Laurel Berman, Black Halo

Laurel Berman, Black Halo / Black Chalk Magazine

Laurel Berman, Black Halo / Black Chalk Magazine

Editor @Jthnomad

Fashion @Blackhalostyle

Laurel Berman, Black Halo / Black Chalk Magazine

Laurel Berman, Black Halo / Black Chalk Magazine

I am a woman above everything else.” – Jackie Kennedy 

By taking the famous Jackie Kennedy quote “I never leave my house unless I am suitably dressed” to heart, designer Laurel Berman launched her line, Black Halo, with flawless construction, impeccable tailoring and a heavy dose of sex appeal. Black Halo  is known for its popular “Jackie O” Dress that helped to transformed the way women dress today with the elegance of a single dress, inspired by fashion icon Jackie O’s timeless silhouette.

Laurel Berman, Black Halo / Black Chalk Magazine

Laurel Berman, Black Halo / Black Chalk Magazine

Interview with Designer Laurel Berman of Black Halo

Justin Howard for Black Chalk – Tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from?

Laurel Berman for Black Halo – I grew up in Washington state, studied at the San Francisco Academy of Fashion, then moved to LA and started Black Halo in 2002.

JH – What does fashion mean to you?

LB – It’s an expression of my mood on a given day, chameleon-like, always changing and evolving.

Laurel Berman, Black Halo / Black Chalk Magazine

Laurel Berman, Black Halo / Black Chalk Magazine

JH – When did you realize you wanted to become a fashion designer?

LB – After I graduated from Washington State with a Political Science degree I took a look within and asked myself “What is it in my heart that I wanted to do with the rest of my life” and I realized at that moment that fashion was the thing that always mattered in my life so I set off to pursue that dream.

JH – What was the first article of clothing you ever designed?

LB – A pair of Gaucho’s I made in 7th grade.

Laurel Berman, Black Halo / Black Chalk MagazineLaurel Berman, Black Halo / Black Chalk Magazine

Laurel Berman, Black Halo / Black Chalk Magazine

JH – How long does it usually take you to construct a piece? Describe the general process you go through to design and realize a piece of clothing.

LB – My design process always starts with fabrics and inspiration images, then my team and I sketch and create silhouettes, that evolve into groups, that in turn become collections. We are constantly designing dresses/collections as we have over 7 deliveries to make every year.

JH – Who are some of your favorite designers?

LB – Haider Ackermann, Ricardo Tisci, and Alber Elbaz.

Laurel Berman, Black Halo / Black Chalk Magazine

Laurel Berman, Black Halo / Black Chalk Magazine

JH – How do you select your models?

LB – My team and I come up with a particular “look” that we are going for then set up castings with the top agencies in town, narrowing down our selection until we come up with the exact line up/combination which we are seeking.

JH – Do you consider yourself an artist?

LB – I prefer to consider myself a creative entrepreneur blending Art & Commerce seamlessly.

Laurel Berman, Black Halo / Black Chalk Magazine

Laurel Berman, Black Halo / Black Chalk Magazine

JH – What matters to you most as a fashion designer?

LB – Proportion and fit are key for me. I review in great detail the fit of each individual garment to ensure that the specs are correct for production before shipping to our stores/customers.

JH – How do you prepare for a fashion shoot or show?

LB – My team and I find our specific inspiration for the the shoot/show in terms of art direction and follow that through from hair and make-up through castings, through the actual shoot itself.

Laurel Berman, Black Halo / Black Chalk Magazine

Laurel Berman, Black Halo / Black Chalk Magazine

Jh – What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?

LB – Never give up no matter how many “Nos” you receive – persevere and stay true to your course.

JH – How would you define the style your line exemplifies?

LB – I take great pride in that my Point-of-View is so strong that people can easily identify my brand.

Laurel Berman, Black Halo / Black Chalk Magazine

Laurel Berman, Black Halo / Black Chalk Magazine

JH – Where do you get your inspiration?

LB – From museums, to travel, to vintage shopping

JH – What are your favorite fabrics to work with and why?

LB – Stretch Gabardine because of its recovery and it’s forgiving nature – easily covers up a woman’s imperfections

Laurel Berman, Black Halo / Black Chalk Magazine

Laurel Berman, Black Halo / Black Chalk Magazine

JH – Future Plans?

LB – We are hoping to eventually expand into shoes, sunglasses, and fragrances.

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