Just A Minute With: Fashion designer Zac Posen

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Fashion disasters are all part of being a designer, according to New York designer Zac Posen, who says a white silk suit with a tank top was probably his worst look.

Designer Zac Posen arrives to attend the 35th annual FiFi awards to honor the fragrance industry's creative achievements in New York May 31, 2007. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Posen will unveil his Spring/Summer 2008 collection at the New York Fashion Show on Tuesday. He says the U.S.-led Iraq war prompted him to look at the early foundations of U.S. culture for inspiration for the collection.

“In our time of war I think it’s interesting to look at the original foundations of our country, but it’s fashion so you can’t really take it that seriously,” he told Reuters in an interview at his studio in Manhattan’s Tribeca.

He spoke to Reuters about his career and his collection:

Q: What has been your biggest influence or inspiration?

A: “There’s not one major greatest influence on my career. It would be film and great artists and great imagineers -- Jim Henson, Walt Disney, Charlie Chaplin, people who understand the joy of the imagination. What I do that I find the most gratifying is the part that I’m able to inspire people ... and hopefully help them feel more elevated or become the person they had inside them.”

Q: What is your favorite fashion item?

A: “I’m quite a tuxedo junkie, I collect them all year round.”

Q: What is your greatest fashion mistake?

A: “I have so many fashion mistakes, but that’s part of being in fashion. I think the people that you see make the most mistakes are usually the best dressers. The greatest fashion mistake I have ever made -- a wife-beater (tank top) and a white silk suit -- very “Miami Vice”, very terrifying, with straight hair.”

Q: What was the inspiration behind your Spring/Summer 2008 Collection?

A: “When you’re a designer you have to be a cultural receive dish and sort of take all these ideas that you’re thinking about, whether they’re serious or not very important, you know superfluous, and put them into a collection.”

Q: Is Hollywood a leader on this?

A: “I’m not really interested in what movie is going to come out or what exhibitions are at the Met. I don’t think that’s really what women are in touch with nowadays. I think that kind of formula for collection season is sort of superficial. It’s what’s happening in the world, or what you think women want to feel like. At the end of the day it’s luxury clothing.”