Enduring color palettes, the omission of pattern and posturing detail, bold shapes or angles that demand attention without distraction? It seems to be hard to decide the culminating factors that serve a classic piece of womenswear. Since the valiant birth of Alasdair, designer April Johnson’s work has embraced these traits with grace and manifested them with her favorite fabric, silk.
Emerging from a stylist, working with publications that include Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, and Rolling Stone, Johnson’s chic take on wearable pieces has stood out from the material mire. It’s fitting that she lives in one of New York’s coolest neighborhoods, the Gowanus, a part of Brooklyn that has fast become the stomping ground for many of New York’s most design savvy creative types.
“The experience of dressing other people has taught me that it is the details or the fabrics and the cuts of the clothing that make you feel luxurious. I found that most women and men in my life are looking for timeless staples in their closets. That is the inspiration of Alasdair.” Johnson said, as she explained how her original garments were made purely for herself, and then for friends, before striding down a commercial avenue.
Given that she began her career as an accessories editor at Vogue, it’s hardly surprising that Johnson is a fan of black, navy and neutrals – the perfect shades to set off pops of color and shimmering add-ons. And as far as fabrics go, her attitude is effortless elegance. “I think silk is my favorite,” she said. The importance of ease and wearability permeates through the cuts and curves of her garments – pantsuits and plunging necklines, which look equally at home on runway models and boardroom beauties as any laissez-faire ladies about town.
Her understanding of the needs of women and their wardrobes is both innate and learned from her years of servicing the stylish bluster of glossy pages and catwalks. And it has stood her in good stead, with Alasdair inviting wide eyes from Europe – the label dominated a Selfridges window display in London this April. “That was really lovely,” said Johnson. “It is so fantastic to see Alasdair cross the pond”