Offsite shows during New York Fashion Week can get a bit tedious what with all the cross-town congestion, long lines, bad shoes, and lack of power outlets. But when cult Kiwi grunge label Stolen Girlfriends Club holds an event — be it for a fashion collection or just a sick party — getting there is almost an afterthought. And surely enough, no one was complaining about being shuttled out to Auckland’s Western Springs Stadium during New Zealand Fashion Week last week for the brand’s Autumn/Winter 2015 collection, titled “The Guilty Ones,” at the tail end of a long day of shows. With The Pixies booming and dranks flowing, the atmosphere was decidedly different to any whatever you’ll see inside the Lincoln Center this week — but night’s real stars were the boxy plaid jackets, moody prints, and shellacked speedway-rave styling.
A couple of days after the show (and the following brothel-hosted after party) we caught up with one third of the Stolen trio, Jesus-haired creative director Marc Moore, in the brand’s Ponsonby showroom. After getting a closer look at the new collection’s moody Twin Peaks prints and copping a feel of those structured glittery shell jackets, we spoke to him about ’90s television, dressing Grimes, and where to get a coffee fix before our long flight home.
So tell me a bit about the inspiration for the collection.
We started with Twin Peaks, that ‘90s show by David Lynch. I hadn’t actually seen the show but heard a lot about it. My mum was mad into it, I remember being a kid and she was just obsessed with it. So I just immersed myself in that over about two weeks, watched every episode and took screenshots of cool people and cool garments. We established a bunch of characters we liked and almost built stories around the characters. Obviously a lot of designers have referenced Twin Peaks, so we also put in that typical Stolen grunge kind of vibe. We played a bit with camping too, especially in the menswear. We’ve never done a puffer jacket before.
I loved that print with the hands in it. Where did that come from?
This is super inspired by Twin Peaks — there’s the little bird in Twin Peaks that talks, we thought this was quite creepy with Laura Palmer’s hand coming out, this dead hand. Then the arrangement is like a typical Hawaiian shirt print but instead we’ve created little clusters of Middle American forest elements instead of islands and palm trees. It’s really dark too.
Hawaiian shirts are massive right now, it’s cool to see a different take on it.
Yeah, that’s one of my favorite menswear pieces in the print. I also love the camo though, it’s a really fine camo but it’s all hand-drawn doodles – really creepy skulls and men running through the woods – it’s quite intricate.
There are three of you all working together on Stolen. Do you tend to focus on one thing each or do you all throw in ideas?
We all submit ideas and contribute in that department, but we all have our areas we’re assigned I guess. So I overlook the actual design and production, then Dan [Gosling]’s doing a bit more business development, admin, all that stuff I can’t stand. Luke [Harwood]’s really good at packaging the brand, how we present the brand to the public. He makes it look all shiny and refined and nice.
It’s interesting that none of you had design backgrounds. What would you be doing if you weren’t doing Stolen?
It scares me to think, because when I was young I just thought I would be in the surf industry for my whole life. I lived and breathed it. I moved to the city and things changed for me – I was exposed to so many people in the big city as opposed to my town of 5,000 people. I quite like advertising. I don’t know if I’d be cut out for it, but I’ve always liked the idea of sitting around and coming up with concepts for ads and stuff.
It looks like they have really sick offices too.
Yeah, yeah – and they get paid heaps, which is quite cool.
You guys have quite a few stockists in New York. Do you come out to the US much to talk to buyers or anything?
Luke is based in New York, so economically it makes more sense to just have him out there doing his thing. I get up to LA once a year now for about three weeks — I go to Coachella, because I love music so much, and I swan around LA, catch up with friends, and pretend I’m living there, basically.
Music is a big part of the Stolen brand, how do you go about incorporating that?
We love music. It drives the brand in so many ways. I grew up around music, with a father who was in a band in the ‘70s — a pretty well-known band in Australia and New Zealand — so I guess I’ve always had that in me as well. Musicians and writers are the people I respect the most as an art form, so I love the idea of dressing musicians who reflect the brand in a certain way, whether it’s through their music or the way they dress. We hand-pick musicians and then we court them, in a sense – “hey how are you going, we love what you do, do you love what we do? Cool, let’s work together, wanna wear some stuff?” We don’t have big budgets so we can’t just pay money and people to endorse our products. We really have to find people who love what we do and want to wear it. It’s not a transaction that’s taking place.
Who would be your dream musician to dress?
I quite like MIA, and I’ve always liked Grimes. She’s worn a bit of our stuff, and I think she’s quite good for our aesthetic. She wore one of our dresses on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show, it was really cool – her backup dancers had the same dress but in black, and she had the white one. I think Sky Ferreria would be quite cool in our stuff too.
So we have one day left here before we have to go home. What are some of your favorite places to hit in Auckland?
I’m a bit of a junkie for Dizengoff, that café at the end of Ponsonby Road. I think it’s Jewish cuisine, almost – there’s no bacon. But it’s really good. Best coffee ever. I used to go every morning for breakfast and every day for lunch. That was fucked up. I’m not too big with bars at the moment – we end up just drinking here on Fridays now. We’ve got our little rocky garden atrium out there by the kitchen, so we just invite friends and we’ve got all the beer we could ever drink. We have bands perform here sometimes.
You should have had your after party here. Not that the brothel was a bad idea…
I actually snuck here before the after party. I needed a breather so I came in, sat down, had a beer. But I had to make an effort, it was our own after party. But once I got there and got a couple of drinks in me it was sick.
See a few of our favorite looks from Stolen Girlfriends Club’s A/W 2015 show below.
this is some kind of spaceship or something.