interview by : Vanity Kills
photographer : Jennifer Link
fashion stylist : Jennifer Link
makeup artist : Andrea Losecco
hair stylist : Jodie McGuire
models : Sarah Wintle & Vena Kayta
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[ additional images not seen in the February/March 2013 Issue ]
Though not a milliner by trade, Rose Hemlock wears quite a few hats to perfection nonetheless. As creative director of Rose Mortem, she transposes femininity, tragedy, and innocence into gently ruched bodices, empire waistlines, and dramatically long lace cuffs; seamlessly weaving dark fantasy into each stitch. Coupled with bringing raiment relief to modern dames and dandies who feared that romance was destined to be relegated as a relic of the dusty past, Rose Hemlock will soon be delving into the realm of the ethereal with the upcoming launch of Faerie Clothing, a lighter sister label to her primary brand. In keeping with her status as a Renaissance woman, she lends her musical talents to The Awakening, finds time to flex her literary muscles, and raises two young boys (while wrangling two feisty felines to boot). Her expertise truly spans the gamut, and with ambition to spare it is doubtless that any task thrown at her would be accomplished with magnificence.
As if fifteen years spent standing at the helm of a label widely admired by scores of elegance enthusiasts with a tendency to gravitate toward the spookier side of the wardrobe spectrum wasn’t enough, you’ve got an upcoming sister brand to Rose Mortem focused on faerie lore in the works. How did you translate myth and magic into fabric? What clientele are you hoping to appeal to? Do you foresee longtime fans embracing this new direction?
Rose Hemlock : I’ve always found it difficult to think of myself as a fashion designer because I have no process for coming up with designs. It’s a very emotionally driven experience for me, somewhat unpredictable. My primary inspiration with Rose Mortem has always been music, and translating the music I love in to clothing. Designing for Faerie Clothing has been similar; as an artist you listen and absorb whatever you can from the subject matter, and then allow imagination to dictate the details. My interpretation of faerie may not be perfectly in line with Brian Froud’s, but I hope the designs have a magic that comes from the same place. My clients are amazing people who have such unique pursuits and personalities; many of them have been asking me to do something like Faerie Clothing for years. You cannot have darkness without the light, and Faerie Clothing gives my clients a chance to experience that balance with me. I also hope to meet new clients who don’t necessarily associate themselves or their style with words like “gothic” but who have a passion for the fantastical, and want clothing that nourishes that passion.
read the full interview in the February/March 2013 Issue