We’re getting closer and closer to New York Fashion Week 2018, and in all the years of iconic NYC fashion few designers have held a candle to the glamorous, rebellious shows created by Phillipe and David Blond. Before we discover what the trendsetters have in store for the new season, we’re flashing back to Erin O’Brien’s revelatory experience at their 2015 show (a preview of their 2016 collections). David, the brand’s creative director, gave her plenty to rhapsodize about – and it’s simply fabulous.
Interview by Erin O’Brien I was super excited to attend The Blonds’ Runway Show at Milk Studios during New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016 Collections – Kelly Osbourne, Bette Midler and Amanda Lepore all felt the same way!The inspiration behind the newest collection was “a clash of Ancient Egypt and disco,” influenced by the Egyptian exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, David said.“Gold everything,” added Phillipe, who opened the show wearing a metallic gold, jewel-encrusted bodysuit and sky-high Christian Louboutin heels — foreshadowing the highly embellished, shimmering looks to follow.This show was extra special for me because I worked with David Blond back in the late ’90s in visual display at Macy’s Herald Square. There was always something extra special even back then with David and his artistic expression, in the windows and in every day life. As a New Yorker working in Fashion here for 20 years – I pretty much can tell who will “make it” and who is full o’ shit! David had drive, passion and was a fierce talent not to be messed with and I had a very strong feeling this boy would soar to fashion success!Looking back at those years with Macy’s Herald Square, I worked with so many talented people; many moved on to amazing careers like The Blonds. We even survived the 9/11 attacks in those windows, as our Visual team huddled together in the back of those windows, trying to figure out how to get out of the building safe.The Blonds made me dream big and reach for the gold and I wish them more and more success in the future. I got Spandau Ballets’ song “Gold” in my head as we walked among the old limelight days, celebs and crazy drag queens including Lady Bunny who all looked Ab Fab as usual!I chatted to David about our time at Macy’s and what he thinks of present-day NYC.
ERIN O’BRIEN: When you first came to NYC, you worked in the windows at Macy’s; I worked there too. There are so many talented people that came out of that store like Linda Fargo, who I ultimately worked for on the the windows at Bergdorf Goodman. Do you agree Macy’s was a huge step on the road to success?
DAVID BLOND: YAS! Good Times! Corporate still let our team have so much freedom to create almost whatever we wanted in the windows. We decided what went in and being in charge of the styling, makeup, and hair sort of prepared me for what we do now. It would be so amazing to one day roll out The Blonds’ fragrance with a full launch at Macy’s Herald Square!
What’s your view on everyone missing “the old New York”?
We’re very inspired by the late 70s/early 80s period in fashion, but instead of wasting time missing “old New York” we’re creating “The Blonds’ New York.” Bette Midler (who is the most DIVINE person we have ever had the privilege to meet (and she can actually back that up!), attended our last show and actually said that it made her feel like old-school downtown New York. So coming from a legend that pretty much seals the deal for us.
If you could bring one designer back to life and have dinner with them, who would it be and why?
Too many to name. Adrian, [Elsa] Schiaparelli, and Eiko Ishioka to have dinner with and a young Halston and Yves Saint Laurent to go out dancing!
Musical geniuses seem to love your designs. What music inspires you and what do you think the most epic music of all time is?
That is a very good and tough question to answer. We love music in general from Beyonce to [Count] Basie and [Malcolm] McLaren to Madonna with a little Beethoven. It’s hard to find a genre we don’t like for one reason or another. Like a film, we have music playing at all times. There is a soundtrack for every moment in our life and it’s the core of our inspiration.–
For more information on The Blonds, visit theblonds.nyc or follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Follow Phillipe Blond on Instagram at @phillipeblond.For the New York Fashion Week schedule and other show information, visit nyfw.com or follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. NYFW 2018 runs September 6-14.
—Erin O’Brien is a prop stylist, props master, window artist, freelance writer and Jill of All Trades who lives and breathes music. Learn more about her at erinobriennyc.com or follow her on Twitter at @emorocksnyc.