photographer : Laura Dark
makeup artists : Makeup Vamp & Jennifer Pincelli of On Call Artistry
hair stylist : Cat Monster
models : Odette Despairr & Robyn Randall Fulfs
How do you see the development of Darkspectre from its conception through now?
I have been going through a crazy evolution as far as Darkspectre goes lately. First off… technology. There are all kinds of fun new “toys” to play with and with some extremely cool new materials and textiles coming out on the market it’s like… can I modify fast enough to incorporate all of this new information? What direction do I evolve in? Because we are growing, evolving, changing… slowly but surely… and enhancing my skill-set in the process. Relevance is becoming more and more of an issue as I still like to hearken back to more historical styling and not everyone has a place to wear that extremely well-tailored Victorian-esque frock. I think though as long as I continue to not just design what others are interested in… but continue to create concept pieces as well that tickle the artist in me… I’ll be okay. People like my original artwork way more than anything anyway as it turns out.
What do you think was your greatest achievement of 2016?
This past year has been intensely rough and tumble. I was not only designing and doing commission work but I was also working full time outside my house as well. My biggest achievement of 2016 was actually my making the final (and financial) decision to jump in one hundred percent with both feet into my designs and my company and leave the “everything extracurricular” behind. That decision was literally made of blind faith and trust in my clientele to help me achieve our combined goals. So far so good! For the record… winning the Best Fashion Designer category for this magazine only served to affirm my decision. My work has merit. Thank you so much for that. My mind is blown.
What was the greatest obstacle of 2016?
They say that you should, “be the change you wish to see in the world”. My biggest obstacle in 2016 is literally that in my off time I wear a cape. My husband and I opened our home to two children in extreme need in December of 2015 and they are still living with our family at this time. They are not so much an obstacle but a force of nature in my life, and adapting to them, and them adapting to US, and becoming family all while I work from home has been a “trip”. We’ve had this perfect storm of chaos and inspiration and love and temper tantrums for the past solid year and in the midst running a business while everything around you goes from zero to 90 mph in less than a second is challenging to say the least. We have persevered through a lot of things together. I wouldn’t take it back, not even a little bit. While this doesn’t sound like something that should be an obstacle for a design company, per se… remember: this company is run by one person. And that person is also running a household at full steam as well. I will say this: in the current climate in this country… it would behoove more people to help out within the foster care system. There are even just mentoring programs for children in the system, and they don’t care what color you are or if you like punky colored hair and you’re all inked up like I am. They want good people for these kids and these kids NEED good people. So if your heart is big enough to do such a thing… please… do. It’s really rewarding.
To what do you feel you owe your success?
I absolutely, one hundred percent owe all of my success to my photography team and to the people who follow our work. You might have noticed that Laura Dark Photography was awarded Best Photographer of 2016. In our world… there are no accidents. The collaborative works that we have created together since 2012 has been off the charts and those ladies that work out of that studio have challenged me at every turn to create concept for imagery that is just pure art. Every move we make together has turned out to be pure gold… almost like a well-choreographed dance of individuals and talents that when merged together becomes pure brilliance on the page. Coupled with an incredibly loyal fan base who we all owe our very livelihoods to… we are incredibly humbled by their presence and their adoration. Those ladies know I love them to the moon and back… as well as my clientele. As any of my clients will tell you… once I create you a piece we become friends for life. I choose to work hand in hand with my clients and that level of personality with people keeps them near and dear.
What’s one big goal you still hope to achieve?
I want to wardrobe a feature film so badly I can taste it. My goal before I turn 50 is to make that happen. And after that… an Academy Award for it. Dream big or go home!
What are your plans for 2017?
I definitely have new concepts in mind that takes me not only deeper into the whole “romanta-goth” aesthetic… but I also am plotting to delve back into some more industrial design work that has multi-cultural and, dare I say it? Political leanings. I have some ideas in my head that need to come out, and coupled with some rare opportunities to shoot in some incredible locations I think I can help bring that imagery to life. Being a child of the 80s I adored the whole euro-punk and new wave design aesthetic but I think I want to take that sort of influence and use modern materials and make them BIG. Think Blade Runner meets the Hunger Games and had a baby. With some Burton thrown in for a twist. We’ll just have to wait and see. My time is always the fall, that’s when my creativity is at its height. Looking forward to it more than ever this year.