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"It's My Goal To Re-label Gloves As An Essential Accessory To Any Wardrobe" NYFW Designer Dorthy Gaspar Talks Gloves Vintage Fashion And More

Before the 20th-century, gloves could symbolize a woman's class. Wealthy women had smooth, thin, and healthy looking hands (due to them not working or helping with house choirs) while housewives had more homely looking hands; so they would often wear gloves to cover them. Gloves became worn as everyday attire throughout the '30s, '40s, and '50s - Women would often wear them with formal attire, to sports events, and for manual labor. Now in present time, gloves have become less popular and are mostly worn in the winter. I spoke to Dorthy Gaspar - A designer dedicated to helping people re-discover the glamour that gloves can bring to an outfit.

"It's My Goal To Re-label Gloves As An Essential Accessory To Any Wardrobe" NYFW Designer Dorthy Gaspar Talks Gloves Vintage Fashion And More
Dita Von Teese wearing Gaspar Gloves from the "Dita Von Teese Collection"

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your life? How did it lead you to start designing?

A: "Gaspar comes from three generations of glove-making. I learned the trade from my parents when I was a teenager. Sometime after immigrating to the United States, I found work under another family-owned glove-making company. My expertise improved over time, and eventually, I offered to buy them out to turn the business into my own creation. From there I became a vital source of costuming gloves for movies like Titanic and the Batman trilogy. I also had projects with Broadway shows such as Mama Mia! and The Lion King. Stylists and designers who saw my work then encouraged me to design my own collection, convinced that I had the skill to do so. In 2009, I presented my first collection at New York Fashion Week, which was quite successful, thankfully. Vanity Fair, Women's Wear Daily, W, and Vogue were among those in attendance who picked up on my work and began using my styles in their publications. Over the years, it became a regular occurrence to supply their photoshoots with my gloves. This reach eventually extended internationally to Japan, China, Italy, and Australia, to name a few."


Q: Can you tell me a little bit about the design process? Such as how they’re made and what materials you like to incorporate the most?

A: "I enjoy leather and sheer materials the most. The former requires the most expertise and time to produce, but I learned much of my technique by working with leather. The latter is easier to manipulate so I can craft unique couture styles based on 19th-century influences, for example. My designs often stem from books I read or shows for which I costume. Generally, the '40s and '50s are my favorite periods to draw inspiration from regarding my collections. "

"It's My Goal To Re-label Gloves As An Essential Accessory To Any Wardrobe" NYFW Designer Dorthy Gaspar Talks Gloves Vintage Fashion And More
Olivia Pope wearing Gaspar Gloves on Scandal.

Q: Most people only wear gloves in the winter time, and when they do they don’t really care about the style as long as it keeps their hands warm. How did you develop such a passion for them?

A: "My career has been driven by the desire to re-label gloves as an essential accessory to any wardrobe, as opposed to only being hand-warmers. In recent years, shows like Scandal and American Horror Story put my accessory gloves in the spotlight as the perfect high-fashion piece for women of authority and power."

Q: You fuse old-world craftsmanship with modern fashion, are there any eras in particular that inspire you? How do you maintain such a perfect balance between the two?

A: "I worked with winter gloves early on in my career to learn the trade, but I opened up to different glove types after completing designs for productions which asked for futuristic, seasonless accessories. That innovation led me to believe I could adapt those styles to work in a contemporary, non-fiction setting."

"It's My Goal To Re-label Gloves As An Essential Accessory To Any Wardrobe" NYFW Designer Dorthy Gaspar Talks Gloves Vintage Fashion And More
Lady Gaga wearing Gaspar Gloves on American Horror Story.

Q: How do you feel about gloves not being as appreciated as they once were in the '40s and '50s?

A: "My career has been driven by the desire to re-label gloves as an essential accessory to any wardrobe, as opposed to only being hand-warmers. In recent years, shows like Scandal and American Horror Story put my accessory gloves in the spotlight as the perfect high-fashion piece for women of authority and power. Music icons like Lady Gaga and Madonna incorporated my gloves not only for their performances but for daily wear off-stage."


Q: Which designers from the past, present, or both inspire you the most?

A:"I couldn't really name any off the top of my head, but I drew inspiration many times from the dozens of costume designers I collaborated with over the years."


Q: Over the years, you’ve created many stunning collections; Which one has really stuck with you and why?

A: "My first collection without a doubt. I had so much anxiety surrounding its development, and I knew that it was a make-or-break situation. Either feedback would be generous, and I would be welcomed into the fashion community, or people would reject my work as dated and that would be the end of the story."

"It's My Goal To Re-label Gloves As An Essential Accessory To Any Wardrobe" NYFW Designer Dorthy Gaspar Talks Gloves Vintage Fashion And More
Dita VonTeese wearing "The Femme Totale"

Q: Your collection in collaboration with burlesque star Dita Von Teese Is one of your most vintage-inspired – What did you mostly take inspiration from while creating that collection?
A: "Dita and I have been acquainted for many years. We eventually got together to make a collection because she wanted to combine her passion for gloves with my expertise. The Femme Totale, which was styled after 40s/50s stockings, was probably my favorite design to make because it pushed the limits of my skill, requiring many hours of labor to finish a single pair. The concept behind it was also wonderfully distinctive to Dita's glamorous style. It was a true testament to her innovation and my craftsmanship."


Q: Your designs have been worn by many other celebrities, is there a design in particular that you’ve designed for a celebrity that has really stuck with you?
 A: "When Titanic released, it was the first project of mine where my gloves would be featured on the big screen. The film's incredible reception aside, seeing Kate Winslet descend the stairs during the banquet scene with her gorgeous dress and my gloves was deeply emotional for me. I could barely hold back my tears!"

"It's My Goal To Re-label Gloves As An Essential Accessory To Any Wardrobe" NYFW Designer Dorthy Gaspar Talks Gloves Vintage Fashion And More
Katy Perry wearing Gaspar Gloves.

Q: What’s your advice for someone who wants to start incorporating gloves into their wardrobe all year round?

A: "Be bold and adventurous. See gloves as an accessory-equivalent to jewelry, the kind of item to make an outfit really click."

Q: Any up and coming designs or projects that we can all look forward to?

A: "I can't say too much for confidentiality reasons, but audiences will certainly see many more of my 50s styles worn by household names in television and film over the next couple of years."

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