Fervent View: Liza Rietz
CT: Can you define what ‘seasonless’ fashion design is to you and share any 'rules to live by' that you have for your own reasoning behind clothing purchases?
LR: Seasonless fashion is a way of dressing that can adapt to any time of year. This usually requires pieces of clothing to be somewhat timeless as opposed to trendy, with neutral fabrics and design elements that complement the form regardless of the weather. This is fashion that can be adaptable to any season by way of layering or dressing up or down. And if worn a lot, it must be high quality.
Rules to live by... I rarely shop, but when i do, it is usually vintage because the quality is usually superior (to new clothing) and I like having something that has been worn and from another time.
It feels more authentic to me. If I want some trendy clothes I always go to second hand stores because there is a ridiculous abundance of clothing that have barely been worn that are literally thrown away. But if I buy new, I try to buy quality, timeless pieces that I can wear again and again. Of course this is difficult, but I try to buy American made. And 99 percent of the time, I buy a jacket over anything else because I think a good jacket makes the outfit.
CT: Because your work is so well known for its comfortable yet highly structured form around the body, can you tell us more about how you think shape can contribute to longevity in a personal wardrobe? Can you give us some examples from your latest collection?
LR: In order to have a structured or tailored garment, you almost always have to use a thicker more durable fabric to hold the form or the shape. In most cases, durable fabric equals longevity - a garment that will last.
A durable garment has weight to it. So much of 'fast fashion' is weightless. Literally.
It doesn't weigh anything because the fabric is usually poor quality and will disintegrate. In another sense, structure is personalized. It fits your measurements and feels more like a shell of your body. I have some well fitted suit jackets in my closet and I will never get rid of them.
As for some structural garments from my latest collection - I have some high waist suspender skirts that are very fitted in the ribs and waist with a cummerbund waistband and the hips have these exaggerated inverted box pleats to add some volume to contrast the fitted waist.
CT: You create meticulously sewn handmade fashions. Can you explain how and why slow fashion is an important part of the seasonless wardrobe?
LR: Slow fashion is important on so many levels. It is important to a seasonless wardrobe in the sense that less is more.
You pick fewer pieces that are more versatile (with the seasons) and make sure they are high quality and will last.
To be seasonless means you really can't jump on the hyper-trend frenzy of fast fashion (buying for not just every season but for every mood) thus you support slow fashion - buying timeless, quality pieces that will stick around like an old friend for years to come.