November 1, 2011
House of 950 is a new label started by my friend Eric Holbreich, a designer I used to work with, and his partner Alice Spies. I would describe their clothes as experimental, clean and minimal, awkwardly charming, and ultimately very wearable. I had a little chit-chat with co-founder Eric about starting his new line, his inspirations, plans for the future, and wishes of dressing the almighty Tilda Swinton.
Tell us about your line and why you decided to start it.
House of 950 is a collaborative workshop that focuses on garments that are often unisex and multifunctional. We think about the use of garment. How can people interact with it, how comfortable is it? We wanted to bring back the innovative craft where the make and finishings are just as important as the original idea. We manufacture everything in New York City so we can monitor the process and make sure everything is the highest quality possible.
Where are you two from and how do your roots influence the way you make clothes?
I’m from Indianapolis and Alice Los Angeles. Alice thinks about simplicity and comfort all the time she thinks that is what L.A. is all about. Indiana is a really clean, flat place with lots of trees and open spaces. I don’t feel comfortable in very fitted clothes, but I like everything to have a clean look.
Who/what else influences your design?
When we start designing a garment, we will have a general idea of what it should be. We don’t really draw, or if we do it is usually of a pattern piece. When we make the garment, that’s when we play with it, what could it be, could it be something else. We then think about what is missing in clothing that we think should be there, like a detail on the cuff, or a hidden pocket in the seam. We want the clothes to be convenient and recognizable but at the same time different and simple.
Tell me about the odd, graphic shapes that your clothes are made out of.
The shapes that our clothes make are usually related to the function of the garment, or the elimination of a conventional seam and the replacement with another type of seam. Most of the garments have no fixed closures. To close the garment a person has to first choose a way to wear it. The clothing allows the user to express their own idea of how they want it to look like. The Amish shirt for example has four different silhouettes. The user has the option to choose which one is right for their mood…