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Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got your start within fashion design?I am originally from Korea and moved to New York to study at Parsons. I studied fine art and always wanted to be a painter but I totally changed my mind and decided to be a fashion designer after I saw an editorial image of Yohji Yamamoto’s dress in a magazine. It literally shocked me. I realized that people do not need to put the art pieces only at the galleries or museums. They can wear art pieces too! So I changed my major to fashion design and moved to New York to pursue my dream since then. I know it’s really a typical story, but it’s the true story of myself.
How did your own line come about?
Dreams come true! I've always dreamed of having my own collection, since I decided to be a fashion designer. It took a while but I can say now dreams always come true.
We love the subtle yet thoughtful details in your designs. Where do you typically find inspiration?I am a very visual person, so what I’ve seen becomes my inspiration. I love traveling and the experiences. The atmosphere and the feeling, while I am traveling, are the things that inspire my collections, as well as everyday life. Actually my new spring 16 collection is inspired from my trip to Berlin in 2005. The “Melancholy” exhibition in Berlin at the time was very impressive that it’s still very strong in my mind.
This year, I actually visited Taliesin West, which is Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and architecture school, in Arizona. It was amazing and beyond. I am sure this will become the inspiration for a future collection. I don’t really get inspiration from the object itself. I like to see the object, with its surroundings, and I become inspired by it all together. So, the way I get my inspiration has been reflected within my works. I am a very detail oriented designer, in a way, but I always edit down the details. If the details are not necessary to the piece, I create.
What does style mean to you?
Style doesn’t need to be related to only fashion. I believe the way you talk, the way you eat, and the way you live your everyday life are the meaning of style.
How would you describe the girl you design for?
Is it important to you to keep most of your production in NYC?
There are numerious giant companies knocking off other designers. They are well trained to copy the designs quickly enough to sell their knock-offs during the same time as the original pieces, but they can never copy the quality. So the quality is my number one priority for each collection, and I believe New York is the place for that.
What is the ideal day for you?My ideal day is really simple. I wake up in the morning and step out with my dog, Howl, to grab a coffee and a piece of bread. If I start my day like this, It will be my ideal day for sure.
East or West Coast?
I am probably a more East Coast person. The reason is simple. I love New York.
Coffee or tea?
Coffee, of course. I always start my day with a cup of hand-dripped coffee.
How do you see Yune Ho expanding in the future?
Can you both tell us a bit about your backgrounds and how Horses Atelier came about?
We have been playwrights, helicopter pilots, cooks in bush camps. Have traveled islands, deserts, and the Canadian North. Horses is an accumulation of our long friendship, experience, and our love for design. It came about in an unguarded moment, under a filthy bridge in a beautiful, worn part of our city called Parkdale, and once it was spoken aloud, took on the velocity of a spell.
How did you decide on the name, Horses Atelier?
We loved all of the associations. Horses: Patti Smith, velocity, beauty, utility, wildness. Atelier – the French word for workshop to reflect our Canadian roots, and that all of our pieces are hand-sewn with an old-world attention to detail in Toronto.
We love the subtle vintage yet modern feel to your designs. Where do you typically find inspiration?
Late 19th Century bohemia, 1970s French Riviera and Japanese Classicism.
There’s a timeless beauty to your designs. What does style mean to you both?
Thank you. We are always drawn to the iconic – to the platonic ideal of a shape. Style is private, innate; it is a force you cultivate – a form of autobiography.
How would you describe the girl you design for?
A feeling of independence. She curates her world singularly, and cares about the story behind a garment – that its seams are French and hems are blind, where it was sewn, that it will in its design, composition and construction, remain timeless. She follows only her moods, never the trends, and, is like Nedra in James Salter’s Lights Years – driven by a boundless sense of personal freedom.
Can you describe the fashion and production scene in Toronto? Is it important to you both to keep production close to home?
The fashion scene is robust, but production has been largely moved off-shore. It is essential to us – to how we approach our lives – that we keep production here and continue to work closely with our community of seamstresses.
What is your process for sourcing fabrics and coming about with custom colors and prints?
We work with family-owned mills in Italy and Japan to find natural fibres for our pieces. This involves long hours of research and review, but when we find the right article, it is emotional. We have never found a print that moved us, and so have made our own from the beginning. For our custom colour ways, we work with the costumiers of the National Ballet of Canada.
Do you have a favorite piece that you’ve created or felt particularly connected to?
We love them all; we will not put a piece into the world unless we feel connected to it, but will say that we live in our worksuits and slipdresses.
What music do you like to listen to while working- What’s currently on your playlists?
The sultry new Snowblink album.
Coffee or tea?
Coffee thick as mud.
Can you describe your ideal day?
Kissing our children, kissing our husbands, a glass of red wine, a bicycle ride, the feeling of moving forward with something – of inspired thinking, of feeling enchanted. Love, work, nature.
What’s one item you cannot live without?
