Get Ready For The Blonds...
At 8:30 PM, the Thompson Hotel’s penthouse suite transformed into a buzzing studio salon. CND artists steadily held plastic fingers as they painted intricately brazen nail designs, while high-profile makeup connoisseur Kabuki gave one lucky model a gaze that will be tough to replicate by untrained hands. With the overlook of downtown New York behind them, designers Phillipe Blond, and David Blond sipped champagne as they completed their final hair and nail tests before their return to Made Fashion Week. Dressed in all black with badass bleach blond hair to match, the duo looked triumphant; they’ve already had a great start to the New Year and they seem more than ready to bring the ruckus back to Milk. Looking for great lighting and some peace and quiet, we took the interview to the bathroom, where Phillipe and David revealed slight details about what to expect form their latest collection, and shared their love and appreciation for the strength that is Laverne Cox.
What’s the concept behind this collection?
PB: Well, we were inspired by A Clockwork Orange.
DB: Yeah, and several different things. It was A Clockwork Orange the book, and a mix-mashup of a bunch of different films we love— like what we do every season. We’re film buffs to begin with and there’s this film called The Holy Mountain by this director we love Alejandro Jodorowsky, and a film with Tilda Swinton called Orlando, where she is a gender bending time traveler. So the whole story of the collection is in a way schizophrenic, because you jump from time to time, and into different themes throughout, and you go from this really cool futuristic feel to this explosive post-apocalyptic end. There are military themes, lots of leather, and tons of different things.
PB: There’s piercings and camo. It’s a different place for us this season, so I’m really excited. It’s Blonds deconstructed and still glamorous.
DB: Everything we do is sort of glamorous and perfect and this season we just took a knife and tore it apart.
PB: Stabbed everything.
Last season you both came up with the name ‘Gangsta Genie’, what’s this season going to be
DB: Hm. I don’t know, I keep saying Ultra Glamour, but P doesn’t seem to like it.
PB: Ultra Glamour sounds good.
DB: Yeah? Ultra Glamour’s good? One of the films we like, there’s ultra violence, so it could be Ultra Glamour.
PB: Orange Is The New Blond is a good name too, shout out to Laverne!
Your pieces are naughty, extravagant, and sometimes cartoonish in nature. What is this world that you are able to create and how does it thrive?
DB: Every season we try to take the audience and our clients into a new space, a new world, and we want to inspire them to think outside the box and to have fun with what they’re wearing. At the end of the day it’s a form of entertainment for us and for them, so that’s the main goal.
Who is that audience and who do you consider to be the Blond?
PB: I always tell people season to season, when you come to our show you’re lucky enough to see looks for the first time that you’re favorite pop stars are going to be wearing in the future. You get to see them first which is really cool.
DB: What’s great though, and it’s funny because there are a lot of different women within this ideal client we have in mind—it’s everyone from Diana Ross to Tina Turner and Cher and Madonna, to the new crop of girls like Rihanna and Miley—we just started working with another legendary performer Bette Midler, so it doesn’t matter the age, or the gender. We feel like we encompass the core of what it is to entertain.
PB: Blond is everything.
DB: That’s our signature.
You’re back at Milk again, what are you looking forward to this time?
DB: We’re planning on something really special. It’s an idea that’s been in the works for a while, it’s something that we’ve been wanting to do at Milk, and that’s going to be so appropriate to do at Milk. It’s going to be so crazy, and let’s say it’s going to be a physical play on words, with Milk itself.
PB: Yes, I can’t really give it all away, but you’ve got to experience it.
Why is Blond better?
DB: You know Blond’s not better, but Blond is definitely more fun. When we say Blond we don’t mean the color of hair or anything literal.
PB: It’s a state of mind.
DB: It’s about having a good time with your look, with your partner, with your life, and that’s it.
PB: Glamorous, everyone always wants to feel that way.
DB: Sparkles always excite us.
PB: But, Blond is better.
What is the quintessential Blond moment?
PB: I don’t know, we have them every five seconds.
PB: Blond moments happen every time, and every second, but the most glamorous Blond moment has been Madonna lately for her new video Living for Love. I’m living for love right now because I’ve always wanted to dress Madonna and we definitely got a chance to.
DB: We’ve been collaborating with her stylist B. Akerlund for years now.
Oh from Le Snob!
PB: Yes! Le Snob! B actually made a pair of gloves for me for the show which are going to be amazing.
DB: What’s great about B is that she brings light to people that you wouldn’t normally get to see. She creates this entire community through her website called WhoYouAre.com, and it’s amazing because it brings together this collective of creatives as a resource for stylists.
PB: It’s all costume designers and people like us so it’s amazing.
DB: But yeah, it’s been a long time coming and we finally got to work with the big M.
PB: So that was a Blond moment from us.
DB: Well it’s funny. We went from the Queen M to the Divine M so it’s been a great start for this year because it happened in the same month. Madonna and Bette Midler is insanity.
PB: What a way to kick off the New Year! I can’t even explain it, I almost died literally crossing the street texting. Everyone was like Madonna’s wearing your corset! I couldn’t figure myself out— I still can’t figure myself out.
So it seems you’ve already hit a few goals for this year, what’s up for grabs next?
PB: To take over.
DB: We’re really looking to do something like a fragrance at some point, or a makeup collaboration because they’re all facets of glamour and extensions of the little world we’re building.
Long nails and hair are definitely a large part of everything you do, what about that combination really fires your loins?
DB: The great thing about working with CND as you’ve seen tonight, is that we collaborate in a way that is always inspiring, we inspire them, and they inspire us. CND has been with us since the beginning, since our first show they were there with support. MAC cosmetics was also there, so it’s been something we’ve been working together on for years, and it’s been ten years at least with both of them which has been really great.
PB: But yes, they do fire up our loins. The CND team bring the fire, and everything rolls over to the next season, so if we don’t use something now, we use it in the next season. It’s such a luxury. It seals the deal on the look.
DB: It’s the cherry on the cake every season when we work with them, because it completes the look. If you think about it, it’s all part of it.
You post a lot of pictures of Divine on Instagram, whom you obviously admire. I recently watched the Divine documentary on Netflix, and it was unclear as to who Divine really wanted to be.
DB: I think everyone would just call Glen, Divine because his name was Glen, but I also think they’d just refer to him as Divine period. It’s funny that Phillipe and him have that in common because everyone just calls Phillipe, Phillipe— there’s no gender distinction. We don’t like labels or any of that stuff. At the end of the day it’s who you are, there’s no need for labeling or telling a person how to act or what to do and I feel like we’re getting there. Again to mention Laverne, she’s such a great spokesperson. She’s so articulate about the cause of transgender kids and people, and we’re finally making some sort of headway where we don’t have all of these limitations or labels. People are becoming more accepting and opening up.
PB: Society is becoming more clear again to me, and it’s about time.
If you could dress Divine, how would you?
PB: Well that would be great, but he’s dead.
DB: That’s a terrible thing to say!
PB: Well it’s true!
DB: We’d dress her in diamonds. Diamonds head to toe, skull cap in diamonds. Can you imagine a mask of diamonds? Fabulous, a disco ball, a diamond disco ball.
PB: Something that said, ‘Eat Shit and Die.” Red and pink. Good times.
DB: Phillipe, you really know how to spice it up at the end don’t you?
The Blonds will be showing at Made Fashion Week on Wednesday February 18th at 9 PM.
The Blonds photographed exclusively for Milk Made by Andrew Boyle.