For NYFW, Cointreau teamed up with WHIT’s creative director Parker Argote and designer Whitney Pozgay to host a gathering in WHIT’s pop up gallery space, showcasing WHIT’s spring summer 2015 collection alongside the art that inspired the pieces. WHIT and Cointreau share a passion for perfection and quality, and support for the creative community. WHIT brought in artists like Jill Galarneau, Gordon Holden, Amanda Jasnowski and Mary Matson, and Parker Argote created a print specially for Cointreau.
Marcia Patmos of M. Patmos with Public School’s Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne
We have winners! Last night’s regional Woolmark Prize awards put Public School, a.a. antonion azzuolo, Ovadia & Sons, Timo Weiland, and Todd Snyder up against each other in the menswear category, with M. Patmos, Jonathan Simkhai, Nonoo, Rosie Assoulin, and WHIT in the running for womenswear. Public School and M. Patmos won in their respective categories, and will go on to create a merino wool capsule collection to present during the International Woolmark Prize competition in 2015.
For their win, Public School and M. Patmos will each receive about $47,000… at the end of International Prize competition dangles a $95,000 prize along with the opportunity to retail at some of the world’s best shopping destinations — Colette, Harvey Nichols, 10 Corso Como, MyTheresa, Saks, Joyce, David Jones, and Isetan Mitsukoshi.
Photos courtesy of BFA
I don’t like talking about what I see at the Spring/Summer fashion shows until I’m finally teetering on the edge of Spring/Summer. Perhaps fashion eds have a terribly short memory span, rendering them unable to recall what summer—one that ended approximately 30 minutes prior to the start of fashion week—felt like. Like, “Wow, denim cutoffs! I just can’t remember what they’re used for.” WHIT’s Spring/Summer show, which popped off last September, was a particularly memorable one.
Memorable because it made me realize it would be close to nine months before I would be able to style my hair with ocean water and head to Surf Lodge. Thankfully, we’re just close enough to real spring to talk about WHIT’s swinging 60’s hair, and dewey skin without getting sad.
Comprised of 19 looks, WHIT, the line from Brooklyn-based designer and niece of Kate Spade, Whitney Pozgay, tapped into the surf culture to create the mood of her collection, The Ceco space was lit by grainy surf movies from the ‘60s (see also: Surf Lodge, whose décor is accented by similar videos on rotation), and the center stage was a sandy deck that looked as if it was uprooted straight from Montauk.
The swinging hair and dewy makeup really bolstered her ’60s surfer girl mood, and Whitney used Bridgitte Bardot as a reference for messy hair, kohl-rimmed eyes, and nude lips.
The hair (by Bumble and Bumble) had was natural with some backcombing at the crown of the head. I’m quite certain they must have used their magical South Surf Spray.
Here is a video used in WHIT’s Spring show, a little more inspiration to get into the swing of spring:
In a small apartment tucked away in the West Village, a large table peeks out from under stacks of papers and patterns. Rolling racks line all available space on the walls, and piles of samples totter precariously on couches and chairs. Amidst all of this, a petite brunette sits in the center of the room, happily taking in the chaos. Meet Whitney Pozgay, a woman with an appreciation for classic Parisian films and a fondness for candy cigarettes, who’s also become the newest face in fashion.
A freshly-launched line for the fall season, WHIT is the first collection from Pozgay, a native Arizonian who now calls Brooklyn home. Pozgay uses WHIT to take androgynous style to chic new heights, all the while playing with geometry and shape.
With a small collection of just 12 looks, Pozgay was able to create several pieces that girls of all style persuasions can wear and make their own. Although she describes her personal style as “‘60s French” and “feminine tomboy,” the appeal of her collection is the adaptability of the various pieces. “A lot of my friends and I have very different aesthetics, but we buy a lot of the same stuff,” she says. “I wanted to create some investment staples that are modern and definitely have some interesting details, but are beautiful—these pieces that you’ll have forever.”
WHIT features certain looks made with special vintage fabrics that Pozgay and her team buy in bulk. “We find vintage fabric that we love, that we’re just obsessed with,” says Pozgay. “We’ll buy them out, but we can only make ‘x’ amount, and when we’re sold out, we’re sold out.” One of these limited pieces is a black mini skirt with foil gold polka dots. It’s a stunner.
A graduate of the University of Texas, Whitney majored in costume design after she realized she wasn’t meant to make a career out of acting. She supplemented her education with various fashion internships, making it clear design was her niche. After moving to New York in 2003, Pozgay realized ready-to-wear was where she wanted to be. “The life of a costume is so specific. I like the idea of creating things that people can personalize,” she says. “When the show closes, they don’t get boxed up and put away, they just continue. Even if someone sells them, they go onto the next person.” Pozgay describes her proportioning and silhouettes as similar to those of a costume designer. Even after several years, her innate love of all things theatrical is not easily quieted. A student of the history of fashion, she admits her work is based somewhat in the Hitchcock era, albeit with a modern, youthful feel. The shape of WHIT is extreme and the lines are crisp. “Our high-wasted puffy skirt is very high-wasted and very puffy,” she describes. “When you look at the silhouettes, they’re very straight or very geometric. That would be something I would do as a costume designer so that it reads from the back row.”
Shapes not only come into play in the proportionality of the pieces, but in the whimsical, hand-crafted hats that dot the completed look book. Models serve as props for Pozgay’s carefully staged production, and literally make the “I” in the logo for the line. “We really wanted to play with the idea of the girl being the “I,” so we thought of the top of her head as the dot,” says Pozgay. “But it was too literal, so we started brainstorming as to what we could do.” The hats, designed by Kaleigh Schwartz, WHIT’s art director and Pozgay’s former colleague at Kate Spade, embody the spirit of WHIT: A tipping wine glass, an oversized fork, and an egg are three of the hats featured in her 12 looks. Pozgay’s personal favorite, the pretzel hat, is paired with a beautiful rust-colored skirt and a simple boat neck shirt in Pozgay’s favorite neutral, French stripes. The hats are silly novelties, but that’s the point. “We picked things we thought were nostalgic and silly, but also could be really beautiful in all black,” says Pozgay.
Planning and production have already started for her spring line, but for right now, Pozgay is reveling in the little rewards that have come with finishing her first collection. ““It’s new, so everything seems like a triumph. It’s so funny, hang tags come in, and we’re saying, ‘Woohoo we have hang tags!’ It’s all of these little things that make you think, ‘We’re a real business!’” She believes her job experience at Kate Spade and Steven Allen, where she was able to learn how both large and small companies can function on an organized level, provided her with invaluable insight as far as running a company and creating a brand.
And to dissuade the notion that Pozgay and WHIT might be one-hit wonders, look no further than fashion week, where her line is debuting in New York. With an expanded collection comprised of more fun looks and Rastafarian handbags, the spring line has what Pozgay calls a tribal, beachy, safari vibe. It’s a lot to put into one collection, but if anyone can make it work, it’s Whitney Pozgay.