Behind the Seams with Brian Reyes

In our first edition of "Behind the Seams," we're bringing you the inside dish from Brian Reyes. This celebrity favorite (whose office happens to be next to ours!) has us craving his cocktail chic styles, and we wanted to see what makes him tick. Let us know what you think in the comments. — Derek & Lara 


What inspired your Spring 2010 collection?

S/S 10 began as a structural examination of roots and the grounded world that lives beneath the soil. We started with an amazing visit to Kew Gardens in London. They've just opened their "Treetop Walk" which is fantastic, but next to the entrance is an exhibit that is really geared for children about life beneath the soil. It's a well depicted, in the simplest terms, discussion about the interconnectivity of the world we live in and how our actions in one aspect of our lives forces change in so many others. Balance is everything in the world of soil. I then took this idea of rooted realism and started exploring the lives of woman and societies that hadn't fully understood how falling out of balance can affect our lives, which brought us to the study of Rorsach or the bleeding heart prints.


How did you go about designing the prints in this collection?

I have developed prints on my own for many seasons and this was the first time I’ve ever worked directly with a graphic artist. It was a very fluid process. Our meetings take place almost immediately after a runway show for the previous season, in this case, immediately following the Fall 2009 runway show. Originally, we were working on just one print, but we had so many ideas that we ended up with a few that I felt very strongly about — whether the bleeding heart print or the vibrant blue of the Chagrin print, both make such a statement in this collection. We always play with scale, color, opacity, and repetition to create the prints.



Which part of the design process do you like the best?

I feel very lucky to be doing something that I love and something that inspires me every day. Running a small business is a challenge, and I don't always get to be a "designer," but I always know that once the tedious aspects of the day are complete, I can spend my afternoons and evenings really being inspired. I think very few people are able to really pursue their passions, so I feel very blessed.


How is the Brian Reyes brand growing in 2010?

I'm so excited about my Fall 2010 collection. We've spent the last few months expanding on our analysis of trees, bark, leaf structure, core structures. We're really excited about the colors and the intricate prints we're preparing for Fall 2010. While all of my prints are custom designed, I had the chance to collaborate with an inspiring artist from the Ukraine, Oksana Mas — her take on modern art is quite expressive, and I love that she works with materials in constantly evolving mediums.


If you could sit front row at a fashion show for any designer in history, who would it be and why?

I'm not really a fashion show kinda guy… I'm such a fanatic when it comes to the history of fashion and the development of so many style ideas that have progressed from the early 1800's into today’s modern fashion boutique. What women wear today feels so incredibly different from where the fashion community started last century, but there are reference points, and very few people who brought truly revolutionary ideas in their time. I'm much happier in a library thumbing thru retrospective books on the old fashion masters, or visiting the costume exhibit, than being at a runway show. 


How do you celebrate finishing a collection?

Oh that's a tough one… I usually go out the night following the show, and then I try to escape the studio for a week or two after a runway show to clear my mind and get started on the next season. The fashion calendar can be relentless in that the minute you've finished one collection, you jump right into the next. In my studio, I'm very hands on when it comes to the development of clothing.


If a girl was going to purchase her first Brian Reyes' piece, what would you want it to be?        

One of my favorite pieces, from my collection, was Look 36 from Spring 2008. It's a very specific gown, and there is only one in the world. However, I'm obsessed these days with luxurious separates. I think it's very important for young women to begin building their wardrobe with great pieces. An amazing sweater, an amazing jacket, a simple, beautiful formed dress, something that gives a woman a taste of what we do.