Creativity fuels the soul. When we’re creative, time stands still, the mind explodes with wonder and ideas, and passion exudes from every pore. Bottom line, the world is a mad, mad, place.
Very few creative types are truly originals, even fewer are perhaps what you would consider successful, but one thing all creative people share is passion for their art.
And this brings me to rock icon, Courtney Love, who recently debuted a new fashion line she calls, “Never the Bride”. Love first tweeted photos of her clothes back in October. Since then, it’s made headlines in various online publications like Huffington Post, The Hollywood Reporter, and the Daily Mail.
But one thing that hasn’t been discussed in these articles is the back story to the story. And it involves an award winning Austin, Texas based fashion designer, named Dawn Younger-Smith, aka “Boudoir Queen”. For a short time, Dawn designed and sold clothes to Courtney Love. They were also involved in a very public defamation lawsuit- one that Love lost.
Dawn is an old friend of my husband’s, they use to run in the same circles back in the mid 1990s. He hasn’t seen her in 15 years and I’ve never met Dawn in person, but like so many strangers have done, over the past year we became “Facebook Friends”. I recently spoke with her by phone about her work. The conversation also turned to Courtney Love’s new clothing line and new messages that the singer has been sending via social media.
PM: Let’s get straight to it, when I first saw the Huffington Post article on the debut of Love’s new clothing line, Never The Bride, I immediately thought of Boudoir Queen. They are so similar in style, the details, even the fabric she uses is just like yours. I’m curious to know what you thought when you first saw the clothes?
BQ: One thing about the fashion industry, people get copied all the time. But when I first saw Never The Bride, I saw some of my clothes in the pictures. I was shocked. I didn’t know what to think.
PM: A fashion blogger recently pointed out the similarities as well, including even spotting Boudoir Queen items in Love’s twitter photos…
BQ: I’ve seen some of the photos and I’ve noticed a gold headband that she bought from me, plus at least one of my dresses. I don’t want my clothing in a Never The Bride photo.
PM: Describe Boudoir Queen Style.
BQ: The name of my company Boudoir Queen is derived from the 1920’s vampy Boudoir Doll. The line was originally based on the idea of making a Boudoir Doll wardrobe for adults with a modern edge. The original line was made entirely from vintage 1800’s-1920’s elements. Many of my designs are film noir inspired. A lot of the clothing looks like something a silent screen actress would wear but it has a bit of a rock n roll element to it as well. We specialize in stage clothing for musicians. I now have a Ready To Wear line and we make clothing out of new luxury fabrics, as well as vintage.
PM: Who are your inspirations?
BQ: People whose style inspire me include Bette Davis, Anita Pallenberg, Marchesa Casati, Anita Berber, Paul Poiret, Edie Sedgwick, Catherine BaBa, early Brian Jones and Keith Richards style, as well as Anita Page, who I was fortunate enough to meet and spend time with. My last collection was based on the women in Tennessee Williams plays such as “Babydoll” and “Blanche DuBois” from “A Streetcar Named Desire”.
PM: What was/is your relationship with Courtney Love?
BQ: I am a clothing and accessory designer with a website, Etsy store and blog. Courtney found me in 2008 through various online and print articles and editorials about my line Boudoir Queen. The relationship in the beginning was simply her being a fan of my line and making a large purchase from my online business. There is no relationship between her and I at this time other than our lawyers contacting hers.
PM: Speaking of lawyers, you were recently engaged in a lawsuit with Courtney Love over twitter defamation, according to reports, you settled the case.
BQ: The lawsuit was filed in 2009 for defamation. Due to the defamation and her contacting my customers we hired the law firm Freedman & Taitelman in Century City, CA. We had a decisive victory with a settlement of $430.000.00
PM: Can you talk about that time, what happened and what led to the lawsuit?
BQ: It was an unpleasant time and my attorneys have advised me against talking about the details of the case.
(At the time of the settlement, much was written about the defamation lawsuit. You can read more here, “Courtney Love Settles Twitter Rant Lawsuit” )
PM: When was the last time you had contact with Courtney Love?
BQ: The last time we talked and had contact was before the lawsuit was filed, however over the past months I’ve received e-mail alerts regarding her posting and commenting on my Pinterest photos.
PM: Yes, I noticed she contacted you on Pinterest several times since Thanksgiving. She not only apparently reached out to you directly and left comments, but I also saw on her Pinterest account a page titled “Our Girls”. Surprisingly, most of the photos appear to be repinned from your page- your photos of models wearing Boudoir Queen clothing. What do you make of that?
BQ: I think it’s becoming more apparent of what’s going on here.
PM: Love already got herself in legal trouble from the rants on Twitter, I’m surprised that she would use social media again to apparently contact you…
BQ: One thing about Courtney is that she does what she wants.