For a first-timer, navigating PV can be a tiring task. However, that was far from the case for actress/model Milla Jovovich and former model Carmen Hawk, the duo behind the Jovovich Hawk line that made its debut last fall at Fred Segal. Not only did the two women attend all four days of the fair, they arrived at 8 a.m. each day, waiting for the doors to open. “I can’t imagine doing it any other way,” says Jovovich. “There’s so much to see. We were like kids in a candy store.”

While much of their first collection was made with found vintage fabrics, the designers are now striving to incorporate more readily available materials into the line. “We’ll still use vintage,” says Hawk, over a midday coffee break. “We just want to grow the line and to do that, we need to mix in more basics.”

In fact, it’s Jovovich who champions the basics, which for spring 2006 will feature more cottons done up in “different ways,” says Hawk. “We’re going forward with a washed, soft look for the season, which we’re in the process of developing.” That said, she retains a soft spot for “tacky” fabrics, explaining,  “I love to make something gross look amazing.”

For her part, Jovovich maintains that much of her inspiration is instinctual. “I do not have a fashion background, so for me it’s more about the books I read, paintings I see and things I soak in,” she says. “I’m constantly sketching.”

Friends for 10 years, Hawk says she and Jovovich started the line because they were “two girls who wanted certain things in our wardrobe. We couldn’t find them, so we created them. The line is not so conceptual, it’s not precious. It’s really filled with classic looks that have a touch of irony.”

It’s the women’s distinct personalities, explains Jovovich, that define their design sensibility. “We are all about contrast,” she notes. “When I met Carmen, I was more boyish and she was feminine and sexy, but strong.” Now, Jovovich admits she’s looking to evolve her style into something more feminine but “cool” at the same time. “By working on this line, I’ve realized that you can be feminine and sexy in something, but still be able to run around in it and be comfortable,” she says.

When it comes to inspirations, Hawk is quick to mention actress Barbara Stanwyck (“so feminine, yet extremely strong”) and the film character Annie Hall (“she realized you don’t have to dress sexy to be sexy”). Meanwhile, Jovovich has a penchant for old Hollywood, choosing Marilyn Monroe as her style icon: “It’s all about the boobs and butt.”

Designer favorites, meanwhile, include Sonia Rykiel and Dries Van Noten for Hawk, and Chloé, Donna Karan and Prada for Jovovich. In fact, she says, “Miuccia Prada first encouraged me to move forward with a clothing line and even had some of my sketches made into samples.”

Hawk and Jovovich plan to open a New York showroom in November and add about eight stores to their roster by January 2006. (Currently, the line is exclusive to Fred Segal.) But for now, they’re just fine with their small, grassroots operation. “We’re cutting patterns on my dining room table,” says Jovovich, “and there are two sewers doing everything in the second bedroom of my house."

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