(Photos via Katie McCurdy)Katie Gallagher's presence. Or, at least, I felt like I was walking around in a place that lived in a far corner of her mind. The lights were dim, the walls were covered in soft velvet, and everywhere you turned you were blinded by a bright stage light or the gaze of an ethereal being (hint: model) lounging on black leather couches, picking away at bowls of candy corn. It was official: photographer Katie McCurdy and I had landed smack-dab in the middle of the backstage preparations for Katie Gallagher's New York Fashion Week presentation.
I met Katie the last week in August. She invited me over to her apartment in Chinatown for a photo shoot and interview with her for a UO At Home feature (coming this October and shot by Bobby Whigham!). I had come baring T-shirt samples—they were soft, dainty and delightfully covered in Halloween-themed drawings done by the host herself. We were photographing the Katie Gallagher X UO Collection for the first time since their creation.
Fast-forward two weeks as we were happily photographing the collection on a group of models, hand-picked to display the T-shirts as a tribute to their unique looks. After shooting a few of our favorite girls, we walked upstairs to the presentation. As we waited behind thick curtains, we anxiously awaited to see what laid ahead of us. Although we watched as each model was individually scurried up the stairs after finishing hair and makeup, we were still blown away when the curtains opened.
As we took a step forward, the air was filled with the scent of fresh flowers. The room was light and pleasant, and you were immediately greeted by a row of models, lined up one by one, each in beautifully fitting ivory, pink and black fabric ranging from sheer bodysuits to full-length dresses; leather bra tops to lacy skirts. Katie Gallagher's SS14 Collection Bloom was certainly as beautiful as it's name would suggest.
From my first meeting with Katie, I feel I had watched her bloom myself—from a quiet girl answering the door, smiling warmly while answering questions about her family, and eventually laughing into the night as we ate tacos and drank margaritas; to a woman, standing strong and proud in the back of the room, watching the camera bulbs flashing upon her hard work as the crowd packed the room in awe, once again, of what she had created. Our acquaintanceship, though brief and business-based, gave me a sense of what Katie Gallagher is really like, and the greatness she is capable of.
A special thanks to our hosts Katie Gallagher and Chesley with One PR for letting us get in the way of things and be a part of such a special day. —Ally
Want more? Shop the Katie Gallagher X UO Collection and keep a look out for our UO At Home feature with Katie during the month of October!