ARTICLE ALI KORNHAUSER
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY A DETACHER
A DÉTACHER IS FIFTEEN THIS YEAR AND CELEBRATED WITH YET ANOTHER PHENOMENAL COLLECTION. V TALKED TO DESIGNER MONIKA KOWALSKA BEFORE THE SHOW TO FIND OUR WHAT INSPIRES HER—"TRAVEL," MOSTLY, AND NOT IN THE WAY YOU'D IMAGINE
So, fifteen years, it’s such a huge milestone! How do you feel?
MONIKA KOWALSKA Fifteen years, it’s a long time. It’s not always easy to stay interesting and focused but we’ve managed to get here and it’s good. It’s incredible.
A Détacher is more of a lifestyle label than purely a fashion brand. Can you tell me how you came to mold this signature look?
MK I think just observing what I constantly reach for, and looking at people in the street, and you know, sort of a mix of things. I suppose it’s kind of things that I like, and whether its things I really wear or some idealised version of “me,” I guess that’s how I do it.
And the A Détacher woman, can you tell me a bit about her? Do you have any muses?
MK No, I don’t really work so much with that; it’s much more ideas.
You’re known for creating the thinking woman’s fashion. So, what were you thinking this season?
MK Travel and camouflage. So what you’re packing, what you pack, what you buy, and sort of the identity you create for yourself on any given trip, and what aspect of yourself that place brings out.
What does fashion mean to you?
MK I’m much more interested in style than fashion with a capital F. And I much more prefer the industry aspect, which isn’t as interesting I guess. Just looking at people and the proportion of something, the techniques, and the fabrics... I guess that’s really much more of the hook for me.
And I know you’re known for creating your own patterns yourself, but are there any other specialties you consider very A Détacher?
MK I guess we do a certain type of dress, you know, its not body conscious but it’s a sexy kind of dress. It’s strong but sexy at the same time.
I read in an article that A Détacher was “proudly adult and boldly sexy.”
MK Yes that is perfect. I really try to achieve clothing for women, sexy women.
Why New York and not Paris or Italy?
MK I like New York. It took me a long time to like it, but frankly, I like it now. It’s less conservative than say, Paris.
Are there any specific looks I should keep an eye out for?
MK We did ponchos with a weaver that I’m really kind of crazy about. There’s one towards the end—this one actually (last look in slideshow), that I think is really beautiful. It’s sort of a traditional poncho but you could also belt it and wear it as a dress. I think it would be an exquisite dress, and also something that is very easily packed, and can become a blanket on a trip, so you know, it’s all very versatile.