—story by Bianca Betancourt (@bybiancabee)
For the past few fashion seasons, streetwear, athleisure—whatever you want to call it—has ruled the runways and commanded street style photog attention. Though there's nothing wrong with sleek, chic and simultaneously comfortable fashion, sometimes a girl wants to get back to her roots—meaning back to naturally sultry femininity.
Femininity is the unexpected star of the highly anticipated new collection from clothing line Alex Carter, helmed by it's designer and CEO Chelsey Carter. After years of producing pieces with a "more unisex, more androg silhouette" that she quickly became known for, Carter is paving a new path for her latest body of work sure to shock her loyal fanbase.
"There’s always a vision behind every collection I release, and it’s almost always attached to a muse or to a story that will convey or better illustrate [my process] to my consumer," said Carter. "If you don’t design clothes and you don’t relate to that Alice in Wonderland 'down the rabbit hole' mindset of creativity—at least you can still relate to the story."
The latest story from the mind of the Ferguson, Missouri native, is inspired by one of the greatest artists of all time: Frida Kahlo.
"Frida has and always been one of my all time favorite artists and her story is very empowering. She’s not afraid to be independent, different and brave not only in her work but in what she stood for as a woman," said Carter. "[The collection] is very colorful and extremely different than what I’m used to bringing into my work, but that’s why I chose her [as a muse] because it was a challenge. I chose to go with a detail oriented collection because I wanted to give back to my female customer by way if Frida was a designer today, creating something she would have worn. [Clothing] parallel to what the modern Frida would be at my age to my consumer."
Aside from Frida, Carter soaks in her everyday surroundings as part of the creative fuel that inspires her and her work daily. She claims her personal creative circle as well as fashion heavyweights like Alexander McQueen, Phillip Lim and the Olsen twins as sources of creative inspiration. Also Solange. ("She is one of my all time favorite people on the planet." says Carter of the Saint Heron founder.)
But fashion isn't the only thing that sets Carter's creative clock afoot—"Music, politics, emotion, whatever I’m feeling in the moment I’m influenced by it all. Everything touches my creative soul and it bleeds through my work." Carter proudly stated.
For Carter however, venuturing into unfamiliar design territory within her work isn't solely about fashion or sales or popularity. Rather, changing up her creative direction is really about artistic maturity.
"No artist should stay within their comfort zone though because there’s no growth there," said Carter. "Even with the unexpected turn of creative freedom I’m very much still in the moment of feeling the way you feel and how it moves you to do the things that you love. In this moment? I am free, I’m excited about taking on a new sillouehtte, a new journey, and a new concept to currently convey where I am and how I feel in my art, Hopefully my consumer will appreciate it. That’s all I can ask."
Look out for updates on the new Alex Carter collection by following the brand and Chelsey on Instagram at @alexandreacarte.