Bowties an ‘exclamation point at the end of a sentence’ 0
Sometimes, a Canadian designer has to leave the country and succeed abroad before they are recognized in their motherland. Kat Marks is a great example. A master with materials like leather, plastics, PVC and other textiles, Marks has an eye for detail and a gift for mixing materials that bring broad appeal.
Originally from Calgary, Marks did her first degree in fashion design at Toronto’s Ryerson University before setting her sights on Europe. She did a master of arts in fashion artefact from the London College of Fashion and like many Canadian talents abroad, decided to stay.
Her avant-garde style and love for the visual experience of film, photography and exhibit has brought her international acclaim. Fashion icon Daphne Guinness and other celebrities have worn her designs and she has been featured in countless magazine editorials and films.
Marks’ creations have been featured in i-D Magazine and photographed by Tim Walker for W Magazine. She has worked in collaboration with many prominent fashion icons, including photographer Nick Knight of SHOWstudio for her 2011 fashion film, The Karass. She was awarded an International Design Award for her collection The Braces in 2009, and shortlisted for both the International Talent Support Award 2011 and the Creative Enterprise Award 2012.
And now she’s back. And we love what she’s doing.
Marks has launched an online boutique (katmarks.com) and is busy designing her next collection, all while collaborating with a colleague from London. We caught up with the fashion designer after coveting her limited edition line of ties, PERFECT for New Year’s: The New Ambrosian, The Scholar and The Big Bow.
What got you into fashion and what keeps you there?
My grandma taught me how to sew at a very young age and even as a little girl I knew I was going to be a fashion designer. My love of sewing became a passion for design and fascination with materials.
What keeps me here? Endless curiosity. From womenswear, to menswear, to accessories and everything in between — I love design.
So, we buy one of your bowties, what do we wear it with?
The bowties are easily paired with either a traditional or an innovative look. Sleek tailored suit jackets and a collared shirt, or with fitted T-shirts and interesting footwear.
Where are we going that night?
You’re probably sipping a cocktail in a dark jazz bar.
Who is your customer?
Any man or woman who enjoys wearing unique and well-made accessories, and wants to enhance their existing wardrobe. I think of these pieces as an exclamation point at the end of a sentence.
What defines a well-dressed man?
A wardrobe that makes a man feel confident.
If you could sit down with one fashion icon, who would it be and why?
Iconic photographer Helmut Newton. I feel a synergy between his work and my creative vision.
What's next for Kat Marks?
A new collection in 2014, with a strong focus on other areas of the body other than the neck.
For more information on custom designs, or to purchase one of her limited edition pieces, visit: www.boutique.katmarks.com.
Jason Krell and Alykhan Velji are Calgary-based style experts on a mission to save the planet from public displays of pleated trousers, crocs and yoga pants. Find #TheStyleGuys at thestyleguys.ca.