F.I.F.F.: Finally It’s Freaking Friday: Designer Profile: Featuring Anne Gorke


Anne Gorke is one of the first Ecological designers I’ve met while working in Germany. When you really think about it, it’s not that she’s an ecological designer at all. She’s just a designer. Who happens to care about the environment and adamant that her company doesn't leave a carbon footprint.
I’ll be the first to commend Anne on her efforts. On the contrary, being the cynic that I am, I imagine the stereotypical ecological designer as a patchouli smelling, granola eating, burlap sack designing, tree huger. Anne absolutely defies this stereotype. Although I have seen Anne standing on her soap box preaching about the dangers and toxins involved in manufacturing textiles--there is one thing that is undeniable. Anne Gorke doesn't design for the environment, her designs are simply good for the environment.

Don’t let her antics fool you. Although she is extremely passionate about the environment and ecological friendly designs. She doesn't let that compromise her design aesthetic. She’s inspired by funky things like food, color and texture and this designer is more shabby chic than Hippy Freak.

If you see her silhouette walking towards you, it looks as though she could be a model cast in her own show. Long legs, tall stature and the energy of an eight-year-old on Red Bull. Anne’s not only a conscious consumer, she’s a conscious producer.

German born, her atelier is located in Weimar. Anne does her best to keep her production within a 400 kilometer radius. Tip your straw hats off to Anne and lets give her an A for Effort or an E for Ecology. Nonetheless, lets get to know more about this young designer, as we grill her on the economics of ecology and why the kooky designer was inspired to design her entire collection after her favorite meal of white wine and Artichokes.

Finally it's Freaking Friday, lets get on with it!

Jordan: Anne, how did you get your start as a designer? Why did you make the conscious decision to only use ecological fabrics?

Anne: Starting out as a designer was a rather slow and step by step process. It started with simple textile and up cycling projects during university. The more I worked with textile material the more I wanted... I literally could not stop working anymore. It was like a spiral.

Jordan: Your last collection was inspired by artichokes and white wine. As much as I love both, the latter is especially dear to my heart. How did the idea come about?

Anne: We had a dinner and my friend prepared some artichokes. I brought white wine which was rather strange because I did not like white so much during the past months.. red wine yes, Rosé yes, beer yes, but white wine was actually not so much my favorite. But strangely I felt attracted to white wine. So we had white wine and artichokes and the colors were perfect matched together.

Jordan: It all sounds quite courageous. When I think of the courage and effort it takes to design using only ecologically friendly materials I think of a superhero. You’re kind of a fashion superhero. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

Anne: Superhero! That would be cool... unfortunately I am not so familiar with superpowers. The only thing I could think of is to be invisible. Or super fast. But could you be also a healer? I would like to repair animals..does that count? Or: I would like to be a super fast reader. But that probably counts as being super fast. I am lost..super fast-- would be my pick.

Jordan: You’re music choice for shows is also very thought provoking. How do you choose the music for your runway shows? If there was one song that could describe you as an individual, what would it be?

Anne: That is impossible to answer. There is too much music out there to decide on one song. It would end in one big bastard mix I guess. Right now: Sunshine is a Friend of Mine/ Rye Rye vs Bad girls/ MIA.

Jordan: How did I guess it would be an energetic song! You’re probably one of the most hyperactive people I've met. How do you maintain your energy level when you’re sleep deprived during fashion week. I always feel like I’m a character in Fear and Loathing in Vegas during fashion week. Tell us the secret. It’s green juice with a shot of adrenaline isn't?

Anne: It's excitement. And the fear of being too slow. And the hunger of wanting more.

Jordan: Well, ain't that inspiring. Along with your energy levels, you’re also quite positive. I think there is a lot of negativity surrounding the fashion industry. What are the atrocities happening in the industry that make your blood boil?

Anne: There are some things that I find a bit outrageous. One thing are the conditions of the production. Even though everyone knows what is going on in Bangladesh and India for example they do not care where clothes are produced..and companies do not care at all.

