Stalked: Danielle Colen, Emerging Fashion Designer, Waltz

11 January 2016

Recently I stumbled across the very cool brand, Waltz, an San Francisco based womenswear line founded by designer and pattern-maker Danielle Colen. The brand focusses on a topic which I am very strongly against in our fashion industry today and what we call 'fast fashion'. Danielle started her brand in 2014 in response to the fast-changing, trend-driven fashion landscape and our overcomplicated modern lives, the brand is about paring down to essentials. Waltz creates classic, timeless staples that allow women to simplify and streamline their wardrobes. The brand is committed to sustainability through long-lasting, quality-made garments and most of all supports ethical manufacturing in the US. 

As well as the brand having an excellent ethos the clothes are utterly divine I think you will agree!

Why did you decide to get into fashion? 

I got a late start in fashion. I always loved clothing, but I didn't touch a sewing machine until after college! My mom didn't sew and neither did any of my friends. I was always artistic though, and I knew I wanted to pursue a creative career. Initially I wanted to be an artist – a photographer – but after doing that for a while, the fine art world started to feel too insular and academic. I wanted to return to what I loved on a gut level, and that was fashion. Once I started taking classes in draping and patternmaking, I fell completely in love with the construction process. For me, fashion is a perfect blend of creative and technical thinking.   

What is your latest collection about?

The line is about wardrobe essentials, staple pieces that I think every woman (myself included) would like to have in her closet. The collections never have a grand narrative or theme behind them. Instead I approach fashion design more from a product design perspective. I think about what pieces are lacking in the market, or what's already there but could be refined and improved upon. I am striving to create pieces that stay in a woman's wardrobe for many years, so its important to me that each piece is well thought out and not based on a passing trend. 

What inspires you?

My first passion was photography and I am constantly finding inspiration in that field, particularly architectural photography. Right now I'm falling in love with the work of Lucien Hervé. He photographed for Le Corbusier, but the resulting images are more abstract compositions of light and shadow than they are about the buildings themselves. I also find a lot of inspiration in garments from the past. 

What was the feel you wanted to create from you lookbook/campaign shoot? 

My intention for the lookbook was for it to feel quiet but confident and strong. We chose the location to emphasize the clean, architectural lines of the clothing. I wanted everything to look polished, but not slick. 

What's on you're wishlist for 2016? 

“Building Images” book of photographs by Lucien Hervé, Acne Row Jeans, Santal 33 body oil from Le Labo, Kara backpack

Five items you can't live without?

black jeans, comfy sneakers (usually nikes), breakfast tea with milk (preferably PG Tips), music, audiobooks

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