TWW: How did Heir Apparent come about?
I had a collection antique fabrics, some over 100 years old, that are living and breathing. I felt I needed to do something with these fabrics; they’re beautiful! I wanted to create a couture line using these materials. I had designed couture in the past but those price points were phenomenally too high for an unknown designer. So I decided I should scale down the idea, start with accessories. These are investment pieces that you can then go wear with anything. Dress up for a night out or pair them with your favorite jeans.
TWW: Who do you see wearing your line?
Heir Apparent is for those who want to invest in something that’s one of a kind and is made by an artist. You don’t have to raise your wardrobe up, because you can wear with the pieces with anything. It’s a very fun line, it’s seriously fun.
TWW: You make pieces to order as well?
Definitely. That’s what my favorite thing to do is to bespoke, because as a costume designer for movies and theatre I work with a lot of actors and I love to create for the character. The art of sewing and constructing from scratch is really my specialty. I feel like there are certain ways I can manipulate fabrics by hand that I can’t achieve on a machine.
TWW: Here are a few of my favorite Heir Apparent pieces.
Burgundy, silk taffeta tied and pleated with striped, bias, silk, ribbon. The Incroyable (The Incredible) appeared around 1792, French Revolution. They were literally roving bands of angry dandies.
The Crawford Tie: $235
Vintage, black, shadow printed fabric cut as a neckpiece. She is faced with a patina hued, silk taffeta. The silk side is decorated with hand set metal studs.
The Camille Tie: $260
Vintage, black, shadow printed fabric faced with patina hued, silk taffeta. The piece is finished with a very large and ornate victorian, black applique.
New Rose no2 Corsage: $120
As a rose inspired sculpture, she is created from delicate vintage, black, millinery netting and molded with vintage, black, satin ribbon scribbled about. A very intriguing corsage, boutonniere, wrist corsage or hair adornment. Each rose comes with a pearl pin.
*All of the materials used are either sustainable, natural fibers or reclaimed bits of beauty that have been forgotten. Most of Rich’s pieces can be replicated in limited quantity. Each piece is accompanied by its own dustbag and pearl stick pin.
* Photos courtesy of HC Van Urfalian