Okay, today I have something really special: an interview with Kato, the British designer behind SteampunkCouture.com. You’ve seen the posts on Facebook, and now Kato is kind enough to share some designs and answer a few questions!
1. What first drew you to steampunk fashions?
I was designing in this style for many years prior to discovering the term “steampunk”. It was around the time that I first heard the term, that I began taking the demand for my work seriously and as it was primarily couture, there was no better name to give it than “steampunk couture”. I continue to design in a style that I personally want to see created, so I’ve not been following or influenced by other steampunk fashions. Steampunk fashion takes many forms and I think that my style allows for accessorizing and further customizing by the wearer. The Do-It-Yourself mentality is the heart of the steampunk culture.
2. Do you have a favorite fabric?
I’m an absolute fabric junky. Remaining focused and professional around my staff comes easy…until it’s time to buy fabrics, at which point “like a kid in a candy store” would be light reference to the way fabric shopping makes me behave. So to answer the question: not really. It’s too difficult to choose, but based on the level of excitement that comes in reaction to certain fabrics, I’d say aged, distressed leathers are a favourite as well as antique lace and linen.
3. Do you have a particular muse or source of inspiration at the moment?
Right now, I’m a little crazy about Connie D’Angelo’s ball-jointed dolls. She hand-crafts the most exquisite clothing, accessories and hairstyles for these tiny art dolls and then poses and photographs them in the most delightful of settings and colours. The over-sized buttons and trim resonate with my style of fashion design on a very deep level.