Between the Seams: Meadham Kirchoff’s Mood Board

Edward Meadham explains how to make a mood board.

Photographer Liam Ricketts
February 13, 2014

A closer look at Meadham Kirchoff’s mood board

From the magazine: ISSUE 90, Feb/March 2014

To celebrate our favorite publication for and by ’90s babies, our Newsprint and Style sections this issue are guest edited by Rookie Magazine.

Pretty much every piece of clothing you’ve ever loved began with an image on a fashion brand’s mood board. Before even a single stitch is sewn, most designers start wallpapering their studios with old ads, nostalgic photos of pop stars and miscellaneous, stylish odds and ends. But don’t expect artists to always be able to explain their muses: a call to Edward Meadham, one half of fantastical British design duo Meadham Kirchoff, found him in the middle of designing his fall/winter 2014 line and ruefully considering his colorfully cluttered, wheatpasted walls. “I’m nowhere near as far along as I should be—the mood board is a total jumble,” he says. “I don’t know what it’s going to end up like.” Asked about specific items on the board, he draws a blank. “I think that may be an old Schiaparelli shoe,” he says. “And that is an old movie star. We think it’s Myrna Loy from The Thin Man.” Meadham doesn’t know how or why a room plastered with photos inspires him; it just does. “I start with piles of books as tall as me and just go through them. And by that point, I stop thinking about where the picture even came from.”

Meadham started mood boarding as a kid. “My bedroom was absolutely tiny, but literally every surface was covered in a picture—Hello Kitty or something.” And some of his earliest obsessions have stuck around in his brain since then. “This is the first season we don’t have Courtney Love up,” he says. “But I’ve got pictures of her everywhere else. She taught me everything.” Truth be told, it’s not really just the photos  on the wall that matter. Meadham himself is the important, unexplainable X factor who fits it all together. “If I’m looking at 17th century France, that doesn’t mean it’s all you’re going to see,” he says. “If anybody can see directly what I was looking at, it’s my fault for not being clever enough to disguise it.” Which is why if you want to start your own mood board to get the juices flowing, just go with your gut. “There are no rules,” he says. “Whatever you like, whatever your instincts, just follow it.”

Between the Seams: Meadham Kirchoff’s Mood Board