Creative Spot-Lite: Dextrose and his collection ‘Death to Paulina’

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‘Death to Paulina’ is the first solo collection from the line Dextrose, created by the very talented bay area designer Dexter Simmons. There’s something sinister about these photos shot by Kristen Cofer, which is beautifully juxtaposed against the warmth of a hazy daydream.  I caught up with Dexter and asked him about his current collection:

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Give me a little information on the man behind Dextrose?

My name is Dexter Simmons.  I was born and raised in the bay area.  Urban living, nightlife, and San Francisco are what inspired me to become involved in art and fashion. I have always worked in some facet of fashion; styling bands, editorial, catalog, hair, makeup, fashion shows and art instillations.  Music is what really drives me, styling bands is probably one of my favorite things to do.  Besides that I am a power dork, comic books, fashion magazines, horror films, and concerts keep me percolated.  Don’t get me wrong though, I still like to go out to clubs and drop it like it’s hot.

How did Dextrose come about?

Dextrose is a manifestation of all the skills I have acquired while working in different facets of fashion.  I always wanted to work on my own solo project, but I never had the time.  I was propelled forward by a bad break-up/heartbreak.  Forces in my life fueled me to express what I was experiencing and it just felt right.  I remember waking up at 5:00 in the morning night after night like a zombie, sketching and draping to keep my mind right.  I have always used fashion as a way to express what I am feeling.  This collection is the most personal piece of fashion and performance art I have ever put together, I left my heart and soul with this one.

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You started out designing clothes with your best friend Lauren Rassel and created the line Flawk, what is the most challenging obstacles about showing a solo collection?

The most challenging part about starting this solo collection after Flawk is expectations. We really set the bar high and hit the ground running.  What I have been doing on my own is just so different than Flawk; it really is a lot darker.  This really gave me a good chance to get in my own head and figure out who I am as a designer.

Why “Death to Paulina”? Is there Paulina?

Death to Paulina is a Pans Labyrinth version of my own personal heartbreak. It combines dark spooky classic American Mickey shapes with the occult. Its a story of a cult of women who believe the end of the world is coming and the only way to fix it and save humanity is to sacrifice Paulina. “We are not a cult, we are a cure, Death to Paulina”.

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Who or what inspires you?

I get a lot of inspiration from horror movies, 70’s cult, religion, American classics and really just my emotional state.  I love to watch John Waters’s films; they remind that beauty can be found in the most insane places.

If you could dress anyone in Dextrose who would it be and why?

Grace Jones because she is one of the most inspiring performance artists of my time.   She takes all of the right risks, and isn’t afraid to make ugly beautiful.

When he’s not creating one of a kind fashions Dexter can be found bar tending special events and parties at Project One Art Gallery, http://p1sf.com/

 

Webber, Roitfeld, Ambrosio and BIG ANG?

One of my favorite’s in the fashion game, who also happens to be an amazing stylist/editor/muse etc. Carine Roitfeld is releasing her second issue of her biannual glossy CR Fashion Book. Of course she can have her choice on anyone to work with, it is Carine after all. For the editorial Beso en Zanzibar’, she enlisted the help of Bruce Webber, Alessandra Ambrosio, other people and one of my current obsessions Big Ang from Mobwives and her own spin-off Big Ang.

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images courtesy of http://www.telegraph.co.uk

I love that as many years as she’s been in the industry, Carine still has that gift of giving us the element of shock and surprise.  She’s on quite a publicity tour right now. As well as promoting her new issue, she has been speaking out about leaving Conde Nast, and about her new role at Harper’s Bazaar.

http://fashionista.com/2013/02/carine-roitfeld-gets-big-ang-to-dance-in-this-new-video-talks-leaving-conde-nast/

On The Come Up: Heather McDonald

A little thing like a blizzard wasn’t going to affect Academy of Art student, Heather McDonald from showing her first Autumn/Winter 2013 collection this season in New York City at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.  I mean she certainly is used to that sort of weather, Heather originally hails from Calgary in Alberta, Canada. She attended the University of Toronto, gaining a bachelors degree in Biology and Anthropology.

She planned to become a forensic anthropologist, but quickly put that on the back burner and followed her craving into the world of fashion. She enrolled in the graduate Fashion and Knitwear Design program at the Academy of Art, in San Francisco, California.

Coming from that kind of background, it isn’t too shocking that Heather’s Autumn/Winter 2013 collection was inspired by Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. 

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Metropolis image courtesy of http://davidszondy.com/future/city/skyscraper.htm

By now we’ve all heard or seen this kind of architectural inspiration before from other designers, artist, influencers, etc. however Heather seems to really understand it better and it definitely shows.

This is McDonald’s debut nine-piece collection and it is off to an impressive start. McDonald clearly showed off her inspiration of Fritz Lang’s classic movie between humans and technology by creating severe and curvilinear silhouettes. Most of her collection had futuristic looks and exaggerated, structured shapes sauntering down the runway. The collection consisted of hues of blacks, charcoals and gunmetal with tiny hints of white. The dark pieces in Heather’s collection concentrated on angular silhouettes, with sheer and defined layer detailing underneath.

Metropolis also provides the observation on the status of the working class. Who could understand this more than a struggling fashion design student? McDonald incorporated this feature by using utilitarian fabrics such as heavy weight felted and flannel wools.  “I have always been inspired by the Orwellian tales of the proletariat trying to fight against oppression. My collection represents my version of the worker’s uniform,” she told FashionSchoolDaily.com.

Academy of Art University Fall 2013 Collections - Runway

Heather McDonalds A/W 2103 collection image courtesy www.fashionschooldaily.com

Style Envy: Nick Wooster

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photo credit: www.thecherryisonmycake.com

Reasons for my Style Envy

The way he puts pieces together..from his inspiring collection of shoes to his  impeccable choice of  items that sets him in his own lane so easily…his signature sunglasses look which makes me reek of jealously.

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photo credit: www.trashness.com

Nick’s dedication to leave every detail unturned doesnt stop at just his clothes, his grooming game is impeccable!. He always appears properly groomed as a gentleman should be at all times.

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No man pulls off camo like him.

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A Round Up of NYFW Fall/Winter 2013

What a whirlwind of a week I just completed. This was my second season covering NYFW for my job at Press-Agents. It just so happens that the last two fashion weeks I’ve worked at in New York seemed to have the most extreme types of weather. Last season it felt like 9,000,000 degrees out, I had to go back and change in between tons of shows because I was drenched with sweat, it was super gross. This season however, the exact opposite occurred! It was fraaaaaaeeeezing out and there was also that little thing called a blizzard.

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It doesn’t look that bad in this picture, but it was. Finding something that looked good on your feet, but being able to walk in this weather and not completely trash your kicks….not easy.

Anyway I made it here here are a few shots I took at various shows.

Nautica Black Sail

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