Jordan: I don’t like the fact that the industry is so superficial, but I think a lot of designers get a bad wrap from the cost of their designs. In retrospect. I think it is more commendable to spend more money on a product you know is healthy and Eco-friendly, than on something that is expensive to exclude the masses. What is the price of designing ecologically?

Anne: Well you cannot just do whatever you want. You have to come up with solutions to realize your ideas in a certain way. But it is possible. And of course the product has a certain value due to the production circumstances and the used materials. And this value reflects in the price. But it is all worth it. I really prefer to work that way.

Jordan: You put me on to this great Mr. T fashion video. I have to admit that when I’m down and out I watch it and laugh hysterically. Mr. T, I have to admit is one of my idols. He’s also a style icon who am I kidding. Who is one of your style icons?

Anne: Maybe it is a bit lame, but one is Patricia Field. But the greatest is Grace Coddington. I admire their work. Regarding personal style-- it is hard to find authentic real life people with a great style in their everyday ways. Diane Kruger has an excellent way of dressing. And I like the consequence of Karl Lagerfeld and his sense of creating his own uniform.

Jordan: Speaking of idols. Marry, Kill or Shag.

Anne: Shag in the sense of dancing or in the sense of sex? I assume sex, right? I have to
Karl Lagerfeld - Shag in the sense of dancing.
David Hasselhoff - Hug.
Tom Ford - Marry!!!

Jordan: I believe I set you up to kill Mr. Hasselhoff, but I guess I'll let you off the hook.  There's enough people out to get him. We live in an age of social media. People connect in such a surface level-- through computers and smart phones. Do you think by creating for the environment you’re putting people more in touch with nature? Ok, that sounds really cheesy I apologize. Let me rephrase that. Do you think by using ecological materials you’re getting back to the basics?

Anne: Getting back to basics I like. That was a very good rephrasing! Actually I notice that a lot of people lost any senses regarding products and the way the are produced. Products are just known as the products. Ingredients do not seem to matter to a lot of people. I hope that this changes within the next years and people start to redevelop a consciousness. But I actually think that this lack of interest is more a result of our consuming culture. Social media actually helps to reach people and get in touch with them..we are in touch right now via social media. And that is a good thing..

Jordan: Getting back to the basics reminds me of Sesame Street. Don’t ask me why. I guess it’s the combination of my A.D.D. and quirkiness. I know there must have been some bad German translation for Sesame Street like “The kids who live on a street called Sesame” or something really tragic like that. Anyway, which Sesame Street character would you be?

Anne: This grumpy one. My parents are like the two on the balcony. My brother is more the Ernie type. And I am that dusty blue one that lives in the trash bin..the grumpy one.

Jordan: My guess was the hyper one, Elmo. I'd definitely be one of the guys in the balcony.  I think those guys get a bad rep. Germany sometimes gets a bad reputation for fashion. But, we have to admit that they’re definitely doing their part here for the environment. A lot of German products and manufactures are environmentally friendly. How do you think the rest of Europe can, dare I saw, Catch-up with their environmental awareness?

Anne: I really don't know. Being aware of your surrounding and nature and caring about resources needs to become cool. And a basic part of everyday life. That is.

Jordan: What do you have in store for us for the upcoming season?

Anne: This I cannot reveal yet. I find it really hard to talk about my newest ideas. But for Summer 2014 you find fine silk shirts with artichoke prints and some fine cotton fabrics in Golden Khaki that I used for dresses and skirts as well as for parkas. The colors range between off White, Rosé, Golden Khakis and Dark Blue.

Jordan: Being as your collection was based on food and fun. What do you like to do for both and which city do you like to do it in. Not do it, like having sex. I mean figuratively doing it. Never mind. What turns you on? I swear the sexual innuendos are just a coincidence. What’s your idea of a good time?

