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Fast Fash:

September 1, 2012

Paris-Texas Tastemaker

Fashion designer David Peck works the style (and geography) gamut with chic frocks that even caught Kate Bosworth’s eye

By Nancy Staab

  • Portrait of David Peck by Cody Bess Photography

Meet the thirty-one-year-old, Paris-trained and Houston-based designer David Peck this Thursday Sept. 6 for a Fashion Night Out trunk show and a runway show of Tootsies’ top designer labels for fall.

The designer David Peck and two of his looks. The designer David Peck and two of his looks.

On the eve of his Atlanta trunk show and Fashion Night Out personal appearance at Tootsies boutique on September 6, LuxeCrush caught up with designer impresario David Peck. His recent location from NYC to Houston (for the sake of his Texas wife) has not crimped his designer edge one bit. Though his colorful prints are regularly spotted on starlets from NYC to L.A. (Kate Bosworth, Rose McGowan, Jaime King, Taylor Swift, Maggie Grace), all the frocks from his eco-friendly and sustainable collection CrOp are made with love in a local Houston factory. Peck polished his fashion sensibility with schooling at Parsons school of design in Paris and work for various fashion houses, including Paco Rabanne. The hands-on designer is known for his dresses and colorful prints and easily merges old school techniques like Vionnet-style draping, with new ones like cutting-edge digital prints. Oh, and portions of all his fashion sales generously go to charity. Read on for more revealing insights about this WWD cover boy and designer to watch.

 

You are based in Houston, Texas. How did you get into fashion and where did you pick up your mad fashion design skills?

I’m not originally from Texas. I’m a bit of a nomad, but I was born in Santa Fe and most of my family still lives in New Mexico. I’m not sure that I can exactly trace how I got interested in fashion because I’m really the first one in my family to have an interest in fashion or even make it a career. I did have some fantastic grandparents, including a great grandmother who was a painter. She probably passed some creative genes on to me. My interest in fashion really started at 11, when I taught myself to sew, but I didn’t ever consider it a career option until I fell into designing visuals for Ralph Lauren.

 

A look from David Peck's Fall 2012 Collection A look from David Peck's Fall 2012 Collection

What was the inspiration behind your CrOP line of printed, organic cotton day dresses and natural silk cocktail dresses?

Every season is a little different, hence the name CrOp which stands for “Creative Opportunities.” For the Fall 2012 collection, I was really drawn back to my roots and family history. It’s probably my most personal inspiration yet, as it’s based on some of the places I’ve called home. I’m really passionate about creating clothes that make women feel good inside and out. 

We try to be as socially responsible as we can. All of our clothing is manufactured in our own factory in Houston, Texas. We also try to choose fabrics that have a minimal impact on the environment, so organic cotton is a natural choice.

 

 Who are some of the fashion designer (past or present) that have inspired you and why?

There are so many! I’m a bit eclectic in my tastes. I love the mind of Ralph Lauren and how he’s created an entire world and lifestyle with his brand. I LOVE the work of Dries van Noten and Marni, and who can leave out Prada?

There’s also a hint of nostalgia in my work, and I find myself looking at Vionnet and Dior for inspiration in terms of shape.

 

So you were trained at Parsons’ school of design in Paris….What did you pick up, style and fashion-wise from your time in Paris?

My time in Paris taught me to be myself. It was such a privilege to live away from the traditional American stereotypes and focus on what I truly love. It made me love my American roots, but approach them from a different perspective. Perhaps the greatest thing I took away from Paris was the sense of pride in the craft. Fashion moves so quickly now, and it’s easy to forget how much time and effort it takes to create a truly beautiful garment.

 

Trend-setter and starlet Kate Bosworth has worn your pieces. Do you know how that came about?

That was as much a surprise to me as anyone else! Kate was curating a selection for a shoot featuring her Mint jewelry collection and she chose one of our dresses. It was pretty amazing because she is one of those people that you just hope will wear something because she has such great style!

 

Who are some of your style icons ( past or present)?

Both Hepburns, Katherine and Audrey, have had a huge impact on the way I think about style. The balance of masculine and feminine, combined with the structure and elegance of their style, is a constant influence. There are modern examples as well.

I would die to dress Tilda Swinton or Gwyneth Paltrow. They transcend the trends and are truly are modern icons. There are a lot of newer actresses like Emma Stone who have incredible style and take risks with their style.

 

Describe your fashion aesthetic and your trademarks.

We are best known for print and color, but dresses and soft separates (like our great sheer blouses) are our most popular items. I’m obsessed with tailoring and great fit, so that plays a big part in my designs. Because I actually sew and drape some of our samples, I thin that the little draping details that are in each collection have become a signature.

 

A print dress from David Peck's Fall 2012 Collection A print dress from David Peck's Fall 2012 Collection

What are some of the highlights of your current fall collection?

COLOR! I think that any season is a great time for color, but what better time than the fall to have a little pop of something bright like an orange to liven things up? I played a lot with color blocking similar shades. It’s so flattering on the body because it creates an even greater illusion of shape.

 

You’ve collaborated with artists/photographers in the past on photo-inspired pieces. Tell me more about your current digital prints.

Every season happens in a different way. For Fall 2012, I actually pulled photos from my own collection and photo albums to create the prints.

I love digital prints because they have such depth of color and detail. It doesn’t hurt that they also are better for the environment too, but they truly are beautiful and the possibilities are endless.

 

Any hints of what to expect for your Spring collection?

Spring 2013 is lots of fun and I can’t wait to share it! It’s all about the books I read as a child that inspired me to do what I do today. The Maps print is inspired by the maps of Paris that were in books I read like Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, while the Fish print is inspired by the poem “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod” by poet Eugene Field (I happen to be distantly related to him!).

 

Meet designer David Peck in person and view his fall collection Thursday Sept. 6 for Fashion Night Out at Tootsies boutique, Buckhead. The event will include a VIP cocktail hour, a DJ, bites from former ONE. Midtown Kitchen chef Drew van Leuvan who will soon open Seven Lamps restaurant at Shops Around Lenox, and a full runway fashion show of Tootsies’ top designer labels and looks for fall. The event benefits Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance.

The VIP cocktail reception starts at 6PM, General Admission begins at 7PM and the runway fall fashion show starts at 8:15 PM. www.tootsies.com

For tickets: click HERE

 

SEE SLIDESHOW OF DAVID PECK’S FALL 2012 COLLECTION BELOW