Yellows and Greens are not often colors associated with a generation obsessed with the very notion of Black and White; colors that have been redefined radically as a movement and a culture. Caitlin Craig Lawrence, like generations before her, introduces a new wave of artists. Renaissance men and women redefining fashion as a means, presenting themselves as makers; revolutionaries to a system of ideals.
Caitlin is a woman of big ideas and a gentle manner, a pioneer of many worlds through fashion. Lawrence’s pieces are reminiscent of her journeys sojourning the world as a child, moving from one place to the other; her collections reveal her innate desires and the words she hardly speaks out. Caitlin Craig Lawrence developed a flair for fashion as a young child who was always enveloped in her mother’s magazines. She spent her hours designing and creating a lot of iconic pieces. When she wasn’t designing, she was a volunteer at an animal shelter. She furthered her passion by attending the prestigious Bauder College, where she was able to turn her hobby into a career. Caitlin transformed her struggles as a child into a portal for others like her younger self to find freedom and home.
What is your definition of fashion design?
When you walk into someone’s home or room, you’re most likely walking into an external expression of the person’s soul. The colors the person wants to be welcomed by every day of their lives, the flowers they will be happy to water, music that makes their hearts giddy, it’s an insight into one’s soul. That’s an easy way of explaining fashion design – splaying your innate thoughts and desires all over fabrics. It gets more interesting that you’re solving a problem by absolutely revealing yourself naked to the world. It’s an irony; you’re exposing your nakedness to cover someone else’s own.
In a world of minimalism, why does your work seem to involve a lot of yellow and green?
Minimalism is a way of diverting attention to the things that matter, focusing on less. Those two colors are the colors I think depict the things that matter. Yellow, for me, represents positivity and expansion, and Green represents Life and being grounded. The result of these two colors is the culmination of a full and satisfying life for all individuals. These two colors play a significant role in our psyche; I want you to wear my pieces, and feel a sense of calm, feel alive. The world won’t happen to you; it’ll be the opposite.
When did you get your big break?
My big break came for me almost immediately after college, I had just moved back to Topeka, Kansas, and I was trying to navigate the industry there, when this enormous opportunity came to me. They were holding the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and I was asked to dress the local celebrities attending the event. It was such a surreal experience. I was this newbie who had just completed college being trusted with that magnitude of work. It was a lot of work, but the experience and the opportunities that came as a result of that one project are innumerable.
What is your hobby?
Growing up in Kansas, there wasn’t an awful lot to do. If I wasn’t knee deep in some new design or with my godmother learning new mechanics of bringing these designs to life, I was at the animal shelter; and that’s something I’m still very passionate about. I love animals. Dogs are just so welcoming, and they demand nothing but a little attention, so when I do have time, I volunteer at animal shelters. This is one of the things that inspired a new project I’ve been working on: an exclusive line called “Caitlin Craig Lawrence for Canines,” it’s a line of clothing and accessories designed to make your dog look and feel incredible.
What inspired you to get started with fashion?
I found fashion on the covers of magazines my mom had put away; I would pick these magazines up looking at every outfit, analyzing some, critiquing some and redesigning others. When we finally settled in Kansas, I started working with my godmother, who was a seamstress. Fashion is a way of life for me, an expression, and I want to be able to make people feel alive through my pieces.
Tell us what you love about it.
At first, it was just something I did for fun, but I’ve come to realize that those are the areas where we excel. I might start a design and realize I’m going about it all wrong, but the courage to begin again never frustrates me, because I see every piece as a new item creating a story for someone.