing our clothes are, how good they feel on. I love to see people’s faces when they see what’s new from us each season. Models faces are the best as they light up when they see what they’re about to wear. 

STEVEN: We cherish all reactions we get—even when they’re negative—it’s still a reaction. It’s made an impression somewhere. I want women to want to wear them. Even if it’s something they can’t see themselves wearing to work or every day, I always hope they feel the fantasy with us. 

BASIC: If you had the opportunity to redesign the wardrobe for a film or television series, which one would you choose and why? 

EMMA: I think we we’d both agree we would love to do the remake of Gone with the Wind! 

STEVEN: Yeah, that’s a bucket list production to be a part of.

BASIC: Tell us about a collection or design you’ve always wanted to create, but still hasn’t become a reality.

STEVEN: I would absolutely LOVE to do a full-on floral collection. I know, flowers, boring. But flowers to me are everything in design. I’d do massive, humongous never-ending gowns of flowers!

EMMA: The only thing that stands in the way of making what we really want, is SPACE! The studio is getting smaller and smaller and we want to make it bigger and bigger!

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