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She’s the girl with the most cake, and now she’s the designer of a clothing line, too. Actress, singer and nineties fashion icon Courtney Love teamed up with Nasty Gal for her inaugural collection, which made its debut to great fanfare at the fashion retailer’s flagship store on Melrose in Los Angeles on Wednesday night.
Featuring 18 pieces, Love, Courtney by Nasty Gal is a fresh take on the classic grunge style with which Love became synonymous, ranging from babydoll dresses to a kimono and a catsuit — all imbued with a rock ‘n’ roll vibe. Together with guests including Eli Roth, Catt Sadler, Liz Goldwyn and Peter Brandt, Love and Nasty Gal founder and chairwoman Sophia Amoruso toasted their collaboration with a cake and a champagne-fueled in-store fete, where Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast serenaded the crowd with classics from Love’s band, Hole, like “Celebrity Skin” and “Malibu.”
Here, Amoruso and Love open up about their shared passion project, which hit stores and online on Thursday.
Preta-a-Reporter: This is Nasty Gal’s first-ever celebrity collaboration. How did it come about?
Sophia Amoruso: It was love at first sight. I knew who Courtney was and she’s just as cool and stylish as you think she is. She’s like a walking piece of rock history and knows so much about fashion and what she does and doesn’t like. It was an instant star-crossed collaboration, and its been effortless in many ways. It was a lot of hard work by our team.
Courtney Love: I have an agent called Mitch Grossbach who started the fashion department at CAA. His other clients are like Kanye, Carine Roitfeld, Riccardo Tisci. He then went to Relativity. I had these really over-the-top dresses I was making that cost me a fortune and were never going to sell, but I liked them. They were art pieces. I brought them to him and he was like, ‘I know exactly who you need to meet.’
My daughter [Frances Bean Cobain] is a huge fan of Nasty Gal as well, and I looked at [Sophia’s book] Girl Boss, which I loved. Sophia is exactly what you’d expect. She runs a very tight ship in a really cool way. The DNA of the company really matched what I wanted to do. I’ve never put my name on anything. I’ve been very careful that way. I’ve been asked to, but I just never have. I’ve been a muse for people and I’ve done a few things but I’ve never put my name on anything. There were some other contenders and they didn’t even come close to Sophia. I can really relate to her, and how hard she worked to get where she is.
Amoruso: Thanks, Courtney. For us, Nasty Gal was named after an album and a song by a really outspoken woman in music — Bette Davis. For our first collaboration to be with someone who is an icon in music history and who is just as cool today as she was 20 years ago is such a natural, perfect fit.
How did you decide on the look of the collection? Courtney, were you inspired by any pieces in your closet?
Love: We decided to update some of my more iconic pieces of the ‘90s. Then we looked at pieces that were not so ‘90s. There’s a kimono that I wore two years ago — I’ve been wearing kimonos for a long time — and then there’s some lingerie that I’m not going to strut around in without clothes on top of, but if you’re nineteen you can. I think the Nasty Gal customers are going to respond to it because it’s modern. It’s not just a ‘90s retro collection, it’s a collection that’s really updated.
Amoruso: If Courtney says, “I want a head-to-toe floral lace catsuit,” you find a way you make one.
What was the biggest challenge you faced making this collaboration?
Love: It took almost a year, so being patient.
Courtney, why do you think your style transcends generations?
Love: I’ve honestly no idea. I just wore what I wanted to wear. I remember literally the day I walked out of the house wearing a slip and a cardigan and thought, “This is comfortable and I’ll play a rock show in this.” When I was starting my rock band I wanted to copy Patti Smith and Stevie Nicks or a combination, with a little Nick Cave thrown in, and I failed at all of that, so I just wore what was comfortable but cool. I had no sense that it was becoming a trend or that it would become a trend. Although I will be the first to admit that I wanted to be successful — and I’ve always been transparent about that — I never had any idea that the clothes I was going to wear were going to have any kind of impact. But I did know that was one of the rules of becoming a rock star.
Amoruso: I think Courtney was the first person to nail the rolled-out-of-bed-look-like-a-sex-pot-not-trying-too-hard rock ‘n’ roll girl [look], and every girl wants to be that. There’s the way the French do it and then there’s the way Courtney Love does it.
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