halpern shares a fun-filled guide to surviving and thriving
As we sashay in sequins with Aymeline Valade thanks to the label’s spring/summer 18 film, directed by Tim Gutt and Shona Heath, the Fashion Awards-winning designer teaches us how to thrive today.
Halpern provides FASHION with a capital everything. From the sequins to the flares and the dancefloor divas, the glamour of 70s New York is reimagined through the eyes of the young designer. It is precisely what we all need today, and why he walked away with the British Emerging Talent trophy at this year’s Fashion Awards. "It's a reaction to how things are right now," Michael Halpern explained backstage following his Studio 54-ready spring/summer 18 show. Given that 2018 is just as, if not more, troubled than 2017, we jumped at the opportunity to return to the London Palladium for another chance to dance-the-difficulties away with Halpern thanks to Tim Gutt and Shona's Heath's short film.
"If you squint at Michael’s clothes they shimmer and dart lazer beams across your retina," Heath explains over email, "somehow you become aware of your eyelashes. Tim and I wanted to capture that feeling of fluttering in and out of focus." After Aymeline Valade made her London catwalk debut by opening Halpern back in September, who better to flutter our focus? With Isamaya Ffrench on make-up duties, Sam McKnight on hair and Patti Wilson ensuring D.I.S.C.O. styling, Heath, Gutt and the Halpern team create yet another sensory skake-up. “Behind-the-scenes at a Halpern show is the only place where the working experience is as much fun as it looks," Heath explains. "Everyone leaves their egos at home, is relaxed and inspired. Michael is a very welcoming soul, and has a positive aura, which is totally contagious!” It is contagious. There's glitter, there's hope and the youth are feeling mighty real.
As he applies the finishing touches to his autumn/winter 18 collection, Halpern shares a five-point guide on how not just to survive but thrive in these turbulent times.
Keep calm... “There’s a lot of really crazy things that happen on the daily – don’t lose your shit. Look at cute puppy videos as much as you watch the news. Also, don’t stress eat; never ends well.”
Go out, but not too much... “I love to go out, but there is a limit. There is definitely something to having a night out with your friends, or even random people, that can take your mind off of the badness in this world right now, but don’t let it become a habit. I work a tonne, so no time for a hangover to mess with that.”
Spend time with animals... “I have a dog. He’s a cross between a Bat X PIG X GREMLIN X EWOK. His name is Rupert Alberto Machiavelli (don’t read too much into the name, it’s just a name). Spend lots of time with your dog, and if you don’t have a dog, spend time with someone else’s dog. I was a dog walker in NYC for a hot minute, it was great for lots of reasons. You get to spend time with dogs, and I got hit on constantly.”
Spend time not doing fashion things... “You can spend almost every night at a fashion party, that is most definitely not my life. It can get so overwhelming if you feel you need to go to all of these parties and events. Don’t do it. Pick and choose carefully, and spend time with your friends. A very large amount of my friends have nothing to do with the fashion industry. So when I get excited about it they usually fake smile and pretend they know what I am saying, or just blatantly don’t care at all- it’s refreshing.”
Throw parties... “I love to throw parties. Love it so much, because I get to go to a great party and I don’t have to leave my own house. Also, I love a quick exit, so if I get bored I can just go to sleep even if people are still there, no travelling required. Also, I hate parties without food. Nobody wants to eat a posh blue cheese while drinking tequila, get hot dogs or a cheeseburger.”