Anne: Hahahaha...I'll just do a nice shag with you next time we meet. No really--I enjoy a good steak with salad or a good burger. The fun aspect really really depends on my mood. I always enjoy a good movie at the cinema. At Munich I really like the Gloria cinema. It is the most deluxe cinema experience I ever had...

Jordan: That's all for now from the Green Chic Freak. We love her and hope you enjoyed getting to know her too. Check out her newest collection and our Eco- Fashion Documentary where we featured her designs.

Anne Gorke

Happy Friday!


F.I.F.F. Finally It’s Freaking Friday Blog Spot: Featuring Chris Glass

I was first acquainted with Chris Glass backstage during Michalsky Stylenite during Berlin Fashion Week.  

He was all dapper, I was all disheveled, in a mad dash to catch the “Who's Who” for backstage interviews.  In utter, yet gracefully panic. I saw Chris through the cameras and crowd, like a mirage--water in the desert.  I remembered screwing up an interview earlier with Barbara Becker on the red carpet. So, I thought what the hell-- I'll ask this studious gent if he could be so kind to ask Barbara for another interview. Well, certainly he responded, as any polished man would.  Before doing so, I couldn't miss the chance to have an interview with the demur chap.  Chris oozed charm and charisma during the interview.  He explained post interview that in fact, he was originally from The States, yet a worldly individual. A man after my own heart.  Needless to say we decided to go back for seconds.

Georgian born, New York raised, Chris Glass is a connoisseur tout de mode, etiquette and charm.  No need to further explain why he is the European Membership Director of the member's only club, The Soho House and friend of Catchup. You knew I would shamelessly promote, so don't act surprised.

Photograph provided by Magnus Reed
Let's find out how to let someone down gracefully, attend a fashion show and behave like we have some home training and all the while not feeling privileged because we can drink Champagne at 10 in the morning.

Jordan: So Chris, we want to find out what a man, “In the know", actually knows.  How does one become a Membership Director of anything?

Mr. Glass: In the know – famous last words.  ;)  I’m not sure that there is any clear path to becoming a Membership Director.  I've done so many different things over time.  In the end, I think I am where I am today and I do what I do, because of a very natural curiosity.  And that curiosity makes it interesting to meet people and then eventually there’s so many people in that mix that you look for ways to connect the dots.  That is largely what my job is about today – connecting the dots and building bridges, repairing those bridges when they’re damaged, and looking for places where people didn't realize a bridge was needed.   

Jordan: You've been in Europe for awhile now, specifically Berlin.  I've noticed some differences between socialites in New York and Europe.  Mainly, that the majority, not to generalize, but a lot of people I've encountered in the fashion industry, don't have the need to name drop like in the States.  It's as if there's no need because if you're someone, everyone knows it.  What differences have you noticed?

Mr. Glass: Interesting assessment…  I think there’s a big commitment to the craft of fashion here in Europe.  It’s about the tradition and the storytelling and the heritage of a brand that makes them stand out and the people that reinterpret these factors are the stars.  It’s about what they've done – whether short term or over decades – that separates them from the 15 minutes of fame types across the pond.  Instant gratification gives way to commitment and what you’re left with is a real story to tell.

Jordan:  I've never been one to “name drop”, cough cough. But I have said some things which I probably could have kept to myself. You know the moment when someone says something that embarrasses the entire room?  I've never done this I swear, but I have been known to have bouts of Tourette's Syndrome in airports.  What should one do, once they've realized that they've just stuck their foot in their mouth?

Mr. Glass: I think there are two courses of action.  Either you inhale, look the person square in the face, and run!  Or you can take the more graceful approach of apologizing and then immediately changing the subject.  My favorite one is favorites…  What’s your favorite film?  Color?  Power tool?  Once you get everyone caught up in the new conversation, inhale, and run.

Jordan: With these pegs I can run for miles. There is someone who comes to mind when I think of big mouths and Tourette’s. Karl Lagerfeld for example is infamous for his "Foot in Mouth Syndrome".  What I love and hate about him is that he is unapologetic.  It's a bit disturbing, but nonetheless, it gives you the impression, that if he said it--he meant it.  Do you think that there is a time and place to be opinionated?

