Lindsey Kapitzke is a fashion and costume designer who lives on the beautiful prairies of Calgary, Canada. She attended the University of Lethbridge where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Technical Design. While at university she gained a reputation as a designer with extraordinary and humourous ideas.
After graduating from university Lindsey received her diploma in Fashion Design from Blanche MacDonald Centre, in Vancouver. She won the award for for Best Portfolio and Overall Achievement in her program at the Blanche MacDonald annual media show in November 2015 for her Noel Fielding inspired collection, Luxury Lunacy. Due to her unique perspective, creativity and intense work ethic she has been declared as a “designer to note” and a “fashion faculty favourite”. Lindsey is also a very talented graphic designer.
What inspires you? People inspire me the most. I love the different quirks that people have, the weird things they get excited about, how they present and express themselves. Their energy stirs up my creativity. I’m a very visually stimulated person, which is probably why I find Noel Fielding so inspiring. His genuine and child-like wonder is an absolute splendour to witness. He’s a magical, unapologetic force that brings such unique oddities into the world that are such a treat to explore.
How did Luxury Lunacy start? I’d started having ideas of jackets and coats inspired by Noel the July before I started fashion school. I had these little nuggets of pieces I wanted to make floating around in my head for six months before we had even started the design process. Although, before we had finalised our grad collection themes I started doubting myself, worrying that I was being too crazy and not commercial enough.That if I went down this road no one would want to hire me because my ideas were too out there. I considered shelving them.
Instead I started throwing about the idea of using Noel’s story of the tiger spider and the yellow butterflies in Scribblings of a Madcap Shambleton and started playing with the idea of doing yellow tea dresses.
I developed my ideas inspired by Luxury Comedy and when it came to present our inspirations to the class I found out that our fashion director, Tyler Udall, knew Noel. It felt like this cosmic sign that this was the right choice. I think it was because I was more passionate about the ideas I was coming up with whereas with my other idea the designs were coming from a place of fear and that was evident.
Under the guidance of Tyler I was able to really develop these ideas even further than I ever had in my artistic career. He encouraged me to design a jacket for each look I was going to make, which I was hesitant about because I knew how much work that would entail. It was a hefty amount, especially since the final coat was made out of sequinned fabric and took roughly 20 hours to prepare. But I accepted his challenge and I don’t regret it.
The collection included men’s and womenswear, tailored coats and jackets, latex, bold prints, hand dyed shibori prints (one of which was done on the bias on silk crepe), fringe, and, of course, sequins.
Has Noel Fielding given you any feedback? My fashion director sent him the picture of my mood board and apparently he was “tickled pink” that he was my inspiration.
What do you find exciting about fashion design? I love how fashion can make a person feel, not only for the person wearing the clothes but those experiencing other people’s interpretations of style. Recently I heard the saying “Don’t dress to impress, dress to express” and I love that so much. Fashion for me is an extension of your personality, it’s something that communicates what’s special about who you are.
One thing I wanted for my collection was something that was an experience for the audience to see. So when I delved into my textile exploration I looked for fabrics with a uniqueness to them, something that drew me to them. I felt like a magpie when I walked down the sequin aisle of our fabric stores, it was so unbelievably glittery. While I was making the collection one of my classmates asked me if I was going to include Advil with my collection at the show because of how psychedelic she thought the looks were!
A moment that will stay with me for the rest of my life was when my sequinned look came out on the runway. The energy in the room became so electric, people gasped and cheered when it was revealed, they were in awe and completely captivated by this look as it sashayed down the runway, blinded by the sequins. I love that my work was able to shake them up and make people laugh and cheer.
Which fashion rules do you believe in breaking? I don’t know if it’s just my inner punk or my desire to be constantly exploring and discovering the different ideas that people have but I definitely believe in breaking rules when it comes to fashion. I have a healthy respect for rules but I don’t build my creative vision around it. You need to know how something is done, the fundamentals of what it’s built on so you can play with it and bring new ideas to the table. It keeps things interesting and people on their toes. Rules censor people and that’s not what art is about.
What do you enjoy most about graphic design? My father is a graphic designer so I’ve always been exposed to it, when I was younger I would spend my summer working in his sign shop. I learnt how to do weeding and laying down vinyl, which came in handy when I did my portfolio for Luxury Lunacy. I couldn’t afford a custom made portfolio so I had to buy one and do the customisation myself. I designed a decal on Illustrator, sent it to my dad to cut out and then applied it to the cover myself. I guess I did a good job because I won the award for best portfolio which was magnificent!
This experience has helped me as a fashion designer. I’ve developed custom prints on Illustrator and Photoshop, drawn my technical flats digitally (which saves so much time) and developed lookbooks and zines. When I started to learn digital drawing, I felt like such a senior citizen because I was so stuck in my ways about it. I literally at one point said: “I miss the good old days when drawing was done with a pencil and paper”. I highly recommend anyone to make that jump to digital. It really does make so many things so much easier.
What are your plans for the future? I have a couple of projects that I’m trying to get started, I’m stepping away from the sequins for a bit. The projects are men’s looks. I’m obsessed with learning about bespoke tailoring at the moment so these projects are going to give me the opportunity to try some different techniques, but they don’t really look like anything you would find on Savile Row.
I’ve posted rough illustrations on Instagram and have received some positive feedback so I’m looking forward to developing the projects to completion. I’m also doing research on mascot costume construction for another project, I don’t want to give anything away prematurely but it’s definitely going to be a psychedelic look.
The big dream would be to someday have my own studio where I can design my own clothing and do freelance costuming. Currently, I’m trying to design scarves and other items that I can sell to develop an online presence. I designed some wonderful prints for Luxury Lunacy that I just didn’t get enough time to develop all the way through, so now I’m going back to them and trying to give them life and hopefully make a profit from them.
Photography copyright to Blanche MacDonald.