Fashion Frolic with Kurt Campbell
You know him as Kurt Campbell, but the Mission Cat Walk 2014 winner was born Eldon Campbell. Campbell describes himself as unique and different in his approach to fashion, and conveys who he is.
Today, Flair zooms in on the sometimes misread and misunderstood Campbell, who said that his creations will always evoke a response and he is unapologetic of its effects and demands.
Campbell specialises in making high-fashion pieces for very sophisticated women who are confident yet humble, elegant yet strong, graceful yet determined, enchanting yet very simple. He explains that his fashion aesthetic is primarily grounded in creating vintage pieces with a modern twist. He likes to bend his hand to create different dimensions and fascinations of the garment, the cut, and the silhouette.
Campbell reveals that he noticed his designer's mind developing at age seven when he had to dismantle and rearrange his clothes. Though playful then, that was a sign of what he would become.
His identifies his mother, Carol Thomas, as his role model as she has always been a woman with great fashion sense and his earliest memories are of her dressing up for church and work. "I admire her kindness and willingness to work hard during difficulties. Even when times were hard and things were tough, she always looked good and fashionable and would not let anything prevent her from looking her best."
At the age of 16, fresh out of high school and unemployed, Campbell became seriously involved in fashion designing and the idea of establishing a modelling agency.
His most memorable experience was winning Mission Catwalk in 2014. The positive response to his collection that night made him feel very special.
HEART TO HEART WITH KURT
1. How would you describe your sense of style?
I would describe my style as urban chic. I tend to utilise unique street silhouettes and embellish them with high fashion pieces to create a unique blend and distinctive point of view.
2. How would you describe your design style?
My design style is essentially modern vintage. Yes, this is an oxymoron but it aptly describes my creative aesthetic. I use design elements of the past and combine them with innovative, modern, and futuristic ideas. You would see from the fabric, the cut, the beading, the draping and the colours are elements of the past, present, and future in my design style.
3. What is your most important fashion rule?
For me the most important rule of fashion is 'less is more'. As Chanel said, "Take off that last accessory that you had put on before you leave the house."
4. What is your favourite design or collection to date and why?
My favourite collection to date is my winning collection for Mission Catwalk. The collection was entitled 'Saint Victorian' and it embodied every aspect of my design style.
5. What advice would you give to passionate young designers?
To believe in themselves and the power of their creativity. I would also encourage them to continuously work on their craft and to envision themselves in a global context and not be limited to local parameters. The most important advice is for them to remain true and loyal to their unique point of view on the designer's landscape.