Interviews \

Sally LaPointe Keeps It Modern

In both her spring '13 collection (and the music with which she sees it paired), this designer balances soft and edgy

Sally LaPointe is a name you might want to get used to hearing, and not just because The Man Repeller has practically become president of its fan club overnight. It’s not just any designer that’ll send a collection down the runway to a soundtrack shouting “quietly fucked, quietly calm” — and if that doesn’t clue you in to just how spot-on Sally’s creative tastes are, her drop-dead, chic new collection is. From the bizarre experience she had at a Paul Simon show that’ll bring you back to the days of Footloose to what she’s got to say about Nick Cave and her favorite new jam, here’s what else is going down in Sally’s brainscape — besides dreaming up the next round of garments, of course.

Tell me about the music you chose for this season’s collection.
I wanted something minimal, modern, something that the audience would feel. My inspiration was a play on man vs. nature, hard and soft, structure and fluidity, and I wanted the music to reflect this.

What was the full playlist for your show?
MRWILSONDJ worked with me and put together “Timber” by Slagwerk Den Haag & Den Haag Percussion Group, “Slur” by A1 Bassline, and “Violently” by Archive.

How did these songs help you get inspired for this collection, or how do they reflect it?
Whenever I work with Wilson, it is a very collaborative process. We work very closely together, and he really understands my vision and where I am coming from. I tell him what I am thinking and he runs with it. Having the mix of the sort of natural sound of the “Timber” track, and layering in the strong vocal of “Violently,” really encompassed my concept.

How is it different from the playlist for past seasons?
I think it keeps getting stripped down. Things are simpler, cleaner, more dramatic.

How do you feel now that the show is over, what was it like from your perspective?
I feel good. I feel stronger within myself as a young designer, and the path that I want to follow. You learn and grow so much season to season; I try to just take it all in and continue to move forward.

Which musicians stand out to you or have inspired you?
Nick Cave. I find his extremely dynamic body of work very inspiring.

What’s the most memorable concert you’ve ever seen?
Paul Simon. I actually got aggressively pulled down from the back of my shirt by the woman sitting behind me because I was up and dancing. Who sits at a Paul Simon concert? It was at the Beacon Theater in Boston — a very ‘seated’ type venue. I guess I didn’t get that memo. She got escorted out.

What’s the last song you recall listening to and falling in love with?
I guess I would say “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” by Gordon Lightfoot. I heard it over the radio this summer when I was in a car, and felt an instant connection to it. I think I love a story behind something, something that is real, and dense. When you can feel something right away, I think this is what I connect to.