PORTRAIT IN STYLE: Philip Sparks

PHILIP SPARKS, FALL 2010

Interview by Marq Frerichs.

Last week, I called Philip Sparks to congratulate him on his Fall 2010 collection and to ask him a few questions from the Style Notebook questionnaire. I found him affable and funny, a quick wit with his feet planted on the ground. What am I excited about from Sparks? He hinted at a holiday footwear collection…have a read.

What was the first piece you designed in this collection?

“The pea coat.”

How do you know when you’re finished a collection?

“I run out of time and or money. However I’m also working on a ‘holiday’ collection, so fall/winter will come out in two parts.”

What are the top three items on your inspiration board?

“Melville’s Moby Dick, 16th-century maps with sea creatures and Edwardian naval books, and pictures of boats.”

Did you have a muse or person in mind when designing this collection?

“My partner, Andrew, and those I collaborated with in the studio.”

Who would you love to see wearing your collection?

“I’m not celebrity driven, but maybe Elijah Wood.”

What’s your favourite part of Toronto Fashion Week? Least favourite?

“I don’t really have anything to say about it.”

What’s the first thing you do on the morning of your show?

“Coffee in the morning, but no ritual for the day of the show.”

How do you dress for your own show? Is that important, or something you figure out the day of the show?

“I make sure I have an outfit, something casual. I need something to change into because of all of schlepping I do to set up for the show.”

Do you get nervous?

“I’m calm until people start to arrive at the space and then I hide backstage. Nervous, yes.”

What’s your favourite Fall 2010 show from the international collections?

“I haven’t looked at the shows this year, I’ve wanted to keep the focus on my own work, and I’ll look after the holiday collection is done.”

The Canadian tuxedo (denim on denim)—yes or no?

[Laughter] “I thought that was called the Texas Tux?”

All images courtesy of Philip Sparks.

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