INTERVIEW WITH ECO-COUTURE DESIGNER, DEBORAH LINDQUIST
ENLIGHTEN US! TELL US HOW YOU GOT INTO SUSTAINABLE WEDDING GOWN DESIGN AND WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DESIGN TO DATE?
I started getting asked to do bustiers and head pieces for brides, which was my launch into bridal.
I had an amazing bride from South Africa who wanted me to design a white feather collar for her. She had seen some of my steampunk designs and wanted a collar for her wedding. She was incredible! She sent me pictures and a necklace as inspiration. She was such a fun, lovely bride. I love brides who want to do a theme or a unique spin on the traditional wedding. I had a bride who was one of my models and she wore one of my pieces that is a flesh toned wedding gown with rust colored beading on it. I really love the choosing of color as an option to the traditional white dress. I also have some bridal that is made from embroidered Kimono.
A lot of my gowns are limited edition or one of a kind, but I can work with brides. If you like a color or a silhouette, I can also work to re-create that look using similar fabrics. I got into wedding gown design because people kept asking me to make their wedding gowns. So I did that, and then I made my own…It’s a hard thing to make your own! I’ve found that in any economy, people will still get married. I’ve been working to attract the more unique, less traditional brides and helping them to get the dress that is perfectly individual to them.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SUSTAINABLE DESIGN TRENDS FOR 2017/2018?
Rather than following trends, I use more of a couture element to my design. You learn over time that being individual may be the thing that works for you and I think that’s great.
What I personally like for me; I love beading, the hand-done beading. And I love hemp silk. It’s heavy, drapey and is lovely to work with. It’s one of my favorite fabrics and I’ve used it for years. My designs are less traditional and go with a feeling or the materials I have found, rather than a trend. I do well with blogs and photo shoots, partnering with like-minded designers and photographers to showcase my designs. My mother’s wedding headpiece was the inspiration for my headpiece line. I have her dress, actually. My grandmother made it.
PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOUR USE OF VINTAGE AND RE-PURPOSED MATERIALS IN YOUR “GREEN QUEEN” LINE OF CLOTHING AND HOME FASHION.
I’m actually in the midst of retail land at this time of year. I am working with a friend and colleague to sell my accessories in her store, Tweak in Los Angeles. She’s opened a second high-end gift shop in the new Fred Segal complex and I sell my pieces there as well. Scarves, Eye Pillows, Vintage Matchboxes…etc. What I hear from people when they are talking to me about shopping is that they are getting bored with traditional retail…..they are looking for something more unique, handmade, creative and one of a kind.
I think we’ve gotten to the end of something very bad and the pendulum is swinging in a different direction. People throw
away the most amazing things and that is why I find really beautiful fabrics in rag houses. I dig through piles of stuff to find cool things to work with. All of my pieces are made at our studio in Los Angeles. I am about to launch a new line for Green Queen made completely out of Modal, which is on the horizon for next year.
TELL US ABOUT ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE GREEN BRIDES?
One of my favorite brides is Ali Lovelace. She is just the nicest girl ever. She came to me as a model on one of my shoots and we quickly became friends. She had actually picked out a different dress than the one she ended up wearing. We worked on a barter system, which I loved doing. We did photo shoots together, she helped me with other things, it was a great fit. Her dress was perfect for her. It was an illusion neckline, two piece and it fit her perfectly.
ARE THERE SPECIFIC CHARITIES THAT YOU WORK WITH FOR DEBORAH LINDQUIST ECO-COUTURE?
I’m working on a project for the LA Zoo. I did a fashion show for the Zoo earlier in the year. It’s their 50th Anniversary and they also have a sustainable program where they help to save endangered species by helping them in captivity. They really do a have a sustainable program to save the endangered species. Without the help of the zoo, the species would become extinct. I did a fashion show with them and we had 13 models and it was really fun. I designed a collection of vintage cashmere sweaters with zoo animals-Tigers, elephants, alligators and so on. This year, I am doing a program where I’ll be giving a 20% charitable contribution back to the zoo during the holidays this year. Anything that is zoo related that is sold will go back to the zoo.