I'm very excited that Christine Rhee has stopped by tys today to talk about her new seventeen-piece Fall'08 collection. Her label, CRHEE, has just been selected to show within Gen Art's "emerging designer" collective, and consists of innovative, architecture-influenced jackets, shirts, tanks, pants, skirts, dresses, and even jumpsuits. A Princeton Architect undergrad-turned-fashion designer, Christine studied fashion under Mary Ping before branching out to launch her own label last year.
mj: what are your favorite architectural motifs and how do you see these showing up in your line?
christine: I don't really have a favorite visual architectural detail. My favorite thing about architecture is that in terms of design, your intentions are extremely important. While you are designing, everything that you put in or leave out really affects the user (from how wide the door is, to wear the bathroom is etc.). Also, visual tools that you use to create your design also hugely affects the tone of the environment and how someone feels inside of it. I try to apply the same intentions into my clothes. I try to remember that everything that I add or leave out will affect how someone feels when they're wearing my clothes or how other people perceive them while they're wearing them. I like to think that I'm setting the tone for someone's personal or emotional environment. I try to make clothes that will make the wearer feel strong, intelligent, complex, and sexy in a modern, unconventional way.
mj: how do you plan to move forward after this collection in terms of your designs?
christine: There are a few things that I have in mind that I would like to try that I've never tried before. For example, I haven't really done evening wear. I started the line thinking that all the clothes would inhabit this middle ground of always being dressier than casual but being more casual for a dressy occasion. I do want to grow as a designer so for me I sometimes think the best things to tackle are things that go against my initial reactions, to break my own rules while still following them. I'm constantly fascinated by contradiction so we'll see what's next. I always say I'm going to do one thing and it always ends up being a surprise to me in the end.
mj: If you could envision every woman owning one of your pieces, which would it be?
christine: Honestly, I can't really envision every woman owning one of my pieces. How great would that be, though! I think every piece in the collection brings out a different quality in someone. People tend to like the black "slowdive" dress. It's a really flattering piece that I feel like is probably the most successful in terms of how I try to make people feel when they wear my clothes. Also, it's practical because with the placement and width of the elastic bands you can wear a strapless bra with it. Every person that I've seen try it on looks great in it and they tend to dazzle themselves a bit in the dress.
Thanks so much Christine for stopping by! The majority of the CRHEE's pieces fall into the $300 to $600 retail range, available this September at crhee.com.