Katie Ermilio: a rising star in the fashion world
A rising young fashion designer on our radar at the moment is Katie Ermilio. Her fashion career was launched when she entered a Washington Post contest to design a gown for Michelle Obama to wear at the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Ball – and won!
It seemed as though a career in fashion was always going to be in her future. Her grandfather designed the famous green jacket for the Master’s Golf Tournament and fashions for Princess Grace Kelly; her father runs a tailoring business in Pennsylvania. Ironically, Katie did not have a desire to be a designer during childhood – she loved clothes, but didn’t think she had the skills to be a designer. At 16, a life-long education in textiles and tailoring acquired in her father’s custom clothing shop acquainted Katie with the principles of construction and the fundamentals of design.
She then went on to major in visual culture at New York University and spent her undergrad years interning at fashion-magazine powerhouse Condé Nast for publications such as Vogue and Women’s Wear Daily. She began to take design more seriously in college and fell into designing when she was faced with the all-too-familiar conundrum of finding day outfits that could take her from the corporate world back to the college scene.
Late last year, Katie launched her eponymous collection for fall 2011, while February saw her spring 2012 collection presented to critical acclaim. Still just in her mid-20s, Katie has been propelled in to the limelight with magazines hailing her as “one to watch”, movie stars requesting her versatile creations for red carpet premieres and retailers picking up the line worldwide.
Here at The Upcoming, we fell in love with the spring/summer 2012 collection. What’s not to love? A saccharine sweet colour palette, beautifully feminine shapes juxtaposed against super-sharp lines and intricate cutaway panels with unexpected details. Katie has stayed true to her initial goal. Her label was born from her own needs for clothing to take her effortlessly from her corporate day job, assisting at a handful of Condé Nast titles, back to the college campus to complete her creative studies.
She has played with materials, transparency, colour and silhouette. An ingrained attention to detail results in an appealing combination of a super-fine knit playsuit, sweet peplum hems, subtly 80s inspired references and sharply cut but sensual backless tops and dresses.
Highlights for us here at The Upcoming include fuchsia city shorts with an almost origami-esque belt detail and a stunning deep blue knee-length dress. Elsewhere, the selection of warm peach and pink toned dresses, either beautifully flirty and 50s in style or sleek with a hint of bejewelled embellishment further add to the uniquely complementary contrasts on offer.
We can’t wait to see more from this talented young designer.
Click here to see more of her collection.