Our horse rings handcrafted by the brilliant Gerard Tully.
How do you see Horses Atelier expanding in the future?
Evolving our core of feminized workwear, and artful, easy dresses – and then collaborating with artists that move us in all of the forms; we have clothed so many actresses, writers, dancers, and visual artists we admire – we would love to formalize this part of our studio. We look to Agnes B as an example of a designer working brilliantly in other forms while cont.
Last image via Horses Atelier Instagram.
Shop the collection here!
Above: Look book images via Étoile Isabel Marant .
Shop Étoile Isabel Marant.
Base Range Camisole Tank // Objects Without Meaning Mia Skirt // Building Block Cylidner Bag // Woman by Common Projects Slip Ons // Costalots Diego Sunglasses
Acne Studios Addle Flu Den Shirt // Won Hundred Two White Jeans // Ancient Greek Taygete Sandals in Desert Pony Hair // The Common Knowledge Pierced Bucket Bag
Apiece Apart Tee Dress // Building Block Duck Canvas Backpack // Ancient Greek Thais Sandal
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m currently living with my boyfriend and our big puppy, Gus, in Mililani on O’ahu, which is about 20 minutes away from the pristine beaches of the North Shore. My passion has always been food, but it took me moving to New York to realize I could make a career out of it. I’m lucky that I get to do what I love while living in Hawaii, which for me is the perfect balance between quality of life and work. I mostly work from home splitting my time between beach days and planning events for a cooking studio and doing production duties for a travel, genealogy, and food show called Family Ingredients that will air on PBS national in 2016.
What do you miss most about nyc?
I miss the architecture, amazing public transportation, and of course, the food. You can’t just run down to the nearest bodega for a bacon egg and cheese here, and that kills me sometimes. Also, you can’t find any good bagels here. After working at Black Seed and eating bagels out of the oven every day, I’m a bit spoiled.
What are the biggest differences you've noticed between the New York and Hawaiian food scene?
NYC food scene is IT. You can walk a few blocks and find the best of almost any cuisine you could possibly imagine - except Hawaiian food. Hawaiian food can only be done right in Hawaii. There are a few places I’ve tried out of state that will do in a pinch, if you’re and islander feeling really homesick, but of course you can’t compare to having Hawaiian food in Hawaii.
The food scene here has always been a melting pot of many cultures that make-up the local food in Hawaii. Our food scene is going through some exciting changes right now. I always used to joke that Hawaii was always one step behind any trend (because our islands are so isolated), but now I think that works to our advantage. Here, it’s natural for things to move more slowly, meaning a lot of times when things are executed there is a bit more thought put behind actions. Now on many plates you will be presented with a dish that has been influenced by many cultures with the relationship between chef and farmer front and center. It’s pretty magical.
Can you share with us some of your favorite NYC restaurants?
Oh man, thats a tough one. Samurai Mama and Cocoron got me through the polar vortex. Comfort food!
I have a guide to my favorite hawaii restaurants: megantomino.com/maps
What’s a perfect day of meals for you?
Perfect day of meals in Hawaii - Home cooked breakfast either Japanese style or eggs on some type of carb with bacon, lunch at Pig and the Lady (veal shank pho, lemongrass tofu bahn mi french dip, ikura and pickled seaweed on chicken fat rice), and omakase sushi or kaiseiki for dinner.
Can you tell us more about your upcoming project, Family Ingredients?
Family Ingredients is a travel, genealogy and food show that goes on journeys to trace a recipe from Hawaii to the homeland. Our host, chef Ed Kenney of Town and a guest goes on adventures that strings together a great story about family history and history of a dish (chosen by the guest). The show will air on PBS national in summer 2016. You can watch a side story from one of our first episodes here: https://vimeo.com/98983229.
Macadamia Nut Pesto Recipe
Makes about 1.5 cups
1/2 cup macadamia nuts (dry roasted, unsalted)
2 cups basil leaves (packed)
1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons good quality butter
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly cracked pepper
Start with a whole fresh young chicken. Flip the bird so its backbone is facing up. Use a pair of sharp kitchen scissors to cut along each side of the backbone. Flip the bird back over so it is breast side up. Press the bird down to flatten. Push the pesto beneath the skin of the bird and rub it all over the top.
Heat your grill up to 400 degrees, allow to sit for about 5 minutes then turn down to low. Put the bird skin side down and close the grill. Allow to cook for 30 minutes, do not move the bird! Watch for flare ups. If flare ups happen, place some foil between the bird and the grill. After 30 minutes, carefully flip the bird over. Cook for another 30 minutes or until the juices run clear.
Serve hot with lots of roasted veggies. Keep the pesto on the table to add extra flavor while eating!
Pesto can be used for tons of things! Sandwiches, pasta, salads. Get creative.
Megan is wearing the Acne Studios Skin 5 Jeans in Black, Alexander Wang Pima Cotton Tee, and Gabriela Artgas rings.