The Creatives: An Interview with Katrina Whiting

I first met Katrina when she was an art student in high school.  Smart, ambitious, and wicked talented, she is just about to finish a stellar career at Maryland Institute College of Art and is already taking the design world by storm!
As an intern at the branding agency 160over90 and in her work with the Center for Design Practice at MICA she has worked for clients as various as BHLDN, University of California, and the New York Jets.  I caught up with her last winter, to ask her about trending in the design world. 


What are your predictions for design trends in the New Year?

The trends that I'm most familiar with have to do with Graphic Design. There's been a rise in design work moving "off-screen." Hand lettering and traditional printing methods (ie. letterpress, screen printing etc.) have seen a revival as well as retro-style. I think this will continue into the new year as designers continue to crave a non digital platform to create their work.

Participatory Design is another trend that I think will gain further traction in the new year. Websites like blurb.com and lulu.com offer production services (in this case books) allowing anyone the potential to be a designer. Adobe has just released their software into the cloud - making them more accessible than ever to anyone. As the tools of design and production become available to the public I think the role of traditional designers will change. I think designers will find themselves designing systems to activate people interested in design. For example, poster templates and web templates as seen on squarespace.com.


When was the last time you had a fashion epiphany?

A couple weeks ago. I've been trying to collect timeless pieces of clothing that will go with anything, no matter what the trends are. I realized I'm only young once so perhaps I should wear more neon and silly things and stop aspiring to dress just like my mother. 

What is your favorite High brand, low brand? How do you mix high and low?

I love 3.1 Phillip Lim. I love the clean lines that he creates with his Asian influenced clothing. He's able to make smart clean designs that aren't boring. My favorite low brand is Madewell. I hope to mix one day -- when I'm taking in a salary rather than paying for college :)

What is your go-to uniform for a day of work? The weekend?

Depends what my work day is. If I'm printmaking or going to the woodshop I have one pair of jeans that I wear + my super man tee. They're my smock jeans.
If I'm just designing I typically wear dark jeans, my huge circle scarf that I can double as a blanket, and a herringbone men's cardigan. I love clothes that are unisex. I get uncomfortable if I'm dressed too "feminine." I save jewelry and accessories to express my femininity.

What is your favorite ILR piece and why?

The Couplet Ring is my favorite ILR piece. I love the tension between the delicateness and the power of its form. The Couplet's strong verticality is beautifully countered with the negative space and the hand forged texture.

Who are your style icons?

My icons are the many faces that make up the Sartorialist, Humans of NY, and other street style blogs. Recently, I find myself inspired by the "Beautiful Stranger" section of my friend Hanna Kim's blog. Beautiful Strangers are what Hanna calls the unique individuals she chances to encounter on the street. I admire individuals who can carry themselves with poise and still allow their quirkiness to shine through any day of the week.