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Style & Design

Design duo The Blonds on JLo's wardrobe controversy, designing for the stars, and more

the-blonds

Image Credit: Mike Ruiz

The Blonds, Phillipe and David (right), are famous for their high-glam outfits, having designed for Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Barbie, and many, many others. But they still didn’t expect a dust-up earlier this week when longtime client Jennifer Lopez performed on Britain’s Got Talent in one of their feathered bodysuits, inspiring calls that she was inappropriately dressed for a family program. “I mean, she wears stockings, and she’s got long sleeves on and a turtleneck for that performance, so it just seems sort of strange,” David says. Nevertheless, “There’s a lot of conservative [clothing] out there that they have to choose from, and I really don’t think that’s the goal when doing a performance.”

We checked-in with David on the heels of the Lopez controversy to get his thoughts, hear about the long-list of celebrity collaborations, and a tease about what’s next.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First, tell me about how JLo came to you for the newest collaboration: the bodysuit with the feathered sleeves.
David Blond: We’ve been working with her for years, so every time she kind of wants to do something fun and glamorous, that’s one of the things we do best. She comes to us quite often. But for this particular album, she was coming out with a song called “Live It Up,” and it’s all about glamour and luxury and fashion, so this particular video they were doing was all these different scenes of different ways to live it up — be it on the beach, on vacation in a fabulous location, in a fashion show, that sort of thing… so that’s where we came in. She needed something really amazing to wear for her fashion show scene. I think the bird thing is about freedom — those pieces that she wears during the video are about flying free like a bird.

What’s that collaborative process like now? I’m imagining it’s different than when you’re working with someone for the first time.
From the beginning, it was really easy to work with her because we’re all Latin, so we all have that sort of flavor going on. I think we both have the same sort of feeling and we love the sparkle, we love the glamour, and we like taking things over the top.

You’ve done some stuff really recently for Beyoncé. What’s that relationship like?
She’s another client that we’ve been working with for quite a long time and again. We have a similar view on how we thinks things should look. In terms of show, I mean we always believe if it’s a show it’s supposed to be over-the-top, it’s supposed to be glamorous, it’s supposed to have sparkle. That’s the whole point. It’s supposed to be entertaining and provide an escape for the audience. And this last collaboration that we did together for her tour was supposed to be a celebration of the female form, so that’s basically what we did. We wanted to do the most over-the-top thing we could possibly think of in the most glamorous way.

I imagine working with Lady Gaga, it’s just like so many ideas, just so much energy.
I think it’s limitless, and I really appreciate it, and I think it’s really amazing what she’s been able to do and how she’s been able to bring this type of over-the-top glamour and costume into the mainstream. She’s reached people globally, so that’s in turn kind of made everyone get interested and pass on and try to experiment with what they look like, which is amazing.

You must get approached with new clients or partners all the time. What makes you say yes to something now?
At this point, we do have to be more selective in terms of our involvement when an artist is coming up — whether it’s the record label or one of their managers or the stylist will come to us with a new artist and see if we’d like to do something or see if there’s any possibility there. We try to look at the artist all the way around, but we do everything — we can work with someone like Miranda Lambert or Lady Gaga. There’s no limit, like I said, but it has to be a certain type of client, I think, for us to mesh well.

I was looking at the Fall/Winter collection for 2013, the horror-inspired clothing. I was really struck by a lot of the pieces. Was that a weird inspiration for you? Have you ever been surprised by an inspiration for a piece or collection?
For this last collection, it’s funny because we don’t really do anything dark. Everything we do is always bright and has a very positive aura about it — it’s always magic and sparkle and glamorous. But this time, I mean, we’re huge film buffs and we’re huge fans of Stanley Kubrick and Hitchcock and Clive Barker and all these great movie producers and directors, and we’ve always wanted to do something based on those films and how they inspire us. So we kind of went there, we went to a little bit of a darker place and put our glamorous twist on it. If it’s going to be blood, it’s going to be crystal blood.

When you’re working, where is that sweet spot at the intersection of over-the-top and glamorous and great for a performer?
I think the thing that we most enjoy is we do have pieces that we do for ourselves, where when we do the finales of our shows or when Phillipe opens or closes, that piece is always something that we push as far as we possibly can. He can barely walk in it. We go there, and that’s the ultimate. Obviously, you have to make concession for performance at some point. There is a place where you have to meet. But, with each client, the great thing is we get to express things that are so different with each personality that that’s the fun part about it — the variety. It’s always something new.

I know this might not be an easy question, but do you have a favorite collection or look, or something that stands out to you from your work?
I mean, most recently I’d say our favorite was definitely the finale from this collection. It was fully crystal-encrusted bodysuit. From his fingertips to his toes up to his chin, he was completely covered in all these rubies. It’s like sequins, beads, crystals — I think it weighs probably like, I think I’m low-balling, I would say it weighs about 40 pounds. Because the shoes are covered, the fingers are covered with gloves. It’s just insane.

Before I let you go, I have to ask: What’s next?
At the moment, we have stuff coming up but I can’t really talk about it. So you will just have to keep your eyes peeled. We have a lot coming up this season and the show’s going to be amazing. It’s going to be really special and we’re doing something that we’ve never done before — let’s put it that way.

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Read more:
‘Britain’s Got Talent’: Jennifer Lopez sparks controversy with racy performance outfit
‘Mad Men’ costume clue or conspiracy theory: Is Megan Draper Sharon Tate?
Designer Vera Wang remembers her fashion firsts

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