With devoted celebrity clientele like Rihanna, Katy Perry and Beyonce, and a strong backing from uber-stylist Patricia Fields, New York design duo Philippe and David Blonde of The Blonds have a lot to be thankful for. In Toronto this past weekend to host the recently revived Fashion Cares, FLARE joined them for a VIP dinner and fashion show at The Roosevelt Room and discussed philanthropy, fame and how they’re putting the fun back into fashion.
You’ve been together for close to ten years now, how did the line first come about?
Phillipe: We used to make each other clothes to party in, that used to be our creative outlet. [But], it was always something that we wanted to do. I grew up inspired by movies and cartoons, like Jem and the Holograms. I never had any idea that the show was based on fashion and transformation and music. Those are the things that I am so influenced by now.
David: And now we’re actually working with the people who inspired us, and in turn inspiring them.
Is it true that you will often design your clothing with a celebrity client in mind?
David: Yeah, pretty much. A lot of the time you can tell who would be wearing what. When we do custom work we’ll shoot ideas back and forth and it’s more of a collaborative effort.
Who is your ultimate muse?
Phillipe: Cher. We’re dying to work with Cher! Or Oprah. We want to get Oprah in a little diamond bustier.
Do you think that your line is something that appeals to the everyday woman?
David: Its meant to inspire the everyday woman to be a little more glamourous. Just to have fun with your wardrobe and not take things too seriously.
Are designers that have fun taken less seriously?
David: I think so. I think sometimes people will judge you. But at the end of the day, when I say not to take fashion too seriously, I don’t mean to discount it as something frivolous. Just have fun with it, don’t drive yourself crazy.
And there is an undeniable craftsmanship to what you do.
Phillipe: Yes, all the embellishment we do by hand. Sometimes it can take up to 4-8 weeks for certain pieces. Once you get the right chain mail, you have to get it plated, then cut. It’s layer upon layer. Then you’ve got to get the right shade of crystal, and the right shapes…
A labour of love?
Phillipe/David: Yes! (in unison)
Speaking of which, how did you become involved with Fashion Cares?
Phillipe: We always enjoy supporting a charity, especially one that has to do with AIDS. It’s a cause that’s really close to our hearts, and we’re really passionate about it. When they asked us to come out and host, we were happy to do whatever we could. We always try to get involved wherever we can.
Who says that fundraising can’t be fabulous?