iDesigners - Emerging Designers














Photograph by: Darryl Reece


The design mind of Emerging Designer Theo Hackney is inspired by the work of the Art Deco Designer Erte.  “The 30s and 40s were the golden era of American sportswear,” says Hackney, and my line is retro but modern.”  As most emerging designers struggling to make it in the Big Apple the process of evolution is slow and must be executed carefully.  For his line, Theo Courtnay, this designer presented nine pieces at the iFashion Network Fashion Showcase at Nikki Beach earlier this week.

“Modern Urbane” was the theme for the Theo Courtnay Fall 2010.  “The word “urbane” means “classy” and Hackney’s idea of retro designing combined. Working with wool flannel, silk chiffon, worsted wool Hackney created Fall looks he considers transitional and season-less.  “Clothing that is season-less is my goal -- can wear our garments six to eight months out of the year.”


Photograph by Jacob Breinholt

Hackney’s palette color palette uses basically earth tones and jewel tones.  “Urbane refers to what you would normally see in New York.  I always use the recurring theme of gray and beige.  They’re easy colors to pair.”  In a salute to the 30s Hackney included several slacks and blouse separates that allow women to work the easy pairing colors.  “I love the suiting of the 30s,” Hackney says.


Photograph by Darryl Reece

Although only nine pieces were completed for the showcase Hackney is a believer that slow and steady wins the race.  “You’re looking at eight years of work to get construction, tailoring and fabrication done here in New York.  We’re truly made in New York Company."

His retro aesthetic for his wide collared coat designs are Erte inspired from the 40s style. “One of my major inspirations is Erte’s sculptures,” says Hackney of the multi-talented art deco fashion designer, graphic artist, and interior designer. “I’ve taken the collar shapes off of some of the Erte gowns and worked them into the coats.


Photograph by Darryl Reece

One of his standout pieces for the showcase was a high-collared camel hair coat with modern pocket details.  The besom pocket or side slit that are easy to slip the hands into are the usual modern design Hackney says.  But his pocket design, he says is a pocket patch pocket with center flat.  “You find this detailing in more utility or uniform wear,” he says – there’s a slight angle patch.  So there is a slight military inspiration.”


Photos by Darryl Reece

A major trend at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Bryant Park shows has been the use of cobalt blue and Hackney has worked this into his collection with a retro high-collared coat and dress ensemble.  “Cobalt blue is a high transition color,” Hackney says.  “You can wear it from summer into fall based on the fabrication.”

Closing his show Hackney chose an evening ensemble combining a crimson red wool coat with silk chiffon.  This isn’t a typical evening look,” he says of the silk chiffon blouse and long skirt underneath the red coat.  This is perfect for a gala event -- it’s simple, sleek and still has presence.”


Photograph by Jon Tannen

Hackney, honed his design talent on his own, being self taught and observing his environment on the business side of retail in fashion institutions like Saks Fifth Avenue.

Although his production is slow is aim to create quality fashion.  “Every thing comes right out of my pocket,” he jokes.  But his determination will distinguish him as a designer at the rise.

Written by Francesca Simon - Thursday, 18 February 2010 12:36
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