Q&A: Geren Lockhart dishes on her Francis Bacon-inspired fall collection
Geren Lockhart, designer for L.A. contemporary brand Geren Ford, always turns out chic, body-friendly looks. But for her fall 2010 collection, she also amped up the sex appeal — creating va-va-voom pieces such as metallic leather minis, body-clinging maxi skirts and silk cropped pants in rich jewel tones that slouch in all the right places. The overall effect: retro slink.
We caught up with the downtown-based designer to chat about how the streamlined collection came to be:
What was your key inspiration for fall?
Francis Bacon's Met exhibit last year, and the research I ended up doing on his life after seeing it. I walked into the exhibit the day before leaving to head back to L.A., which was also the last day of the exhibit. A friend was set to meet me there and ended up getting stuck on a conference call. So like the nerd that I can be, I got the audio guide, and while I've always been a fan of Mr. Bacon, I had never heard the story behind the work. I was mesmerized by his restraint and the delicate way that he delivers gore and violence. It's poetic.
At the end of the exhibit I practically dove into the bookstore and purchased every book I could on his life rather than his work. His studio 7 Reece Mews provided the inspiration for the prints in the collection; one modeled after the pock marks on an amazing antique mirror in his space, another by the shapes that his brushes made when he tested his paints on the walls and doors of one room rather than using a pallet. Another is inspired by the shaded and somewhat subtle idea of fingers pulling paint down a canvas, as in his Pope series. Mr. Bacon also informed the color pallet — color-blocked but not intense.
How did the design process start for you?
When I design it's a cumulative process of a constant “eyes open” state of mind — for what I like or have a reaction to, from color to texture to vintage. At the same time, we work on a schedule so there is always a time frame that's slated for the process being put to paper. I was already into this process when I attended the Francis Bacon exhibit, and it all just came together as I was walking around and then digesting the books about his life and work.
You worked with so many different materials on this collection — what were your favorite to work with?
Metallic lamb, a floaty, soft stretch charmeuse and a crafted open-weave silk linen blend. And, as always, zippers, rivets — our own signature [zippers] modeled after man-hole covers — and grosgrain ribbon.
What type of woman do you see loving these pieces?
Four words need to describe every garment we make: chic, effortless, sophisticated and sexy. That said, the same can be said of our core customer base. They're amazing adventurers — whether that be an around-the-world adventure or a local one.
Photos: Looks from the fall Geren Ford collection. Credit: Geren Ford.