After a brief hiatus, Los Angeles-based designer Katherine Tsina Bird is back with her evening-focused collection of ready-to-wear, Avion Feminin, which is set to relaunch for resort.
Bird debuted Avion Feminin in 2012 with a made-to-measure concept and counted Diane Kruger, Katie Holmes, Heidi Klum and Jodie Foster among her clientele. With the relaunch, she will still offer custom pieces to her clients through private appointments, but also plans to open the collection to wholesale buyers for the first time in addition to selling through her e-commerce site. The resort collection features a clean, modern approach to daywear separates, cocktail dresses and evening gowns and plays with oversize proportions and a few feminine prints.
Bird, who also keeps an office in Manhattan’s West Village where she oversees the line’s production, had a rather circuitous path to fashion design. After earning a bachelor’s degree in contemporary dance from the University of California at Berkeley, the Palo Alto, Calif., native and wife of musician Andrew Bird trained as a classical modern dancer at the Merce Cunningham studio in New York. To “avoid getting a real job post-college,” she then worked as a fit model for designers, becoming acquainted with and interested in the fashion industry. She pursued her curiosity by studying apparel design at The New School’s Parsons School of Design and completed a business internship at Balenciaga’s Manhattan headquarters before starting on her own collection.
“I think a lot more about real women wearing the clothes and what the demands are,” said Bird, who put the collection on hold for a couple years after giving birth to her son. “I think it’s been a good experience for me to work privately with a lot of women; all of that has informed my diverse range of silhouettes. I designed these really fitted cocktail dresses when I started and now I’m doing more separates, too,” she said.
For resort, Bird found herself drawing on her past experience as a dancer. “I was looking at these really beautiful old photographs from the Sixties, specifically at the interesting ways the dancers were tying their dance clothes and the silhouettes,” she said. “I’m always thinking about movement and how something is going to work on a body.”
The collection, scheduled to deliver to select retailers this fall, opens at $600 for separates and tops out at $3,000 for gowns.