Mr. Glass: I think there is a time and place for everything.  What is it they say – opinions are like assholes.  Everyone has one and they usually stink.  I figure if you’re going to have something to stay, be able to stand behind it 101%.  You have to live with yourself, your thoughts, and your remarks.  And if you can look at yourself in the glare of a department store mirror (cuz they are the worst!) and still crack a smile, then speak your mind.  Now if you get pimp slapped, then you have to deal with that too!

Jordan: What if I have never been able to look in a department store mirror. Just saying. Speaking of shopping.  What's your take on the trends this season?  I'm not a huge fan of trends.  I prefer to trend set. Geez, that sounds awfully arrogant when you say it out loud (please read the last sentence in silence and nod your head as if you were at the Poker table).  Give us your favorite and most disturbing trend this season.

Mr. Glass: I’m going to touch on a non fashion related trend – because like you, I try to avoid being trendy.  What happened to old fashioned conversing?  People spend so much time using electronic devices with the intention of being better connected, but when they are finally face to face, they’re busy typing messages to other people.  People walking down the street Facetiming…  people sitting at dinners Facebooking…  bikini waxing while conference calling.  What if we actually try to spend at least a few minutes of the day being present to the good, the bad, whatever?

Jordan: The worst is attending a dinner party and everyone takes 20 minutes Instagraming food.  I feel like spraying it with the plastic spray, like in Chinese restaurants downtown and saying, “the food museum is in the kitchen, please have a seat like respectful human beings and enjoy”. I’m sure you wouldn't be caught dead shooting food porn. Were you always so debonair?  Or do you have a long lineage of charming fellow family members?

Mr. Glass: That is very charming of you to say.  I think almost anyone that grew up in the South would have to concede to being inspired by the pageantry of Sunday morning church services.  Women in impossible hats, men in pastel suits, everybody swaying and shouting and all that show.  Sundays were for us THE day to make a special effort.  At some point in my life I decided that everyday should be a Sunday.  I think making that extra effort (I call it the extra 15 minutes) is the icing on the cake.  You walk a bit taller, you talk a bit smarter, you smile a bit bigger, everything feels like it is a celebration.  And life is really – a celebration…  we just have to remind ourselves of that.  

Jordan:  While we're on the subject of charm.  There is some rather distasteful behavior happening during fashion shows.  I once saw this gauche of a woman, sitting in the front row--answer her phone, walk out of the show--while the models were still walking, like she was Anne Wintour. What advice can you give us about avoiding a fashion faux pas?

Mr. Glass: Again, this for me transcends fashion.  If someone has taken the time and energy to create something and then invite me to be a part of it, the least I can do is take the 10 minutes required to honor their effort.  It’s called RESPECT (cue Aretha….).  This is one of those things you learn in kindergarten – and those really are the best lessons - put yourself in the other person’s stilettos for a moment.  
                                                          Jordan:  In my personal--very humble opinion.  You can't buy class.  But you can buy privilege.   Tell us one of the most decadent pieces in your collection, so decadent that you're even too embarrassed to tell people how much you spent on it?  Ok, so why would you tell us.  So, tell us the second biggest splurge you've made.

Mr. Glass: My biggest splurge is simply unmentionable.  My second biggest splurge was actually a gift, so it was a splurge from someone else.  It’s a Show Piece from Y3 – a wool sheath with 2 arm holes.  I always carry it on flights - it doubles as a blanket and a scarf and if I need to throw some drama in there, I rock it as a poncho.  It’s a blue so deep it looks black and I cannot imagine a winter without it.  Thank you Tattu!

Jordan: I’d love to be in your birthday shoes.  I’m not big on Show Pieces, but I do love Film Noir. Sometimes I wish I could travel back in time just to attend a party.  If you were a protagonist in a Film Noir, what would your name be and what would be your catch phrase?  I would be, “The Long Pins Dame.” and I would repeatedly call men Saps and Goons. Pleasantly, of course.

