Neutral Ground: Ilana Kohn

April 23, 2014 BY ILANA KOHN


Neutral Ground: Ilana Kohn:

Neutral Ground is a casual, weekly interview series with friends in the industry. Say… conversational breakdowns of what neutrals mean, and what that means when it’s time to get dressed. Tune in each Wednesday to see who’s who and how creatives of all stripes see the world when color is not…

Prior to working in fashion, Ilana Kohn worked for close to a decade as a successful commercial editorial illustrator for clients such as the New Yorker, the New York Times and Kiehl’s among many others. With a life long love of fashion, in 2011, Kohn began to craft ideas for a clothing line with a mind to creating easy to wear, clean & classic clothing that would serve to be a new canvas for her bold, colorful patterns. Having evolved from four basic silhouettes, the collection has grown into a full-fledged collection, providing boutique buyers and shoppers a wealth of choices for easy everyday dressing.

NT- What are you wearing right now?

IK- It’s FINALLY warmish out so I’m wearing the most un-nuetral thing possible – a crazy patchwork caftan made up of past season fabrics. Maybe the craziest thing I own!

NT- What Color [or two] do you own the most of within your wardrobe?

IK- I don’t really think there’s any one color that predominates but if I had to say, it would probably be denim.

NT- How do you approach neutrals when dressing?

IK- I like neutrals for layering, they make an excellent base for all the add-ons without making the outfit feel too “TOO”. I also tend to be a bit plain/wallflower-ish in my personal style (…this crazy caftan is a bit of a mystery??) so neutrals are always comfortable ground for me.


NT- In your opinion- IS there a difference between Neutral Colors within the wardrobe, vs. say…Art & Object Coloration?

IK- Absolutely! The biggest transition for me when I made the leap from editorial illustrator to textile designer was learning to design prints that people would actually want on their body as opposed to anything goes, just make it look good….Neutral in the wardrobe is much more narrow than what qualifies as neutral in art, I feel.

NT- In the context of dressing only in neutrals, what roll and rules must Accessories & jewelry play by?

IK- For me, neutrals are all about layering up all the different textures and nuances. That being the case, accessories and jewelry can really be the center of attention and absolutely anything goes!


NT- Prints seem to generating a lot of controversy, are prints neutral? Is neutral defined only by color or does pattern have bearing too?

IK- I do feel that prints can be neutral-ish, but if I’m going to be a real purist, not so much. I guess I tend to think of “neutral” in terms of the ability to add on and even a simple print has more happening and makes adding-on more limited….