When fashion designer Tyne Hall
got into the goth aesthetic a few years ago, she finally felt at home. Since her college days at CU Boulder, she'd been designing clothes. But a few years later, she took a deep dive into the gothic and metal subcultures that favor the dark side, and her fashion naturally followed.
"It kind of unlocked something I always had an interest in but never really explored," says Hall, whose birthday also happens to be on Halloween. "The more I started looking at things like horror films, I just liked it. So that's the direction I started to go in."
Her designs have evolved since her college days (she graduated in 2011), when she started making clothes without really knowing how. "My first outfits were literally a bra with some fabric attached to the bottom because I didn't have a clue how to construct anything!" Hall laughs. "But I joined a fashion group in Boulder, taught myself to sew, and we would do fashion shows. It just took off from there."
The Denver native describes the clothes she makes today as classic and sophisticated, but with a dark twist. She says they're for women for whom goth isn't just a phase. "People think of it as a teenage thing, but for someone like me, who came into it later in life, there's definitely a woman who has that in her and wants to dress this way," Hall says. "But you go to the store and everything is bright colors. I want to make clothes for that woman who still wants to dress a little darker, but more elevated because she's outgrown the Hot Topic store stuff."
As she prepares ten outfits for a fashion show for Fashion West
on Sunday, June 12, at ReelWorks, Hall says the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer
, the movie Clueless
and the 1990s are inspiring this collection. "I'm feeling a little nostalgic. I was too young to experience a lot of what happened in the ’90s. Now, as an adult, I'm looking at it differently," she says. "I'm looking at Buffy and thinking, 'How can I make her more me?' Because even though she's fighting vampires, she's still pretty much an all-American girl. So I'm doing a lot of the clothes in black and elevating it with things like ostrich feathers and fine wools."
Tyne Hall Design
Much of Hall's collection is predominantly black with occasional pops of other colors. She says she finds black to be a versatile color. "It can be very strong and powerful, and you can also make it very soft, depending on how you apply it," she explains. "I like to use a lot of mesh and tulle. If you leave some skin exposed, it takes on a different texture. I like that almost anyone can wear black."
Music also plays a big role in Hall's life and creations. She says she went from loving pop artists such as Madonna, Gwen Stefani and Lady Gaga to having a musical epiphany. "I saw Aerosmith play, and I just thought, 'What have I been doing my whole life?'" she laughs. "I really got into classic rock, anything hard and heavy. The last shows I went to were Tremonti and Slash, and lately I'm obsessed with Lzzy Hale. I saw Halestorm play, and I just loved what she was wearing."
Hall finds inspiration for her designs when she attends concerts. "I'm very emotional when I'm designing. It's the only time I really allow myself to be that way because I'm a perfectionist. It's the same way I feel when I'm at a concert," she says. "You feel free and uninhibited. I get 90 percent of my ideas at concerts. I start thinking about a cool dress or coat I could do. I can't turn it off!"
Tyne Hall Design
Hall also puts a lot of thought into the music she uses in her runway shows to ensure that it represents the mood she wants to convey. "I want to create a whole universe, and the music communicates that," she says, adding that her last fashion show included music from Halestorm and Dorothy. Her upcoming show will be a little lighter and more girly, she says, drawing from the ’90s with songs from Hole and No Doubt.
For Hall, who currently holds a full-time job unrelated to fashion, designing clothes is a creative outlet. She sells her clothes by creating custom pieces for people who contact her by email or Instagram
. Because fashion is a side project for her and what she calls her "happy place," the request has to be the right fit. If it's not in line with her style, she will usually refer them to someone else.
Fashion designer Tyne Hall.
Photo courtesy of Tyne Hall
Describing herself as an introvert, Hall says her fashion aesthetic used to be her armor from being picked on in school. "I felt if I was put together with heels and an outfit to match, it communicates that I'm a serious person. It puts me in control. I'm controlling the narrative."
Now that she's older and away from her school days, Hall views her style more as an art form and a way to express herself. She hopes her clothes give confidence to women who also align with her love for the darker side of life and are okay with that being part of who they are.
"There's that rebellion that I love about it — an acceptance of being a little different in a society that expects you to conform," she says. "I knew I was different from everybody else, and I leaned into fashion for that."
Tyne Hall will be at Fashion West, 5 p.m. Sunday, June 12, ReelWorks Denver, 1399 35th Street. Find tickets, $25-$200, and more information at fashionwest.org.