Long-time fashion designer Katie Gallagher has seen her prolific career thrive for over a decade now. The Pennsylvania native started her studies at RISD in the early 2000s with the intention of studying painting, but switched to apparel design out of sheer necessity at the time. This decision evidently proved to be a sound one; while in school she interned with major fashion labels, jumped straight into New York Fashion Week post-graduation, and quickly earned recognition from celebrity stylists and fashion magazines alike.
Over time, she has witnessed a huge number of changes in the structure of NYFW. In her opinion, the scene lost its competitive edge when it started to prioritize labels with the financial capacity for press coverage and fashion shows. In turn, starting with her tenth anniversary FW19 collection, she moved into look books rather than doing a shoot and a show. For her, a look book shoot allows the collection to be more curated and styled. It can be perfect, when she felt a show never was.
Painting and drawing still informs her planning stages prior to construction. The practice allows her to translate the concepts she imagines for a season — typically derived from an overarching theme — into a concrete vision. Each collection is an extension of her own self, and therefore intentionally titled, which is a fairly unique naming choice in the industry. She views her compositions as one would think of a song or poem.
Katie has always favored monochromatic pieces, and relies on craft and creativity to play with elements of texture and detail. Her twenty-second collection, unveiled this year for New York Fashion Week, continues to follow these tenets. The twenty-five RTW separates in ‘The Danger of Tears’ are her first fully designed and conceptualized collection in Los Angeles, following her decision to move away from NYC in March 2019. Finding the right artists to work with helped to soothe her fears of working in a new environment. Despite still having to navigate logistical and emotional difficulties at the time, she considers this season to be one of her favorites and exhibits some of the best construction quality seen in her work. In addition to new designs, Katie has upgraded several staples from past collections, which further reflects the label’s ever evolving and highly personal nature.
The collection is all-black, save for a hint of white and beige. The eighteen looks are accented with sheer mesh panels and lace, ruching and ties, trailing dresses and skirts, utility pocket details, and shearling-style jackets. Katie recently started a mood board for the upcoming SS21 season, provided that there is one. She hinted to the idea that one day, she wants to make a collection that has no limitations. She also really wants to do a collection shoot with a model and her cat, Sveater. “Maybe next season,” she muses playfully.