L’Officiel chatted with Phoenix Keating on his picturesque catsuit and latest capsule collection ‘Project Design Felix’ in partnership with Dreamworks, and FirstThread, commemorating a century old iconic animated figure ‘Felix – The Cat’. It also brings top Australian designers such as Mariam Seddiq and Nylons under one creative roof.
What memories does ‘Felix The Cat’ bring out in from you?
The idea of a Felix the Cat memory is somewhat of a timeless thought, the black and white images and iconic character has resonated through the generations. Even though Felix the Cat is almost 100 years old, the colours and persona of the character still feel current and relevant today – something that few brands, personalities or characters ever achieve.
The cat is really out of the bag? What made you choose this very collaboration with First Thread & Dreamworks?
“When The First Thread invited me to be a part of this project my first thought was of memories of my Father talking to me about Felix the Cat’s playful and rebellious nature and how this connected with him as he had a lot of cheekiness in his character. I can’t help but smile when I think about these conversations, so it has been an honour for me to bring these memories into my design for this capsule collection.
Also, people have often mistaken my name as Felix over the years… Perhaps he is my alter ego…!
You are designing a catsuit, how different would it be from the actual Felix The Cat and what elements will you add from your end and how hard was it to give full justice to a century old iconic animated figure?
It is always a challenge to be asked to create pieces that pay homage to an icon. I believe it’s important to reflect on the era and understand what has happening in that moment to make Felix the Cat so influential. As a result I’ve created a vintage, 1920s inspired catsuit (jumpsuit) that draws inspiration for the whimsical figures of women of the time while contemporising the idea by using a sequin fabric, yet staying true to the black and white colour palette. The choice of sequin fabric also plays with light and reflection with the idea of bringing the 1919 2D cartoon character into 2016 3D life.
To view/buy the ‘Felix The Cat Inspired Catsuit’: www.thefirstthread.com.au/felix/felix-the-cat-inspired-cat-suit.html
The capsule collection is exclusively available for order and purchase from 1st September 2016 through online fashion retailer supporting emerging designers The First Thread – www.theﬁrstthread.com.au/felix