August Getty Talks About His New Collection, “The White Hart,” His Process, and More
Fashion has always been a way of life for world-renowned fashion designer August Getty. In 2014, August premiered his 2015 Spring/Summer collection at the Mercedes-Benz fashion show in New York City during New York Fashion Week. Just one year later, he collaborated with David LaChappelle for his 2016 Spring/ Summer collection, “Thread of Man.” Flash-forward to this year, where he made his third appearance at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week debuting his Spring/Summer 2020 collection, “The White Hart.”
At just 25, August’s distinct vision and support of inclusivity makes him one of the most sought-after designers in the fashion industry today. You may remember the founder of fashion house August Getty Atelier as the designer who dressed Bebe Rexha for Clive Davis’ pre-Grammys party or have seen his genius displayed on some of the fiercest fashionistas in the game, including Lady Gaga, Cher, Jennifer Lopez, and the Kardashians, to name a few.
August is also paving the way for the next generation of designers and is a champion of LGBTQ+ rights and advancing the global fight against discrimination and prejudice. He spoke exclusively with Miami Living about “The White Hart,” his philanthropic involvement, and his love for Miami —read on to see what Miami hot-spots he recommends.
Was fashion always the career path for you? When did you first realize this was what you wanted to be doing?
August Getty: Fashion and I have been intertwined like DNA for a very long time. My mother tells me stories of how at the age of 3, I would take my napkin from the dinner table and wrap it around my silverware like a dress. I guess you could say, I never chose to be a designer, as it has always been a part of who I am. It has become something that I have fully embraced.
How does it feel to be presenting at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week for a third time?
AG: My Spring/Summer 2020 collection titled, “The White Hart” was my third couture presentation, and I couldn’t have been more thrilled to be back. I feel exhilarated every day I’m there, and I am truly thankful. As a designer from Los Angeles, I hope to keep bringing my point of view but with the utmost respect of Parisian culture. I will never stop pushing boundaries, especially my own, and now I have Paris—a beautiful city with such a powerful history—to be the set of my stories.
How do you prepare?
AG: Mentally preparing for each show has become an art form in itself. Much like my process of searching for inspiration, I must be completely alone before my shows. Then I drown myself in every word, every picture, and every emotion that I went through and studied to create the piece. I must personify my muse, the Getty Girl, so I need to know everything she’s feeling. I have to become her, while holding onto myself, in order to eventually pull myself out of her world and back to the present. It is also important to prepare for after the show is over because it is a feeling like no other.
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Tell us about your Spring/Summer 2020 collection, “The White Hart,” what were your inspirations?
AG: “The White Hart” is a completely new idea and format and is different than anything I’ve ever done before. It is much more interactive. You step out of this world and into a sacred garden—a magical place of enchantment and rebirth, protected by a new race that bears no prejudice, only kindness. A place very much needed after my Fall/Winter 2019 collection, “ΣNIGMA.”
Can you describe your creative process?
AG: My creative process is a bit more unruly. I tend to think of my creativity as a river. When you swim down a river, you may want to turn left, but the river will always bring you to where it wants to go. I surround myself with inspiration—whether it be a movie, a time period, or a myth—and completely indulge myself in it. I create the story. For my previous collection, I was initially inspired by stories of an unspoken Venetian palace, where harm provokes all that look upon it. So I thought to myself, “Who lived there? Was it a woman? Did a man break her heart?” and then the collection unraveled itself to me. Don’t let anyone tell the story for you. When it comes to your dreams, never take “no” for an answer.
You are philanthropic, what organizations do you work with?
AG: Philanthropy is something I am incredibly passionate about. The love of giving back and helping others is something my mother instilled in me and my sister at a very young age, and it has only grown since then. Being an advocate for my community, the LGBTQ+ community, is not something I take lightly. I am currently involved with the Los Angeles LGBT Center, amfAR, GLAAD, and UNICEF NextGen. Every year, my family and I travel to Davos, Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum, which brings together the most influential leaders in politics, business, and other industries to try and improve the state of the world. Last year, my family and I brought GLAAD to our world leaders’ attention to amplify LGBTQ+ quality and inclusion on the world stage. All of these organizations are like family to us. We love them all very much, as well as the people they help.
What are some of your favorite spots to visit in Miami?
AG: I have always said… Los Angeles is where my family is, Paris is where my mind is, but my heart? My heart belongs to Miami. The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, where I shot my Spring/Summer 2017 collection, “305,” is a huge inspiration behind the Getty Girl. I highly suggest taking a friend or walking through the gardens alone to dream up a little story of your own. Looking for a little break, a good mojito, and a show-like-no-other? Visit my chosen family, my sisters at Palace Bar on Ocean Drive. I promise you haven’t seen anything like this before, and make sure to say I sent you! Lastly, something I encourage everyone to do in Miami is to simply walk around. Breathe in the energy of the city. You’ll see why I’ve had a love affair with the city for so many years.
What are three things that make you feel like your best self?
AG: I feel my best when I don’t look back, only forward, when I spend time with my loved ones, playing with clothes and makeup, and creating our own little world. One more thing that probably keeps me the most sane is a good bath with a nice glass of red wine.