Denver designer, Mistress Fogg, is the artistic maker behind her clothing brand, Fogg Couture which she describes as dark and beautiful wearable art pieces. Although Fogg has minimal training in fashion design, she inserted herself into the industry having intensive sewing knowledge from her grandmother who taught her at a young age. Furthermore, Fogg learned how to read a pattern a few years later while she was a part of 4-H.
For Fogg, she first discovered her love for fashion design through working on pieces for her family — whether it was jeans, skirts, curtains, etc. “Other than my grandmothers, no one in my family sews. It became my job to hem skirts, patch my father’s work jeans, fix curtains, etc.,” explained Fogg. “My mother was big into Old West reenactment so I learned about how they were made quickly — or how to change a piece to make it look more historically accurate. However, I kept tweaking and changing things and I developed through a love of creating my own stuff.”
Fogg Couture will be featured this year at Denver Fashion Week (DFW) Fall ’19 on Day Eight for the Denver Originals Designers Fashion Show. 303 Magazine caught up with Fogg to discuss her handmade designs and what it means for her to be a part of DFW this season. 303 Magazine: What is the concept of Fogg Couture? How and why did the idea to start your own handmade, wearable art line come into play?
Mistress Fogg: Originally, it was meant to be a Steampunk clothing line because I had much knowledge of historic clothing. At the time, it was becoming very popular, but it didn’t satisfy me. I thought about stopping the whole thing because I had basically been labeled a costume maker, which was all people would come to me for. After, I started making witch and wizard hats full time a couple of years ago through my other company, Queen Mab’s Store. That took over my life so FC stuff was pushed back into the shadows. However, it became my artistic outlet. I started doing what inspired me. This included incorporating my own artwork into a lot of the pieces. It has become dark and beautiful and I’m so proud of it.
303: What is the meaning behind the name, Fogg Couture?
MF: Going back to my steampunk origins, “Fogg” comes from Phileas Fogg — the main character from Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days. I added “Couture” because I wanted it to convey a high quality. I have toyed with the idea of changing the name.
303: Can you tell us the inspiration behind your clothing, hair slides, jewelry and headdresses?
MF: I still love my historic clothing so I take a lot of inspiration from that — especially when it comes to my silhouettes. I have always adored the darker side of things. The Victorian gothic aesthetic gives me life. Lately, however, I am drawn to a colonial-era aesthetic (think Salem Witch Trials). I find a great beauty in death, so that’s where the skulls come. Even the smallest muskrat skull can be turned into something fashionable. In Victorian jewelry, there are many reminders of death. I feel like mine are just a little more obvious.
303: In three words, how would you describe your latest collection for Denver Fashion Week?
MF: Dark. Sexy. Lace.
303: Who are some other notable designers you look up to?
MF: I adore Steve McQueen and Bob Mackie. My new obsession is Sandy Powell. She did the outfits for The Favourite. In addition, Eiko Ishioka, who did costumes for Dracula.
303: What does it mean for you to be a part of DFW this year?
MF: It means a lot! I’m very thankful that Charlie took a chance on me and the lovely William Maestas encouraged me to contact him. I feel like this is almost a rebirth of sorts for me. Moreover, I feel this is the first line I have done that I could be unapologetically me at a show I didn’t produce myself.
303: What are your goals for Fogg Couture in the next five to 10 years?
MF: I would love to get more established as a couture designer. I also would like to get a ready-to-wear line going again. This year, I was invited to participate in New York Fashion Week, but I didn’t have the ability to do so. In the future, I would love to be able to. Photos courtesy of Fogg Couture.