Beau Coops 4 Karen Walker
Carrie Cooper catches up with Karen Walker.
Iconic Karen Walker and footwear up-and-comer Carrie Cooper have recently collaborated on the Beau Coops 4 Karen Walker line (as seen in Karen Walker's Spring Summer 2011 show in New York). They sit down to chat about departure lounges, alcohol and, of course, shoes.
Carrie: Well I'm here having a cup of tea staring out at the view over my neighbourhood (Sydney's Rushcutters Bay and Park). Sadly a pot of tea not shared, as we're not in the same room, city, or country for that matter. So, for starters, what are you wearing today 'Mrs' Karen Walker?
Karen: I'm sitting in my study at home looking out at my neighbourhood. I am wearing togs and a voile shirtdress (just had a swim). No shoes though!
Carrie: We both travel A LOT for work. What's your favourite destination (both work and pleasure) and best airport departure lounge?
Karen: Best work places: Tokyo and New York without a doubt. Japan's such a highly potent ideas stimulator. We go there so often and having a good crew on the ground there to take us straight to the best spots is so great. NYC, well, no explanation needed. It's my second home and I never get sick of it. Best places for a break: Rome and Fiji for totally different reasons. Best departure lounges: The only good thing about Singapore is the airport - it's the best in the world. The Singapore Airline's lounge is fantastic. Mind you Cathay Pacific's first class lounge in Hong Kong is pretty cool. They make it so easy to miss your flight! And, although I seldom fly Qantas, their first class lounge in Sydney is fantastic. Manicure or facial anyone? We've skyped often with one or other of us in an exotic locale or airport lounge. What are your faves?
Carrie: OK, a dirty little secret, I love airport departure lounges, the people, their get-up, where they're going, it's a gawker's paradise. Also a nice way to relax after a hectic schedule is the Virgin Lounge at Heathrow, London, where I have spent a great deal of my time takes the cake for me. Cocktails, jacuzzis, massages, facials, swinging egg chairs with cascading water 8... just looking over my shoulder for James Bond to pop out... Or Bridgette Bardot - so far as locations around the world, I am never happier when cycling around the streets of Paris, stopping off at my fav locals for vin rouge catch up with pals, or treats to buy in Rue Saint Honor-London is still my home away from home, and a lot of my ideas come from there. But for total relax the city of Dubrovnik has had my heart for some years? it's a great old city to stop, take stock and stare off into the horizon? Right before you jump onto the boat and set sail.
Carrie: As we are in the business of 'making new ideas', what tends to pull at you to bring out these new ideas? In other words, who or what is your muse?
Karen: We look for the right amount of wrong to spark our ideas. In the past it's been anything from religious cults to peculiar characters in movies, to photographs of car interiors to music oddballs; this season we're looking to Kevin Rowland.
Carrie: Collaborations in footwear (like our Beau Coops 4 Karen Walker line) are not uncommon throughout fashion history. A favourite of mine, the first I believe, was the Roger Vivier footwear designs for Dior (well, the first to be noted on the product, anyhow) was a great example of how two good heads can butt. There is potentially an even longer list of the wrong collaborations. So what's been the 'sweets' from this collaboration so far, and how does the BC aesthetic fit into your KW world?
Karen: It's great when you say "we're looking at a William Eggleston photograph of a 1970s Cadillac interior" and the shoes come back and they reflect that and they're great!
Carrie: Who do you look up to?
Karen: Phil, my I.T. guy because without him I'd resort to violence.
Carrie: What do you like, I mean really, really like?
Karen: Cupcakes, Larry David, travel, nice hotels, good wine, my daughter, my husband, Coronation street, Dexys Midnight Runners. You?
Carrie: Old antique portrait photos, sail boats, friends, wine, food and travel (best served together!), jumping off a wharf in summer. And a Hendricks and Tonic at the end of a hard day.
Carrie: What's your poison?
Karen: Pinot Gris, Champagne or San Pelligrino. You?
Carrie: Hendricks and Tonic (as noted above) and Krug when the moment strikes!
Carrie: With our shoes about to hit the shelves, what's up and coming for you?
Karen: We're halfway through doing next northern hemisphere winter. We think its inspiration's pretty cool ? Kevin Rowland at his peak. You?
Carrie: Well I think we are going to give our ladies some well-earned attitude. Not a stiletto in sight! The new range we are working on makes me wanna dance!
Carrie: See you pool side with a G and T next time!
The Beau Coops 4 Karen Walker collection will be available from late February.