interview by : Vanity Kills
photographer : Ian Compton
creative director : Pretty Deadly Stylz
fashion stylist : Pretty Deadly Stylz
makeup artist : Jesse Young
hair stylist : Jesse Young
model : Christine MacGibbon
Nearly ten years ago Futurstate’s Laura Stewart undertook the challenge of making the industrial nightclub a sexier place to be. This was accomplished by introducing cyber separates actually conducive to mobility: such as silver-on-black high-slit maxi skirts (which offered the ample legroom necessary to execute those kung-fu-esque kicks that tend to require other patrons to maintain a ten-foot radial distance from the dancer at all times) and halters that utilizes moisture wicking fabric (made to withstand a marathon Hocico stompfest with minimal grodiness). That’s just two of the innumerable reasons you’ve been catching eyefuls of Nemesis skirts and Avenge tops steadily infiltrating dark alternative festivals worldwide. And it certainly would not be a stretch to conclude that Futurstate has ascended to the status of “fashion gone viral”, due to the frequent appearance of circuit-printed Transkema sleeves in the now-ubiquitous YouTube depictions of EBM dancing spontaneously erupting in any given part of the globe. Still, there is no rest for the wicked.
As many cybergoths come to realize, the corporate path is usually neither the easiest, nor most interesting avenue to pursue, but it is the way to paying rent, expanding one’s palate past packets of instant ramen, and the ability to buy nice boots at will. Yet, despite the unavoidable suckage typically included in the standard relocation package to Desk Jockeysville (awkward team building exercises with coworkers you loathe, soul-sucking fluorescent lighting, and hours of brain-atrophying repetitive tasks) take comfort in knowing that Futurstate’s professional alter ego, Victory & Vice, managed to pull off the unthinkable by bridging the sartorial divide between work and play. Two seemingly opposing concepts were successfully united into a coherent whole when Stewart dreamed up a multifunctional collection of pieces that subtly give nod to the “dark and raw” undercurrent of subcultural elements, yet still seamlessly adapted to fit into a contemporary office environment. Spoiler alert, the prevalent black-on-black color scheme, fitted pencil skirts, and inconspicuously vintage military inspired dresses evoke a sense of instant familiarity. One would be hard pressed not to instantly recognize cuts and details that border on the limits of both retro and futuristic, with covert traces of Futurstate’s signature style while yet still rooted in the present just enough to create a viable smokescreen of workforce attire.
And those with any degree of familiarity with cyberpunk literature already know that the best way to subvert the system is from the inside.
What gave impetus to the rise of Victory & Vice?
Laura Stewart : Victory & Vice came into being as an extension of Futurstate, to fit the changing desires of some of our long time clients that have grown with us over the years. I started to notice excitement around transitional pieces that could be worn to the office as well as at night. It seemed there was a gap in finding a way to look professional while still expressing aspects of an alternative identity. I liked the concept of evolving with our customer, but felt there needed to be a distinct collection, allowing Futurstate to remain strong in its already established identity. The rise of Victory & Vice has been a refreshingly creative opportunity, an outlet to explore alternative themes in a new format. The look is more streamlined, semi-professional with a defined subculture edge keeping it distinct from what the mainstream is wearing. Beneath it all, the impetus of the new label is from my love of designing clothing and the desire to create fashion that others identify with.
view the full feature in the December/January 2012/2013 Issue