story written by Seth Friedermann
photography by Ned & Aya Rosen
makeup by Isabel Ruiz
styling by Michael Tucker
model is Paris from Muse Model Management
all garments by Morgan Carper
A flash of insight, an inspiration, a map, a plane ticket for two, and a whole lot of frequent flier miles. This jet-setting describes a big part of Morgan Carper’s artistic process. Whether it’s to the desert Southwest of the U.S or the hills of Laos, other cultures and their artisanal means and traditions are a big part of her seasonal collections. However all is not first as it might appear. While many designers begin by being entranced by ethnic fabrics and the ancient technologies that create them, for Mrs. Carper its about finding the answer to the desire that’s already stirring within her.
This method of putting a collection together by thoroughly marinating ones internal inspirations in another place or time is not unheard of, Tia Cibani had a similar approach when she was running Ports 1961, but it is certainly rare. “I have visions and daydreams of what direction I want to move in, but with that comes an idea for a place. Sometimes it’s specific sometimes just an idea.” For Morgan Carper a visit to the locale fills in the blanks that complete the expression.
Many designers struggle with themes in collections, often falling into the trap of being too literal, they force references in a “get it, get it…” way. Still others hold onto the idea too loosely, creating collections that are diffuse, almost thin in the delivered substance, and simply don’t capture anyone’s imagination. Morgan Carper seems to have a knack for getting the balance just right. She invokes the key elements of a place so that the viewer, or better the wearer, feels the experience of the location and the idea of being there. This is quite impressive for a designer so early on in her career, and with Mrs. Carper it appears to be quite effortless.
“There’s a certain point that once I get past, the collection starts to design itself. It’s one idea after another.”
Her designs are easy to wear and could fit into many wardrobes seamlessly. Although she’s admitted to more structured clothes causing her difficulties in the past, her Spring 2012 collection was a perfect mix of movement and hold. The future looks bright for Morgan Carper, as bright as the far away skies of wherever she’s off to next.