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Q & A With Christine Alcalay

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New to Beklina, I'm excited to share with you Christine Alcalay. If you have a special event or two coming up on your calendar, these are the dresses that you want to consider. She knows what she's doing 😉

Angelina: Where did you grow up?

Christine: I grew up in Jamaica, Queens NYC. I spent most of my childhood right beside my mother who still to this day is a sample maker for designers.

A: What was your very first job?

C: My first official job was assistant to a intimate apparel designer, Roslyn Hart. I spent the my afternoons in HS in Rosyln’s studio working on technical flats, working on bra patterns and cutting out first samples while working with the sample makers. I was 15, and sometimes I worked by myself in the studio. When I worked late, I always searched for food in her mini fridge but there was always only dark chocolate, matzah and vodka in the freezer. Let’s just say- Matzah was my afternoon school snack for a while.

 

A: Tell me a little about the inspiration behind your current collection, that is just hitting stores now. Is it personal to you at all? 

Because the Christine Alcalay customer is someone who is feminine and empowered, I design clothes for modern day icons. These are the women who are movers and shaker, the change makers and the women who aren’t scared of the power in their femininity. My inspiration comes from the women who inspire me the most and the growth we go through as women. For this current season, my muse was Georgia O’keefe, and the photographs of her famously captured by her late husband, the photographer Alfred Stieglitz. In the photographs I also saw the reveal of not only the artist she was but who she was as a the woman. I explored the ideas of a woman unearthed, and the excavation women have to do in themselves, the soul searching that sometimes needs to happen for us as women. Similarly and metaphorically, it reminded me of the excavation of gems and jewels and the brush strokes in a work of art. The idea is that it takes a whole lifetime to shine and polish a gem but the beauty of a raw and unpolished gem is just as beautiful. For me, each collection is a self exploration and although they are only clothes, they are a conversation to be had and each collection is a part of a longer journey.

A: As a designer I ofter feel that after I finish a collection, I haven’t satisfied all the areas I had intended, often it's color, or a vibe, whatever, a dress I wanted to try, etc. Each collection doesn’t have hard stops and starts (even though I give them dates and titles), instead they bleed into each other. Do you feel like your collections truly wrap up and finish? or do you see this bleed?

C: I myself feel similar to you. There is a gradual and continuous story that is happening. Design feels very organic to me, and a constant one foot in front of the other.  It is a very personal journey that each season takes me through but the main character always days consistent- she grows, and travels and discovers. I’ve found that when I dress, all of my collections work very well together. Each collection has a different color palette and new silhouettes but because it is the story of the Christine Alcalay woman, it all fits like small pieces to a larger puzzle.

A: What is something weird about you? Be it light hearted or heavy. Let’s call weird something good or bad that isn’t yet “normal or mainstream”

C: Weird.  Hmmm… What isn’t weird is more the question. 

A: If you were designing an outfit just for you, and only you; something you could wear most days of the week, what would it be?

C: I recently designed the perfect jumpsuit that I plan on making in every possible fabric to be my uniform. It looks like a chic painter’s suit. The only problem really is the bathroom situation but I’m figuring that out.

A: Tea or Coffee?

C: Green Tea and STRONG COFFEEEEE

Shop Christine Alcalay here.

ps- Christine's work just graced the Cover of Time Magazine, worn by Greta Gerwig!


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