Kara Laricks went from being a fourth-grade teacher to following her dream to work in fashion, creating a line of unisex accessories called Collar, Stand + Tie. Soon after, she captured the hearts of many as the 2012 season winner of NBC’s “Fashion Star.”
What’s new with Kara? I had a chance to chat with her to discuss her clothing collection, a new partnership, and why she absolutely adores Paris Fashion Week.
MCOS: What’s new in your world?
Kara: I’m counting down the days until my fall/winter 2013 collection is available on www.karalaricks.com. I’m also celebrating my partnership with www.byco.com – an incredible company that provides designers with a revolutionary way to produce/sell and gives fashionistas an amazing new place to shop! I recently celebrated a pretty big birthday with a once in a lifetime trip to Iceland. Needless to say, finding inspiration for my fall/winter 2014 collection has been checked off the list!
There’s always so much to look forward to during New York, Paris, and Milan fashion weeks. Which is your favorite and why?
Funny – I recently wrote a blog post of my own on this topic: http://www.karalaricks.com/1/post/2013/09/matching-menswear-detailing-to-designer-in-milan.html. I certainly have a soft spot for New York Fashion Week, but I really look forward to seeing what designers show in Paris. Shows in Paris tell a story from beginning to end and possess a theatrical quality. I sometimes feel like I am getting away with something as I flip from look to look on Style.com during PFW and sip my morning latte. Some shows are so spectacular that I feel like I should have purchased a ticket. NYFW (with the exception of a few designers) has become very commercial, so from a business standpoint, I enjoy making my “that will be a big seller” predictions. Runway shows during PFW inspire me to drape better, design better and even dream better.
My biggest obsession about your designs is that you stylishly create looks with a soft masculine and feminine finish. What inspires your male detailing?
First, thank you. Second, masculine detailing is a little treat for the women who appreciate my design aesthetic. Women who wear my garments celebrate their femininity while also honoring their strength and edge. I never forget I am dressing a woman’s body, and I always remember that every woman deserves to feel powerful!
There were lots of hits and a few misses on the red carpet at the Emmy Awards this year. What actress would you like to dress? What look would you design for her?
As I watched the Emmys’ red carpet this year, one of the starlets was described as “a risk taker – not afraid to be on the Worst Dressed List.” This is the type of actress/performer I would like to dress. The Fanning sisters, Cara Delevingne and Tilda Swinton, have that lovely, quirky quality that compliments their unique senses of style. I would also love to dress women who carry off simplicity and strong lines with grace and elegance like Julianne Moore, Cate Blanchett and Michelle Williams. What would I design for each? I’d create sleek jumpsuits for the first three and gorgeous dresses with sharp geometric silhouettes and my signature menswear detailing for the last three.
We’ve all had them. What is your biggest fashion faux pas?
Ugh – here we go. As a kid, my favorite day of the year was the day before school started when my mom took me shopping for a new first day of school outfit. I knew I was going to “kill it” on my first day of middle school in my Mickey Mouse tunic, stirrup pants (yes, stirrup pants) and bright red Payless flats (to match Mickey’s shorts, of course). Little did I realize that all of the other girls had received the on-trend memo and were in pastel Polo shirts and white shorts. I couldn’t get home fast enough! Looking back, I have to give myself props for originality, though.
What are your thoughts about the return of ‘90s grunge?
I am wearing my ratty Army jacket and my “art school” Chucks as I write this interview. Wink, wink.