:Break it down girl!:
Name: Angie Johnson
Job: designer/PR/photographer/model/stylist/shipper. I also help out my fiance with our brick & mortar store (www.HQgalerieboutique.com) but he does most of the work :)
Dream Job: I think I'm doing it....it makes me really happy right now. Maybe more time to design and less time being chained to the sewing machine.
City of residence: Montreal
1)Three words and three words only describe your style?
Unexpected, Contrast, Layered
2) Cages,harnesses, fringe, feathers and tight leggings - its all very stylish and can seem a little naughty, especially since I can't seem to say the words without a little smirk, but most of all its not the typical kind of fashion items. What inspired you to create such masterpieces? Did it just come to you over time or was it some specific eureka moment?
I think the eureka moment was more in terms of realizing I could actually SELL the OTT designs I'd been sketching for years. In previous fashion industry jobs I was always told to tone things down, but when I started working for myself I said "screw it, I'm going to design exactly what I want and see what happens" and it worked out. It never would have been possible without the internet though, and the amazing support I've received from the fashion blogging community.
3) Your brand name is Norwegian Wood and yes we know that you are part Norwegian, but maybe people didn't know it also happens to be a a Beatles song. I like the song as well. What line is your favorite and why?
I don't think I have an actual favorite line, I more or less first fell in love with the song when I was about 12, just because it's a beautiful song, and then as I got older I listened to the lyrics more closely and realized the song is actually very dark, with a lot of plays on words and is kind of just about a one night stand spent with some girl. After starting my line I also discovered that Norwegian Wood is an amazing book written by Japanese author Haruki Murakami. It's also pretty dark, a must read!
4) So I follow you on twitter and it seems like you are always working. I guess the saying, "A girl's work is never done" is true when it comes to you. Where do you get most of your genius accomplished? Pictures???
It's true, I pretty much work all the time, but I really love what I'm doing, it's really not that bad. Since my studio is at home I pinball between sewing/packing in the studio, working on the computer in the hall and cutting/handsewing in the livingroom. I usually try to do my handsewing at night though so I can watch TV with my man (or watch him play videogames, soooo nerdy!) My studio is not huge and is therefore lined wall to wall with shelving (I attached a studio photo, you can get a glimpse of one set of shelving)
5) Everyone wants to know what the perfect date consists of, but I want to know what your perfect working day is like? What music is on, what are you drinking? Who is calling you, whats the weather like? Go ahead dream a little!
Listening to - old music, a variety of goodies from the 40s-80s, mostly 60s though
Eating/Drinking - a Guru to start the morning (it's an organic energy drink made here in Mtl, my coffee alternative) and then Diet Cokes and water the rest of the day. Lots of delicious leftovers to snack on in the fridge, perhaps a quiche and then macarons from the patisserie down the street for lunch.
Weather - sunny, but not too hot, the perfect spring day
Working on - some gorgeous intricate new design, that is challenging, but is coming together without a hitch
Talking to - my employees! I really wish I had some help at this point, so it would be nice to one day be able to hire some great young designers who are eager to learn, and are not afraid to get their hands dirty.
Getting calls from - magazines and stores who are interested in the line, suppliers telling me the cost of my supplies has gone DOWN!
6) You used to work in the fashion industry, but one day decided to break free from the clothes that bind. What made you take that step into creating your own line?
I was designing for a small Montreal line and it was not going well. I was happy with the clothes I was designing and my boss was great, but the sales reps were SO not getting it, and therefore were not approaching the right kinds of stores, and it was not selling well. Eventually my boss decided to stop doing the line and just distribute other lines, so I got laid off. So obviously I said "hey, it seems like there's a recession on its way, seems like the perfect time to venture out on my own!" Well, I didn't really say that actually, but I guess in the end that's what happened!
7) You also run a blog devoted to Indie art. My brother is an artist and I am completely jealous of his talent, in a supporting way..of course. Who's art do you totally covet?
Half of the boutique I run with my fiance is also an art gallery, so we're constantly exposed to amazing talent and covet most of it. Right now I'm crazy about Stella Im Hultburg, Fifi Lapin, Audrey Kawasaki, Garrett Van Winkle, Mati Rose McDonough, Tyson Bodnarchuk (my fiance, of course!), Amy Sol, Team Macho, Caitlin Shearer.....I could list so many more!
8)Everyone has a go to item whether its a pair of shoes, a purse or maybe just a ring, that makes them feel fabulous.. whats yours?
Shoes, it's pretty much always shoes in one form or another. I think it's because I can't make them myself, so they're often a treat.
)If all of your clothes were burning which item would you save first?
Well I just bought my wedding dress (an amazing vintage piece from the 50's) so I'd probably save that since I haven't even been able to wear it yet!
9) When I look at your harnesses sometimes I think, hmmmm what superheroine would it look best on. I know silly right, but with a few hooks you know it could definitely hold some weapons. Sorry I was watching X-men last night so it got me thinking. So, if there was a super heroine that wore your harness,what would her name be and what would her super power be?
I think she would be some sort of dark heroine, protecting people through vigilante justice. She would also kick butts when people litter, I really hate that. I mean come on people, it's SO EASY to not litter! She probably wouldn't have any innate super powers, just lots of gear on her harness to help her fight crime and litter. Here name would have to be ...... oh god I'm bad at this, I can't think of a thing!
10)If you could go to any city in the world to shop,where would you go and why?
In my previous life as a "fashion designer for other people" that actually used to be part of my job....hard to believe! I used to travel to London twice a year, along with 2 other cities per season. Sigh, that's the one thing I miss. So far my top pics have been: London, Hong Kong and Stockholm
11)What fashion extraordinaire do you admire and what fashion self proclaimed extraordinaire makes you go WTH?
Admire: The Mulleavy sisters (Rodarte) their commitment to reimagining hand done techniques is incredible! And I stand in awe of Karl, he's just such an interesting person to me for so many reasons.
WTH: any celebrity designer, you already have enough money, leave the designing to people who know how to build a pattern!
12)Where do you go to find inspiration besides www. alixrose.com?
movies, books, all sorts of fashion blogs, photography, interiors mags, music, art....I actually don't actively seek out inspiration, it's just all over the place and soaks in somehow. Montreal is a great city for that I think :)
13)Thank you for Taking the time to do this! Any last words?
You're so thorough, I can't think of anything else! Thanks for the support!