Number 56: George Moskal
City: Saint Paul
Years spent living in MN: 11
Designer and textile artist George Moskal creates pieces that are classic through and through. In addition to being featured for several years in Voltage: Fashion Amplified, Moskal was also part of this spring's highly regarded MNFashion Shows. His past lines have drawn inspiration from French sophistication, classic lines, and confident women, all with just the right modern twist. Rather than work with increasingly common synthetic fibers, he opts for natural materials like silk, wool, and cotton. Moskal also works in textile design, creating fabrics inspired by bark, oil slicks, and water, which have popped up recently as wallpaper in a gallery show and on beauty products and cases for Estee Lauder.
1. I am really inspired by the fabric in my work. I enjoy working with layers of shredded silk chiffon to create new textures and shapes.
Vinyl and rubberized textiles that play on both the shine and matte/dry appearance of those fabrics.
Organic textural prints that look like tree bark, oil slicks, or marbleized algae.
Name three things that inspired and/or motivated you as a budding creative type:
My love for fashion began in the 1990s with avant-garde designers who were really pushing fashion at the time. Designers like Hussein Chalayan, Martin Margiela, and Comme Des Garcons. That, when coupled with the minamalism movement in fashion by designers such as Calvin Klein, Helmut Lang, and Jil Sander, kind of balanced everything out.
I sketched everything I was inspired by. I filled sketchbooks or anything I had on me at the time, from notebooks to post-its. Looking back some of the ideas were not the greatest, but I love how I just naturally let them flow and be without over-thinking how I would construct or sell something like that.
I think what drove me the most was that I just couldn't imagine doing anything that wasn't creative. I want to design it all, but fashion was always the most important of my creative interests.
What was your last big project?
I showed my spring 2011 collection at the MNFashion Show last April after showing for three years at Voltage. I couldn't have been happier with how it turned out and it was great to do a more traditional show; one where the clothing was the only thing for the audience to really focus on.
What do you have going on now or coming up in the near future that should be on our radar?
I am looking for the right boutique to sell my clothing, and think I found one. I want to show another collection for fall, but I may wait until next spring. In the meantime, if I find that perfect boutique, I plan to produce a capsule holiday collection and add in pieces in the fall of this year.
Creative/career high point (so far)?
I am currently not working with them because of other projects, but I am really happy with my work with the Portland-based textile studio Pattern People. They really helped me push my textile work in a way that I wasn't able at a mass-market retailer and my prints have ended up in some pretty cool brands. My work was included with a group of international designers for an exhibition they curated called "Beneath the Surface" at Studio Nemo in Portland, OR. I designed a printed wallpaper which covered one of the gallery walls.
My other favorite highlight is that Estee Lauder bought and used one of my prints in its limited edition Getaway Skincare Collection in a number of colorways. I want to do more of this kind of work in the future.
What has been your biggest challenge as an artist or organization?
I think doing everything myself has been a big challenge. I am kind of at a crossroad where I want to move my brand forward, but I need help with production, business, PR, and finance to really grow. I was using this last show as a test to see if I am going to continue. It's been a lot of work and there have been some highlights, but I feel like I take two steps forward and then stand still. I cannot imagine not designing, so I just have to figure out if I should be selling my work or just creating pieces for shows.
I also have interest in starting my own textile and trend studio, so it's just a matter of figuring out the best way to proceed with my designs and talents.
How has the local scene changed since you began your career?
I have been there since pretty much the start, and am I amazed at how the local scene has progressed. I think the level of shows have progressed from the college/crafty class of dresses out of garbage or ties, into some amazing, high-class collections showing at professional events. We started out with a fashion weekend and now we have a whole fashion week. I feel like people are really starting to respect the talent in the Twin Cities and are looking for something new and unique.
Name another local creative type that you're currently excited about:
I think every year Voltage debuts at least one new designer that I am truly amazed by and wonder where they have been. I really loved Terri Martin's collection for Voltage. I think she does some amazing work with her silhouettes and exploring of shape -- something I am always inspired by.
Are there any newer trends happening in fashion right now that you think could become a classic? If so, what?
It's hard to say because everything in fashion moves so fast and anything really goes today. I do a lot of trend research for my job, and it can be difficult trying to put an update on the same trends that seem to keep coming up on the radar. I think ethnic, animal, lace, florals, Americana, and nautical have been around for so long, but keep being mentioned every season that they have become a classic. I think learning what looks good on you and finding your one look that works is the new classic.
Are there any fashion rules out there that you think are overrated? If so, what?
I think the only rules I really follow is no white (except winter white) after labor day or linen. Again, I think anything really goes and the old rules are really not followed anymore. I wish sweat pants and especially pajamas in public would go away. I dress fairly casual, but would not even check my mail in sweats or pajamas.
Do you have a suggestion for someone whose work we should be checking out? Feel free to leave your top picks in the comments.
Past creatives, so far: