What’s That Junk In Your Trunk, Katie Eary?

by flaunt

We caught up with the designer and discussed creating a home collection, her personal style, and the art of fashion design.
Purple animal print pillows layered on a bed, kitchen plates adorned with cobalt blue fish designs, a hanging lampshade plastered with bright red eyeballs. No, we’re not recounting psychedelic drug trip—we’re describing some of the pieces of GILTIG, London-based fashion designer Katie Eary’s new home collection collaboration with IKEA.

The menswear fashion designer is the first of three designers to display her home collection for IKEA. The limited edition collection does not disappoint, and it emphasizes Eary’s signature psychedelic and bold style for a statement-making home.

We caught up with the designer and discussed creating a home collection, her personal style, and the art of fashion design:

What is your definition of style? Style is something that should come naturally to you, what you gravitate towards that is instinctively YOU. If there is a trend of say 'Punk' or 'Boho' people that still keep their own sense of style within those trends, that to me is style. Do you know what I mean?

Which five pieces of clothing could you not be without? Why do you hold them so dear? Gucci Afghan coat - Makes me feel like Penny Lane from 'Almost Famous' Vintage Levi jeans- I can’t throw them away. They are almost unwearable and each summer I'm like... one more summer... They look cool with everything, and look so effortless. Wolford Body - This body holds me together. Great for post cake binges, or to wear with a pencil skirt. It goes with everything and always looks chic. Vans heavy duty flannel shirt- My throw on shirt. sometimes I wear it as a jkt, I ALWAYS wear it whenever on a flight, its warm, comfy and cool. Louis Vuitton leather dress (SS16) – It’s my 'on the pull' dress, it NEVER fails me ;)

Do you think of your work as art or craftsmanship? How do you balance form and function as a designer? I see it’s my duty more than ever to keep it as an art. Sales is important, but literally anyone can do that. There are sooo many designers now. All in the rat race to make £££££ so I feel like its my duty to keep my fashion an art as that side feels like its dying out. I balance this by doing collabs. I can keep my product on peoples backs at an affordable price that way, then I am free to create a beautiful vision that people will buy into via one off collars or select stores :) Your clothing is very focused on bright and captivating patterns, prints, and textures. When did you first fall in love with textiles, fabric and design?I was never into textiles. When I was growing up that was the really geeky side that I wasn't too interested in... I was drawn to the glossy Gucci campaigns art directed by Carine Roitfeld, The Face, etc etc. The shock factor of 2000's drew me to fashion. Like a moth to a flame.

It was when I went to the RCA that I started to work with very effeminate materials like fur and crystal. I was obsessed with the idea of military uniform. It was such a man’s world. The higher up, the more powerful, the more effeminate your uniform was. My idea was to create the most feminine pieces- the challenge being making it masculine.

RCA was the beginning of me :) 

Who for you is the most inspiring fashion designer of all time, and why?

Heidi Slimane - I love anyone who basically rocks up to a stuffy industry and does whatever the fuck they want. He embodies this. He has and will always be my favourite human - And of course designer.

How does your aesthetic reflect your personality?

Hahaha. If you have ever met me you will see that I am just as high res as the collections. I love to laugh and I love holidays... I think this is why my collections are always better in the summer.

Who do you design your clothes and home collection for? 

My Muse. Usually it’s the characters in whatever I'm reading, or whatever I'm watching.

At the moment its Jim Francis (Begbie) in 2016 ('The Blade Artist', Irvine welsh) you may remember him from 'Trainspotting.'  

What interested you in designing a home line?

When IKEA comes to you and says 'can you make a collection for us?' only an idiot would say no... haha

When I was at Uni my boyfriend Steve was a product designer, I loved seeing what they were getting up to, the amount of work that goes into furniture/products. From that point iv always followed that industry and was absolutely thrilled to be part of it.

How was designing a home collection similar to designing a clothing collection? 

I approached the design the same way I would a clothing collection. I started with a book. This time 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas'

From that point I spend months working on prints specing them to size for the chosen products. It was a very long process. I started working on it 2 years ago!

What elements of your streetwear clothing line have you incorporated into your home collection?

The print is what I carried over. IKEA were extremely specific with what they wanted for me. They wanted eye popping print which is what I am good at. I think it’s obvious that the print is mine, haha.

Subculture is something that you credit as incredibly inspiring for your designs. Do you have a certain subculture that is most intriguing to you?

I think I exhausted the word 'subculture' between 2008-2012 (goes to update biog on website)

I think I will always look to grit and reality for inspiration. That in itself is why I draw inspiration from writers like Irvine Welsh, Richard Milward, Alissa Nutting or artists like Tracy Emin. Drugs, incest, depression, Prostitution, insomnia, it’s all reality. I study these areas as we live in rose tinted times. We all need to be aware what’s going on in the world, ugly or not.

Image courtesy of the designer.

Shop the GILTIG IKEA collection.

Follow Katie Eary: