C6 Mondo Guerra Fall/Winter 2014

Inspiration is a funny thing.  It can come from the most unlikely places and take you on an unexpected journey.  In the case of my F/W14 collection, it started with a super villain from a comic book.

Last February, I previewed my collection at a fashion show for artSMART Santa Fe, benefiting youth arts education in New Mexico.  It was inspired by Selina Kyle — the secretary who becomes the notorious Catwoman.  I was intrigued by the idea of this kind of frumpy, conservative woman turning into a very sultry, sinister rebel.  I loved the contrast and contradiction there.

Untitled-35 - CopySo I set out to capture that woman through an entirely black collection.  For me, this was a new challenge, as I’m known for my love of color and print.  But I wanted my spin on “Mondochromatic” to explore  the interaction of different textures — like sheer vs. solid, shiny vs. matte — as well as the contrast between sophisticated and street.

Halfway through the design journey, I encountered a major block.  In those moments of doubt, it was hard for me to approach the collection creatively.  I felt stuck.  But like carbon — which under high pressure transforms into a diamond — I realized I needed to turn this hard situation into an opportunity to shine.

So I named my F/W14 collection “C6,” after carbon on the periodic table of elements.  And I felt it was perfect, really.  Carbon can take many forms — from black and opaque graphite to sweet sugar and all the way to a brilliant diamond.  For me, “C6” was a way to show how darkness can be beautiful and transformational.

I turned my love of polka dots into 3D form through pom poms and plexi-paillettes and translated my love of mixing prints into mixing textiles like wool, velvet and sequins.  The result is a tone-on-tone celebration of fashion’s favorite color — black!

I debuted “C6” at 303 Magazine’s Denver Fashion Weekend in a 16-look runway show, collaborating with award-winning hairstylist and Shear Genuis star, Charlie Price.  Our inspiration for the look was one part Myrtle Snow from American Horror Story, and one part Grace Coddington — who created some of the most iconic fashion images as the creative director of American Vogue.

And it only seems fitting to pay homage to Ms. Coddington who said, “Always keep your eyes open.  Keep watching.  Because whatever you see can inspire you.”  I think that sums up everything quite nicely.

With that, I hope you enjoy “C6.”