Purple Magazine
— F/W 2006 issue 6

Liz Goldwyn

photography by MATTHIAS VRIENS 
interview by OLIVIER ZAHM 
OLIVIER ZAHM — Your family basically built Hollywood. Why haven’t you been tempted to act?
LIZ GOLDWYN — I’m a director and a producer. I prefer to be in control. My grandmother was a silent film actress but my grandfather was a producer, as is my father, and two of my brothers. Another brother is an actor and a director also… So yes movies do run in my family blood.
OLIVIER ZAHM  — Where does your love for fashion come from?
LIZ GOLDWYN — My father showed me many Fellini films when I was little. The first film I ever saw was 8 1/2, so I was always interested in an over-the-top, exaggerated sense of style or how clothing creates “character.” I love the stories connected to clothing—it’s an intimate way to learn about our own history and culture, like storytelling passed down through garments. For the same reason I find vintage or old clothes beautiful—to discover the lives that one piece of clothing has led. My mother has some beautiful clothing, but isn’t as into it as I am. My father, on the other hand, is a total clothes horse! He has all his suits custom made, and might have a bigger closet than I do! He really understands my interest in clothing and couture, and appreciates it.
OLIVIER ZAHM — Where does your interest in burlesque, explored in your first film, come from?
LIZ GOLDWYN — I started collecting burlesque costumes when I was eighteen. I found two old costumes in a flea market and photographed myself in them for my thesis in photography. When I tried to re-create the glamour of old pin ups, I found I lacked the confidence and “sexuality” that original burlesque queens seemed to emanate. So I wrote letters to the women I’d bought the costumes from. One led me to another and then it took off into ten years of research.
OLIVIER ZAHM — What’s the appeal of burlesque to women today?
LIZ GOLDWYN — Women certainly gained freedom thanks to women’s liberation movements. But I also have a reaction against the idea that in order to be taken seriously—professionally, intellectually—we must be devoid of sexuality and of that which makes us a sexy woman. Burlesque queens had so much power and control by understanding and using their sexuality. Of course, it’s a fine line. But burlesque queens raised the delicacy of the tease to an art form.
OLIVIER ZAHM — What was it about jewellery that inspired you to start designing you own line?
LIZ GOLDWYN — It’s tactile unlike film: something you can touch and wear, a solid mass as opposed to an ephemeral mixture of emotion, sound and image.
OLIVIER ZAHM — You collect dresses. Can you describe one of your favorites?
LIZ GOLDWYN — This changes from moment to moment, but it’s always connected with my own sentiments. I’m always falling in love with clothes, new and old. When I meet a designer who I think has a unique sensibility and talent, a rawness and true artistic nature, I fall a bit in love with them as well—no matter if they’re a man or woman!

Narcissa Drive, stylist — Kate Lee, make-up — Rolando Beauchamps @ BUMBLE AND BUMBLE, hair

[Table of contents]

F/W 2006 issue 6

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