Local fashion designer Leighton Whittington debuted his brand in Paris last spring but remains as proud as ever for the Alamo City to continue serving as his home base. He will premier his next collection, Collection Quatre, at a show at Brick at Blue Star on September 15.
Boasting late 70s and early 80s influenced daytime and nighttime looks, the new collection draws inspiration from bygone eras and, like all of Whittington’s past work, from women.
“Every opportunity in my life has been handed to me by a woman,” says Whittington. “A woman should be able to put on whatever she wants and take pride in her ability to take over her own space and time without worrying about anyone else. I’ve been thinking lately about how Chanel freed women and Yves Saint Laurent empowered them. I like to think of what I’m doing as the same. Freeing and empowering women because I legitimately love them,”
In addition to his excitement about Paris, Whittington proudly remarks that this is the first time a collection reflects all facets of himself and his personal style. “I remember a time when my brother was managing a band…and this young band thought they were very punk. I dropped in one day and when I walked in, he looked at these kids and said, ‘This is punk.’ I was wearing something I thought was very cute, a little bit northeastern Connecticut. He said that punk was a state of mind. ‘Maybe you don’t have any spikes on today, but you did yesterday and even with this cardigan on, those spikes are still your state of mind.’ So when I look at this collection… there’s a beautiful lilac blouse. It’s so dainty and feminine, and in a way, it’s a mirror. But on the cuffs, all the buttons are topped with little golden spikes because there are still those aspects of rebellion in me, that hint of pushing beyond the line that’s drawn in the sand. This is the first time you see that dichotomy.”
Guests at the Collection Quatre show will enjoy traditional Parisian cocktails and macarons — subtle nods to the brand’s participation in Paris Fashion Week.
Proceeds from the show will benefit Drop4Drop, a nonprofit that funds sustainable clean water solutions and demands accountable, effective and efficient provision of clean water. Every project undertaken by the organization provides clean water to a community of over 1,000 people who have never before enjoyed the privilege.