Spooky is an amazing example of how fashion thrives. period. We were smitten with her latest line, sexy nerds meet romanticism. I personally think it’s about damn time!
S.F: How long have you been into fashion and whats the most interesting early experience you had with fashion?
Eva: Figuratively, I suppose I have been into “fashion” since I could physically dress myself, and by fashion I mean an awareness to what was being worn on my body. I was an odd child. I never wore matching shoes, I mixed prints with plaids, I refused to comb my hair, and I would like to think I did those things on purpose. I couldn’t stand the look of being pristine and I always saw something alluring about being slightly disheveled and individual.
Realistically, my captivation towards “fashion” came later in life, and by fashion I mean an awareness to what was being worn on everybody. Since I was younger, I had developed an artistic dexterity and responded extremely well to most tangible forms of expression. As I grew older I began to figure out how to transfer those skills in clothing. Even so, when I graduated high school, I was among the top of my class, so naturally everyone urged me to pursue academics. In the fall of 2002, I found myself enrolling into U.C.L.A at the tender age of seventeen. Not more than a year into college, I dropped out to the dismay of everyone….everyone except for myself.
After a break from college and time to get my head on straight, I enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Design in Los Angeles and graduated in June of this year.
Hands down the most interesting experience I had in the industry thus far was doing Project Ethos-a celebration of young talented artists, fashion designers, and musicians. Literally a week after graduation, I got a call that I had been the youngest of seven designers chosen to showcase a collection. The next three months of my life were completely dedicated to the project. I mentally and physically toiled over creating an entire collection of fifteen complete looks completely on my own. The entire process was intense. I not only had to conceive and sketch my designs, I had to create patterns from scratch, do my own fabric shopping and sourcing, sew everything together, and tailor the pieces to the body. The most rewarding experience so far was not the moment I walked out on stage in front of a cheering crowd of two thousand, although that was quite amazing, it was moments after when I snuck into the masses and was pulled aside repeatedly by people I had never met assuring me that I was in the right line of work. To me, that made everything worth it. That experience and the people involved will always be held in high regard to me.
S.F: Is there an interesting story behind your great name, and the nickname Spooky?
Eva: My real name, Eva Marie Elsie DeVore, was a mish mash of names between my Spanish-Mexican father and my French-Canadian Mother. Obviously unmarried, my father wanted me to have many names, especially his last name, so my mother agreed as long as she could give me my first. Eva was my mothers mother and Marie Elsie DeVore was my fathers mother. Ironically, in my younger days, I was never fond of my name. I thought it seemed antiquated, most likely because I associated it with my grandmother. I vividly remember wanting my name to be Lisa after my favorite artist at the time, Lisa Frank. As I grew older, though, I didn’t mind my name so much and am grateful now that my name is not Lisa DeVore. It just doesn’t have the same ring to it ;)
As for spooky, in my childhood there was nothing I loved more than jumping out of the hall closet to frighten the unlucky soul who happened to be walking passed. I imagine that’s why people started calling me spooky. In a way, it sort of stuck, and what better way to name a line than with my alter ego.
S.F: Is it competitive in southern California for startup designers, do you find anything totally necessary for survival (image, presentation, originality, cut-throatism)?
Eva: It is competitive for new designers in this industry no matter where you go. Obviously the opportunities in Southern California are more limited as opposed to New York or Paris, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any. I am still new in the game, I still have my doubts, I still don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow, but I do know one thing. I am going to make a name for myself, even if it is only on the indie lined streets of Los Angeles.
I think every designer needs to acknowledge what they are strong at and work with that. My particular strengths are pulling together a beautiful color palette, harmonizing contradicting silhouettes or textures, and introducing original one-of-a-kind elements into my pieces. As far as image and presentation, that is tricky. What I mean is, personally, I prefer my work to be displayed in an organic manner and to appear as if it was crafted by hand. I appreciate that quality and adhere it to the spooky line. My customers usually respond well to that aesthetic, yet, some people might consider it messy or unorthodoxed. You really need to study and understand your potential clientÃ¨le. Go to any successful designers website and you will see what I mean. Chanel is simple, elegant and clean. Missoni is loud, bold and mysterious. Zac Posen is youthful, airy, and intricate. Vivienne Westwood is bright, shocking, and avant-garde. They didn’t do that on accident.
S.F: What inspires your pieces?
Eva: For my California Fall Collection, my inspira tion for the color palette was Batman and Robin. I used different shades of grey as my base colors then threw in subtle yellows, rich blacks, and rustic reds to accent and stand out. My textile choices were a result of two things, my lack of money and my ability to pull it off gracefully despite my lack of money. I made this entire collection for under $400 which you could spend in one trip for a couple yards of designer fabric at Mood. I spent hours upon hours digging into the darkest corners of the garment district searching for steals. Most of the fabric used was bargain priced at the store down the street or priced by the pound in dusty old Los Angeles warehouses. I was definitely constrained by lack of resources for this collection, not only fabric wise, but construction wise. I can pattern and sew effectively, but I am not a pattern maker nor a seamstress. I am a designer. Therefor, my designs thus far are limited to what I can pattern and sew. I can’t wait until the day those limitations are lifted and I can fully express my creativity through clothing.
S.F: I noticed this season has a couple nerdy girl themed modeling, do you consider yourself a nerd or what do you find interesting about that subculture?
Eva: I am most definitely a nerd and always have been. Maybe not the stereotypical nerd with glasses who builds there own light sabor at Disneyland, but everyone has their own interpretation o f what a nerd is. I was a book nerd in high school and I have always had a bit of a quirky personality. Whether that had anything to do with my “nerd” theme in my collection, it is a possibility. To be honest, my good friend Isabel Gomez is an assistant buyer for the vintage eye wear department at American Apparel and I have had a strong liking for “accessorizing eye wear” for quite some time now, so she helped me out in that department.
High fashion, street fashion, or high street fashion and why ?
Eva: I really do love every facet of fashion. My niche absolutely lies in street fashion. I create clothes for my customer, my friends and the countless bodies I see parading around the streets of L.A. after dark, the people I know best. Everything is hand made with time and care. One aspect I like to add to every hand made piece is the owners initials in the tag so the garment becomes not only a keepsake and part of their wardrobe, but it also becomes a completely unique and personalized piece. The subculture here is incredible and, like any subculture, has it’s own distinctive vibe and stories to tell. I just hope to create clothing that can help deliver that story.
Please check out more about this designer!
Article on her previous line: http://www.stylehive.com/blog/fall-weather-and-cozy-jackets
Fad Masion: http://www.fadmashion.com/?q=spooky
Contact: evadevore [at] aol.com