Karolyn Pho Backstage

By Dominique Hanke

Pictures by Joshua Langston of The Social Life

Karolyn Pho’s collections always make a strong impression, and her beautiful narratives are always a huge part of her design. I was super grateful to grab a few minutes to chat with her about this collection and the direction she is taking the line. Unsurprisingly, the lady herself is as cool as her collection, not to mention her boots! I enjoyed the opportunity to bond over our shared appreciation for unique footwear.

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Pho’s collections often have a very strong silhouette and cut. In the build up to the collection’s release, she talked a lot about the line between masculinity and femininity. This collection, whilst still strong in its feel, incorporated some softer elements.

I asked Pho if it was a conscious choice that she made to do something more masculine but with a softer feel. “Definitely” she replied and referenced the video that she made as a taster for the collection, which features a man wearing pieces from the latest line being shot in a soft and delicate way.


I questioned Pho further about her inspiration for this season:

What is the theme for this collection?

“‘Children of the Corn’. It is a horror film. It has very Amish cult vibes.”

You often have a strong story behind each collection. What is this season’s story?

“The story is around a vagabond. She is traipsing from one place to another, not really having a place to call home.”


Is it is a personal story? Is it reflective of a time in your own life?

“Yes, this comes directly from my personal life. I was living out of a suitcase for nine months, so it was about having so few things that you actually realize are important to you, cutting out all the unnecessary bullshit, and that was what really helped me create this story.”


Where do you see the collection going from here?

“There will always be a story. There is always this character development running in the back of my mind, and I have started working on Fall/Winter just in terms of silhouette and who this girl is. I know where I am going and you’ll soon find out.”

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Make- Up: Romero Jennings with the Mac Pro team

Inspiration: ‘Children of the Corn’, utilitarian and dreamscape – simple yet futuristic.

How to: This look was achieved with contouring and three- dimensional highlighting, creating an angelic glow. The lips were kept neutral, whilst the focus was drawn to the architectural liner with cool interest as it was done with a piece missing. The whole effect combined to create  an edgy, yet pretty look.

Must-have item for this look: MAC’s Luna Cream Colour Base for amazing highlights.


Hair: Charlie Price for Scruples Haircare

Inspiration:  ‘Children of the Corn’,  light, airy and wind blown, whilst playing with Androgyny giving the hair a tomboyish style.

How to: The look was achieved by slicking back the sides, whilst giving volume on top. This was  created by a slight pompadour at the front of the hair.

Must-have item for this look:  Scruples Pearl Collection Blow Dry Spray for the slightly dirty/ textural look, without looking greasy.