Chase Cohl is a one-woman powerhouse, managing both a solo music career and and an accessory project that has been featured in Vogue, Rolling Stone, Nylon, and WWD. She's designed four of her ornate and handmade Littledoe headpieces for our IDLM Gallery. Here's a chance to peer into the inspiration and creative process behind her work.
IDLM Your pieces feature a very organic, tribal feel that's refreshing in the current fashion climate. Where do you draw your inspiration for these looks from?
CHASE COHL I can find inspiration in pretty much any setting. Since moving out to California I have found myself more inspired to create than ever before. There's something about excess energies that resonates when the body is close to nature, it brings such an organic creativity to art.
IDLM You split your time between both coasts. How has your time in New York and California affected you? Which elements of each place do you like and dislike?
CC New York: I love to be able to ride my bike, lay in Tompkins park and watch people go by. Hate the summer heat, hate the snotty fashion set.
Los Angeles: I love the sunshine, canyon living, the old tree houses and the historic energies...
I hate the isolation of having to drive everywhere, plus it's so hard to meet people!
IDLM Who do you imagine as your ideal customer?
CC Willie Nelson, Zooey Deschanel & Drew Barrymore.
IDLM How does the production of your pieces work? Since everything is custom and handmade, what kind of relationship do you have with your customer?
CC I am able to hold the customers hand throughout the creative process in order to create something that suits their desires. This is metaphorical hand holding, Im not a creep, I swear!
IDLM How did you get your start in producing headpieces and jewelry, and how did you develop your skills?
CC Boredom mostly got me started, idle hands. And practice makes perfect! Just the more I made things the more I wanted to...
IDLM How did the complete creative license of the IDLM gallery project affect the way you designed and constructed the signature crown? Do you think it acts as a statement of your overall design philosophy?
CC Sure! I love the fact that I was given the time to go further with my creations than I maybe had before. I'm not sure whether I'd like to commit to one particular statement, I think creativity should be a continuous evolution.
IDLM What was the inspiration behind the other gallery headpieces?
CC I was living in new York at the time that I made the pieces, I love the idea of an urban witch traipsing around Manhattan.
IDLM You've been exposed to music from a very young age and have also pursued your own musical projects. How has this affected your perspective and aesthetic?
CC I think growing up in rock n roll, having had a sort of gypsy childhood and traveling to loads of different places allows me to be a bit fearless when it comes to fashion. Rock n roll sort of allows for being able to wear costumes every day, which I love.
IDLM What events in your career have you seen as major turning points for your designs?
CC It's been incredible from the very beginning. The first person who actually ever bought one of my pieces was Fergie, I couldn't believe it, and more recently my pieces were shot for the cover of Spanish vogue by Patrick Demarchelier in a shoot meant to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Jimi Hendrix death, it was very exciting for me.
IDLM What plans do you have for the future? Any aspirations of doing a widespread, mass-produced line?
CC I have a really special collaboration in the works for spring 2011 that I'm excited about. It's looking like it's going in a really nice direction, I'm not sure about mass production, kind of just taking things as they come.
IDLM With the multiple projects you have in progress, what leisure activities do you make time for?
CC I try to travel as much as I can, it helps mix the inspiration and work up, just trying to remember to enjoy it while I'm young and don't have strings attached in too many places.
THE ARTIST'S STUDIO: