Oh to Be a Muse | Bay Area Fashion Blogger Inspiring Style: Kathy LaDonna: Fashion's New Face

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Kathy LaDonna: Fashion's New Face

7/25/2010

A while back I told you lovely muses that I helped with a fashion shoot. My friend, clothing designer (and hair stylist) Katherine McDermott put together a photo shoot to showcase her latest styles.

Katherine's clothing style is better known as Kathy LaDonna--a set of bold, bright, one-of-a-kind pieces. This 26-year-old fashion design student was born in Jamaica and has had her hand in fashion for more than a decade, producing closets-full of hand-sewn clothing.

If she needs a dress for a party, she doesn't even think about stopping by her local boutique or department store. Instead, she finds her dress form and some fabric and puts a piece together in as little as 6 hours.

Not only did Kathy design these outfits, but she also styled each model's hair.
(she's the one not wearing a dress)

Oh to Be a Muse: Where does the name Kathy LaDonna come from?
Kathy LaDonna: LaDonna is my middle name, and I hated it as a kid. In time I started to like it. It's actually my mom's middle name and my grandmother's middle name too.

Muse: How long have you been into fashion?
KL: In the 6th grade I made my first dress out of a pink sheet my mom threw out. It was my chance to really get fabric. My mom had this metallic fabric, and I made a pink overall dress with gold metallic in the middle. I actually wore it to school, and I wore it with pride. After that I would cut things and take them apart. I loved sewing.

My grandma used to manage a sewing factory in Jamaica. She taught me how to sew darts into my clothes.

Muse: You'll be graduating with a degree in fashion design from the Art Institute next year. What has going to school for design taught you?
KL: I learned how to go about things easier and look at the business side of fashion. Being in school cut my time in half--there are a lot of shortcuts. Before it took me a whole day to make a dress!

(this is my super awesome friend Anna)

Muse: I know you make clothes but you're also a hair stylist. Which do you prefer?
KL: If I had to pick one, I think I would pick clothes because when you mess up with clothes you can throw it away. Fabric gives you chances; hair doesn't. But I love them both. I'll see a hairstyle and automatically think of a dress that would go nicely with it--hair inspires my designs.

Muse: What kind of girl do you have in mind when you design?
KL: I have the outgoing girl in mind: the girl who doesn't mind standing out, or the girl who is kind of shy but who wants to stand out. Ultimately, I'm designing for anyone who likes my clothes.

Muse: What is your design aesthetic?
KL: A lot of designs are mistakes. I'm sure a lot of designers will say so. I like to do pieces that can be separated and worn to different places.

Muse: Who or what inspires you?
KL: I like thrift stores because I get a lot of my good jewelry there. I like to get vintage pieces. As far as designers go, I like Elie Saab and Roberto Cavalli. There are so many emotions in Roberto's clothes. But to be honest, I like everybody.


When I go to New York, the girls there are so bold. They don't follow any trends, and I don't follow trends. They don't match--they just coordinate, and I love that. But Florida is perfect for me. The sky is always blue and that should put anyone in a good mood.

For more on Kathy's fashion, visit her website at Kathy LaDonna.



More Musings

24 musings

  1. a great post, as always ♥
    thank you so much for the blogaward,
    so sweet!

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  2. Love that coffee-coloured girl in the white dress!
    And I just adore her Caribbean roots, too;-)

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  3. Amazing post, as always :)
    The fashion is beautiful! :) xx

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  4. i love all the dresses Kathy LaDonna is pictured wearing. Even though i usually go for the ultra-feminine lace ruffles and bows, i like the retro look too. i think i may still have a dress made with a shiny fabric that's a little similar to a couple of the dresses in the photos above. Great interview.

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  5. I love that black dress Anna is wearing! :)

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  6. Very very compliments for you and your friends.

    www.iolandainwonderland.com

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  7. those are such fabulous and fun dresses!! :D

    Animated Confessions

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  8. Her clothes are amazing! She definitely has a great aesthetic.

    clothed much, a modest fashion blog

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  9. I tried to post a comment earlier but it shows it didn't go through. Sigh. Anywayz just wanted to say these dresses are SMASHING! What a talented designer. Love it. xo

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  10. suuuper gorgeous pieces.
    wow im inlove.<3

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  11. Something different and yes, you made a great photo ops with those girls plus their lovely dresses...

    you did a pretty good job hun...

    take care always
    much love
    Sweet
    PensandLens

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  12. she is so talented and i love her designs :3

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  13. Oh la la! I love the second dress, the one with the big bow! It is lovely! Definitely wearable to a high-end posh party. :)

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  14. Great Q&A and outfits. Have a fantastic week.

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  15. Wowowowwowww! Cheryl! THIS was beauty. Like, ohlala beauty. =)

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  16. wow i'm so glad you shared this with us as i love her work! i'll be stopping by her site now!

    You've done a fab job customizing this blog layout! i like to think of my blog as a magazine too!

    Missy
    Blending Style, Beauty and Fashion
    http://thefashionfusion.blogspot.com

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  17. wow, your friend desings really awesome pieces!

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  18. What a wonderful photo shoot and interview! Awesome way for us to get to know KL better. :)

    I think that LBD is too chic, plus the way it was designed is soooo creative. I also really like that green dress.

    And thank you for the warm welcome back! :D The expo was really awesome, and I got a new summer dress plus some accessories. Hopefully I can post a few pictures of the new stuff I bought hehe.

    ~TRA

    http://xtheredangelx.blogspot.com

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  19. Cool post! I love that we got to look into the life of a budding designer! And she is beautiful =)

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  20. These are some fabulous dresses!
    I wouldn't mind wearing some of them, they are truly beautiful. I wish I were as talented...or even half as talented.


    -Erica
    Classy and Delicious

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  21. I'm proud of you...I love it

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  22. Just getting around to commenting...
    That photoshoot was a lot of fun! I'm so glad I was accepted to model for it! And if anyone is wondering, Kathy is as sweet as she is talented. For all her wild designs, she is such a chill and relaxed person.
    Loved the experience!!

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♥ Thank you all for leaving your comments! ♥ Remember to find inspiration in everything! ♥