Inspired by the Inspired

Every time someone interviews me one of the first questions they ask is, “Where do you get your inspiration?” One of my first answers is from the world’s leading fashion designers. As a self-confessed clothes horse (my closet is overflowing) I am always looking at the endless variations that pour out of the remarkable fashion houses that now flourish on every continent. In fact, one of my Pinterest boards is titled Inspiration. There you’ll see beautiful ideas from Zegna’s subtly luxurious beaded sweaters for men to Alexander McQueen’s mock-knitted print blazer. And so many more sophisticated, nuanced designs. One example of how I’m influenced is my Kurt Mongolian cashmere sweater. It was inspired by Giorgio Armani. In the 1980s I bought a pair of his pleated, cotton gabardine trousers. But the pleats were unique. The waist was over sized just right so that I folded and buttoned the fabric to create each front pleat. Then I folded and buttoned the fabric at the cuff. I wore those trousers till they were threadbare. But, stored away the pleat idea for 30 years until I designed my Kurt sweater. Instead of drawing in the waist with ribbing on a smaller needle size, I simply used a buttoned pleat on each side at the hem. So, what’s next? I’ll probably see it walking down New York’s 5th Avenue or Rodeo Drive.