Backstage

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Titania Inglis

With a clear vision for her brand and distinct design point of view, Titania Inglis is a name to become familiar with in fashion. After an impressive showing at Milk Made Fashion Week this past February and an Ecco Domani award under her belt, this young talent has set out to change the definition of modern luxury with her ethically manufactured womenswear. In addition to producing her collection in New York, Titania seeks out quality fabrics such as Japanese Cupro silk and vegetarian-tanned Italian leather to ensure the utmost quality of each piece. And the thoughtful design of each garment certifies that every detail, from the seam of a pocket to the cut of a jacket sleeve, is meaningful to the overall design. We met with Titania, who showed us her fall collection, to learn more about how she got started in the industry and what more we can expect from her in the near future.

What is your first fashion memory?


My mom used to subscribe to Vogue back in the ‘80s. I would lie on my parents’ bed and leaf through all these amazing ‘80s Vogues. I loved all the colors and the glamour and the perfume ads.

When did you realize you wanted to be a designer?


It was really something I was struggling against for the longest time. My dad was an architect and told me under no circumstances to become an architect. So I went to liberal arts school and I thought I was going to be a journalist. And I was a journalist briefly, but then I realized that I just loved to make things. So, ultimately, two years into my start in journalism, I had a complete change of career and went back to school.

Who were the fashion designers you admired as a student?


I was really into product designers and architects, people like Tadoa Ando, Shigeru Ban and a lot of the Japanese architects. For fashion, I really loved the Antwerp Six, such as Ann Demeulemeester and Martin Margiela.

One of the exciting things about your brand is its eco-conscious aspect. How does eco-conscious apply to your daily life?


I just biked here! My philosophy for the line, and life, is the idea of lush minimalism. It’s the Dieter Rams motto "less but better." So I bike, and that has less environmental impact. But I also enjoy getting to be outside, moving my legs a bit and getting some fresh air. At least, as fresh as it is in New York City...

A lot of designers seem to have a fashion uniform, what do you wear to design in?


Usually I’m just designing in an oversized shirt and slippers in my home. I have this amazing vintage work jumper that I got in Holland. It’s basically a blue smock that you wrap around your waist with a belt. But there’s something so dapper about it; I think it’s the cut of the shoulder. I should make one in black to design in!

How did you get involved with Milk Made Fashion Week?


That was something I’ve really been aspiring to ever since I launched my collection. Every season we’ve been writing to them saying, “Hi! We’d really love to show with you. Do you have any openings?” And at the last minute, literally one month before fashion week this past season, they emailed and said, “So, how about the last day of fashion week?” And we were like yes, please!

How closely are you involved with everything that goes into creating your show, including the hair?


I definitely collaborate with set design, hair styling and makeup. I bring to the table my ideas and my inspirations for the hair, then the hairstylist sends me back ideas, then we get together to do a test on the model.

How does the Titania Inglis woman wear her hair?


I loved what hairstylist Ramona Eschbach did for my Fall 2012 collection, where it was slicked back on one side, then down and long on the other side. It looked very punky but elegant.

What’s your hair routine?


I used to change up my hair a lot, but ever since I’ve had this asymmetrical haircut, it’s been such a good fit that I’ve actually stuck with it for several years. I’m really a pretty easy hair girl. It’s pretty much just wash and go. The most I’ll do is put some sort of cream product in it to smooth down the flyaways.

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be doing?


I'd probably go back to writing. There was just something I really enjoyed about journalism, meeting new people, learning about new things every day.

Who would you write for?


There are so many good magazines out there, but I’ve always wanted to write for the New York Times. I’m definitely really interested in fashion and design. I think some people think of it as a very shallow industry, but there are a lot of designers out there who are really innovating and doing interesting things with materials.

Favorite leisure activities when you’re not working?


Sleep! I also love to go upstate and go on walks through the woods.

Your greatest talent outside of designing?


Spelling.

What projects do you have in the works?


I’m working on my spring 2014 collection. I have several collaborations in the works for that, which I’m going to keep a secret for now! For this collection, I’m really going back to my geometric roots.

Is there an artist or other designer who you would really like to collaborate with on a project?


I was just emailing shoe designer Martha Davis from San Francisco this morning. She’s done these amazing shoes that are a fusion of organic and geometric forms, something I like to do, and they’re created with sustainable wood wedge soles, which are my favorite, and vegetarian leather. There are so many jewelry designers I’d love to work with. I definitely want to work with my friend Linn Lomo; she does these really crazy sculptural pieces.

Advice for up and coming designers?


I think the best lesson is to think small. Think about what you’re very good at and really go for that.
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