An Interview With: Ilana Kohn

Continuing the trend of featuring Ilana Kohn on Chaos + Colour this week, here is the promised interview with her. Ilana is so very lovely and encouraging when communicating with her – so thank you for that!
Here it is:
Describe yourself in 5 words?
Super duper crazy cat lady.
Who do you consider to be your greatest sources of inspiration?
Friends, things I encounter on an everyday basis.  I love history, so I tend to draw a lot of historical references from various periods & places.  I was also a huge tomboy growing up, I feel like that aesthetic has really stuck with me.
What inspired you to begin designing your own textiles?
Before fashion was ever even a blip on my horizon, I worked as an editorial illustrator.  Once I began my clothing line, I felt like it was pretty inevitable for me to begin doing my own designs.  It really made me feel like I’d come full circle creatively.
Describe a time when something just didn’t go right?
Haha, when does it ever?!  This past season, however, there were actually a couple of happy mistakes with the textile printing.  Not everything came out as planned, but sometimes the mistake was better than my original intention.  Happy mistakes.
What is your favourite raw fabric/fibre to work with?
After a season filled with nothing but silk, I’m dying to get back to good ol’ cotton & linen.
What is your favourite part about conceptualising a design, and how do you approach a new season?
My favorite part about conceptualizing a design is when I come up with something I actually like!  And I enjoy it when I feel like I have solid time to fully devote to the creative end of things.  So many other things eat up your time when you’re running a business solo…
As for how I begin collecting ideas, I feel like I’m constantly collecting ideas.  At the beginning of every season, however, I begin by going through the inspiration folders on my desktop, looking through books, doodling in my sketchbook and just dive into the textiles.  The rest springs from there.
Again, it is very much appreciated Ilana for answering these. It is always so interesting to peer into someone’s thoughts/preferences, and I am sure there are others out there as curious as I am about a creative-person’s processes.
It is exciting to see what new collections you produce!

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