Tim Hamilton Dishes on Debuting His Womenswear in Paris

Designer Tim Hamilton debuted his first women’s collection for fall 2009, showcasing a mix of romantic gothic blouses and structured gowns in all black. A striking contrast to his acclaimed men’s line (nominated for CFDA awards in 2007 and 2008), which consistently shows almost preppy, American-sportswear-inspired basics. We caught up with Tim after his women’s collection debuted in Paris to chat with him about the differences between New York and Paris as well as his upcoming shoe line.

You always show men’s in New York. Why Paris for the women’s?
My mother traveled a lot, so this was another way to incorporate her influence in the collection. I really wanted to capture the feeling of a small gallery gathering in Paris. Nonetheless, most of those in the audience were from New York, anyway.

How do New York and Paris differ in terms of fashion and style?
I would say Paris can be more opulent than New York in terms of fashion and style. The light in Paris seems different to me, so fashion stands out more in a natural way. New York is more straight to the point. You can sort of identify right away what someone does by how they are dressed. But in Paris you would never know, because it seems that all walks of life appreciate fashion.

A look from fall 2009.Photo: Courtesy of Tim Hamilton

Should we be expecting shoes by Tim Hamilton in the near future?
Yes! Since spring 09, I’ve been designing my own shoes for the show so I can create an entire “Tim Hamilton” look. We just have to find a way to make them relate in terms of cost. As of right now, they’re handmade in Italy and each shoe takes a couple of days’ work.

What was the first designer item you bought?
Oh boy. Do I have to tell? I think I ordered some Junior Gaultier jeans and had a Dries Van Noten vest as a kid. I also loved vintage clothes.

What labels, other than your own, do you wear most?
My look is pretty basic and I wear a lot of black. Lots of Margiela, namely my favorite black pants. I have simple dress shirts that range from Muji to Ann Demeulemeester. I wear my own boots almost every day.

Where do you shop?
I love IF on Grand Street and I like popping my head into Seven NY and Atelier. I never have time to go uptown.

What trends are you into right now?
I prefer “anti-trends” — that is to say someone who is wearing something entirely unique or styling their clothes in a way that I’ve never seen. I like when I see people play with shape and volume.

Any trends you wish would disappear?
The word, actually.

What’s something every man should have in his closet? Every woman?
Every man needs a pair of black pants. I think all women need a modern-cut black dress.

Finish this sentence: I never leave the house without …
A 50-task “to do” list.

See Tim’s fall 2009 Women’s collection.
See Tim’s fall 2009 Men’s collection.

Tim Hamilton Dishes on Debuting His Womenswear in Paris