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…and She Rocked It!
By Sasha Fastovskiy
“I’ve had tons of messages from people I don’t know, telling me that they love my clothes, that I’m an inspiration; what is going on? I’m just back in my room, on my lunch break from class, checking my email! Oh My Gosh, it’s been wild, I have fans!” That is how it is now for Julie Mollo, 20, the multi-tasking, fast-typing, Katy Perry-dressing fashion guru from Grafton, MA. “I really work for it, and am always pushing myself – I think that has a lot to do with it.” What else has a lot to do with it? Talent, a fearless attitude, and a few trips to the grocery store.
Writing to me in a stream-of-consciousness-I’m-so-excited-
about-everything-I-forgot-to-use-commas manner from her apartment in Brooklyn NY, where she is a student at the prestigious Pratt Institute, Mollo explains how her freshly chaotic life is going along just the way she prefers. “I’m basically freelancing out of my dorm room – which is wild – between classes and doing extensive amounts of homework, running around the city, and updating all of my websites. I am constantly busy, and never let myself just sit down and relax; I need to be that way. I like to always have something going on, I won’t let myself be bored.”
Always dressing up and posing in hand-crafted homemade outfits, Mollo was a budding designer from the get go. It was during high school that she really began drawing and then sewing what she drew. In between all of the sewing, drawing, scooping ice cream for cash and daily babysitting, Mollo put together a grand portfolio and developed an eye for clever mentors, naming Betsey Johnson as an idol: “The woman is in her 60s and still does a cartwheel at the end of every runway show wearing bright red lipstick, glitter and a tutu. Someday, that will be me.”
A little help from Katy Perry didn’t hurt the gal, either. “The one and only Katy Perry was someone I wanted to dress; she is really my ideal customer. She is rock and roll, old-school glamour, a sense of humor, fun, and gorgeous. I looked her up on MySpace, not really expecting anything to happen, but it did.” Through a string of emails, Katy’s stylist contacted Mollo and requested clothes for a magazine shoot. “I’m freaking out. I rush home early from babysitting, put together a 9 pound box of ‘fabulous’ and overnight it to L.A. The next day I see pictures of her wearing my stuff on stage during the Vans Warped Tour.” That wasn’t the last time she’d hear from the kiss-a-licious singer, either; Perry’s worn the Mollo design in performances on “The Today Show” and the MTV VMAs (Mollo’s reaction: “I was making last minute changes, was up all night, and finally shipped it out to L.A. I never even heard how it fit or if she liked it until I was watching the VMAs and she came on wearing the romper, unpeeling the banana sequined peels. I was screaming, shaking, freaking out! SO cool!”), as well as on magazine covers ~ and there are still some to-be-announced outfits we’ll be seeing around as well.
However wild Katy Perry’s costume shenanigans might have been, Julie Mollo and her designs are infinitely two steps ahead. “My clothing is young, fun, and loud, it has a sense of humor. I think that everyone should have fun when they get dressed. I’m not the kind of designer that is inspired by the colors of the forest at sunrise. When I am inspired by something in particular, it is obvious. When I was first sketching for Katy Perry, I knew she liked fruit, so I gave her fruit. I was inspired by a banana. I am not subtle, gentle or discreet by any means.”
While we may not see the Julie Mollo Collection out in stores anytime soon ~ she does still have to finish design school, after all ~ her message is sure to get across. “I really just think fashion should be fun. I design based on certain shapes and think it’s so fun for other people to look at my clothes and ask, ‘Is that a tooth on the top of that dress? Are those sunglasses on her chest? Is that a martini?’ I have a few more tricks up my sleeve. Another fruit, a drink, and a body part? Stay tuned!”
Craving more of Julie’s designs? Head to www.juliemollo.com!