Mr. Glass: You femme fatale!  Film noir often focused on women of dubious virtue – a girl after my own heart!  All that drama about what one should do and what one wants to do – story of my life.  I would surely draw on my southern roots and reply to everything remotely controversial with a gasp followed by ‘my stars’.  I’d always wear all black, speak about people in the third person, and have them call me the Dark Horse.

Jordan: My stars, that’s fabulous. I normally ask this question as an icebreaker, but I'll throw it in for shits and giggles.  Imagine you had a band following you.  Every time you enter the room, they would play a song, your song, that say's I'm Chris Glass, the dark horse and I have entered the room.  What would that song be? Why?

Mr. Glass: This is so wrong of me to do – and so wrong of you to ask!  But I have to say, no song says ‘I’ve entered this mother and I am about to turn it out cuz I can’ like “Queen of the Night” by Whitney Houston.  Door opens, wind machines, those drums, to make you drop to your knees…  I mean, really!

Jordan: “Cause I'm the queen of the night. The queen of the night, Oh yeah, Oh yeah, Oh yeah, Yeah.” She was such a diva, really!  100% even with the good, the bad and the ugly, she was still pure class. I know too many people in the fashion industry who try to "Keep up with the Joneses", sometimes to the extent of no avail. I'm sure you've seen a bit of the "Fake it to you Make it" crowd.  How can you spot a real from a phony?  Is it like spotting a fake Hermès in a crowd?

Mr. Glass: I always ask – would you go to your mother’s house for lunch dressed like that?  If it’s authentic, it can’t be wrong.  But if you’re playing a part that even you don’t believe, you’re going to be found out sooner or later.  Save yourself the trouble and keep it real – really you.

Jordan: Word to yo motha. (Don`t tell her I said that!)  More importantly, why do you think that the Germans chose David Hasselhoff as a mascot during the fall of the Berlin wall?  Is there something we're missing?

Mr. Glass: Misery loves company?

Jordan: Now that we're on German aesthetic, who is your favorite Berlin designer?

Mr. Glass: I think I’d have to take it back to the roots of where we first met…  Michalsky is definitely a favorite.  His designs are timely and simple and always surprising.  And one day my arse will be small enough to wear it as well.

Jordan:  That makes 2 of us.  Another similarity we have is Manhattan.  I remember back in the days, in New York, there was a number to a hotline that you could give to someone who you were, "just not that into".  Genius idea, I have to admit.  But, what is the correct way to let someone know, you're just not that into them?

Mr. Glass:I have these fabulous little black cards that someone gave me which say ‘Please stop talking!’.  I think that sort of erases all doubt.  And then there’s my mother’s way of doing it – you give them the iciest grin you can – teeth clenched, eyes narrowed, hands folded - and say ‘I hope you have a LOVELY evening’.  Pause after lovely for effect.  Then inhale, and run!

Jordan: Good ole Southern charm. I'm glad we got to know more about you Chris.  Where are you these days and what do you do when you're not gracing the Berlin social scene with your fabulous presence?

Mr. Glass: I have the fortune of jetting off to some great destinations almost on a monthly basis at the moment.  I am in love with Istanbul and also spending some time in Amsterdam.  Both fabulous cities – polar opposites – but they share wonderfully warm people and lots to discover.  I’m working on some writing projects.  I’m visiting friends.  I’m perfecting excuses for not going to the gym. I’m trying to sleep as much as I possibly can. And more than anything, I’m just trying to stay connected to the moment.  Right here.  Right now.

You heard it here first folks: Stay polite, keep it real and always wear your Sunday best.  You can find Chris in the first row of any important show, any party worth attending, and always with a smile.  This guy is more genuine than a Dior Haute Couture in Paris. We’re lucky to get acquainted with him and happy to share it with you.