This morning Zac Posen spoke to an auditorium full of high school kids at the Museum of Art and Design. They're in New York to receive their Scholastic Art and Design Awards - an award Zac won over ten years ago - and gathered to listen to him discuss his career. He listed the designers who influence him - Alaia, Vionnet, Cristobal Balenciaga - and the importance of persistence in fashion. He talked about observing craftsmanship at Hermes and Alaia, of spending time in London and Paris and about what it takes to be both inspiring and commercially relevant these days. He "hates lazy artists and trends" most and mentioned the pitfalls of fame. He also admitted that he's "astounded at the levels of sophistication" in fashion blogging. On models: These models [AW09] are all killer. I call them creatures. They are their own existence. I look for models that I knew really wore fashion, that I knew fashion sang on. Models who can model my clothes. For a lot of designers robots are great but I'm into people loving characters, loving themselves. On food: I love grocery shopping. I'm a produce fanatic. I've gone through very different waist sizes, but right now I'm eating really healthy. Just vegetables and rice mostly. I cook three nights a week. After the Met Ball I went home and made whole wheat pasta and puff pastry!
On craft: When you take away every ruffle and embellishment there's form, line and architecture. At the end of the day our customer, the editor, Anna Wintour - they'll come back because it's about purity of form and understanding of the body and architecture and anatomy. There are very few designers in history who are so obsessed. On AW09: This collection was about a real need not to forget the fantasy and whimsy of fashion, the emotion of it. Some was very costume-y and probably everything a New York fashion editor is not looking for, but you have to go there. Otherwise you become vanilla! Or worse! Imitation vanilla! There's a lot of jeans and t-shirts out there in the world. On Muses: I don't like the word 'muse.' I find it very demeaning to the role.