Four our latest issue we have the pleasure to introduce designer LARA TOMASHCHUK the founder of one Ukraine’s most promising young design brand LARA QUINT. DESIGN SCENE magazine’s Fashion Features editor KATARINA DJORIC catches up with Lara to talk about the moment she founded her label, but they also talk about her driving force as well as the future plans.
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How did you get into fashion?
Ever since I was very young, I knew that I wanted to become a fashion designer. I always loved painting and playing with dolls. I would find them different outfits every time.
I think everything we do in life, even the most trifling and unnecessary, reflects on us and makes us better and stronger in many ways. My experience mostly comes from my university, various competitions and previous job in two fashion houses. This long way led me to who I am now, and I believe that I have found myself, and what is the most essential is that I feel excited staying tet-a-tet with myself. Although I realize how much more still I want to learn. I think that it would be nice to have that magic sand glass from ‘Harry Potter’ to have a possibility to turn back the time and learn twice more and finally have time to sleep well.
Are you self taught or did you study fashion design?
My background is fashion design at Kyiv University of Technology and Design, 2011. I made my first steps as an intern for Russian designer Tatiana Parfionova and as a designer for Ukrainian fashion brand ELENAREVA. In 2013 I launched my own brand with focus on womenswear designs.
How has your work evolved since you began your own label?
When I left my job in a fashion house in Kyiv (where I worked as a designer) and finished their last collection, I realized that I was finally ready to take a step higher and work for myself. Although I am very generous when it comes to generate and share ideas I felt like this is not appreciated enough and I was capable to start my own business. It was very frightening, because there were a lot of designers by that time, the competition was high, I wasn’t sure if someone would notice and understand my talent and my design sentiment. And even after the production of my first collection there were a lot of hidden rocks, but I managed not to pay my attention on them and move forward.
How would you describe your design aesthetic? What elements of design are included in each collection?
I like to play the gender games when the male is interlaid with the female. I suppose that especially in the women’s suit it is important to stay different. Women’s desire to change can be viewed through the history of fashion, we like to play and dress everything! When it comes to fashion shapes, lines and cut; I think that every design option has already been explored long time ago and all that remains is to play with shape, through the shape we show something new, developing it with the help of lines and sophisticated tricky cut.
What inspires you and how does that inspiration turn into reality?
Everything that surrounds me is actually my source of inspiration. My mood, movies I watch, music I listen to, my dreams, fashion, books I read, people I meet – it all leaves a mark on me. Time to time I try to withdraw into myself and for several hours I follow my thoughts, look for something that “catches” my attention and then pick out from this flow of consciousness the most interesting things. For me it’s very important to create my own idea and then to see if this sphere has been developed by any designers.
Do you have a specific research process when you start a new collection?
Let me walk you through my creative process.
My senses are engaged at first, they react to different bright moments or striking irritants from the outside (it can be a sound, beauty of nature, interesting book, a shocking film). My heart starts to beat faster kindled by various impressions, butterflies appear in my stomach. And then my head is involved, it starts to generate ideas and visualize the design, then my hand starts to draw embodying shapes on paper, transmitting lines and colour through a touch. That is why I can say that the entire body is my creative center. Since I am not sensitive to the color it gives me the opportunity to combine the colors which often aren’t compatible, I am always on the edge of color solution. I don’t believe in tasteless unfashionable color combinations.
Who do you think is the ideal LARA QUINT woman?
My woman has a certain feeling, and it’s different from one collection to another. But she always has an ambitious and strong character, she’s sexy and feminine, she has her secrets and rules. I try on each piece and basically I create the clothes for myself. Many designers are trying to impose their vision without even putting it on. I wear clothes from my collection, it helps me understand technical details better, for example: if it’s comfortable or not.
Is there someone in the fashion industry who inspires you?
I really like: Commes des garcons, Marni, Acne, Jacquemus, Thom Browne.
Tell us about your Fall Winter 2016 collections. What is the inspiration?
The collection is inspired by the poems of Charles Baudelaire who draws a line between life and death in his poems. It revolves around the idea of a flower that seems to be in a state of catharsis: a bright, blinding flash, the craving for the sun, the intoxicating scent. Its central image is a flower in the state of catharsis: a bright, blinding flash, the craving for the sun, the intoxicating scent. Strict designs coupled with laconic knitwear find harmony through the magic touch of LARA QUINT. Long coats, trouser suits, and woolen overalls matched with knee-high boots and rubberized fabric gloves are a complementary combination of rough male and delicate feminine aesthetics. A chrysanthemum flower is the collection’s central motif, making its way through stitches, petals entwining chests and waists, and returning to the soil as dew drops trickling down the stalks of our hands.
Where do you see your label in 5 years time?
My dream is to create my own fabrics from new materials, I feel like I need this to materialize my craziest ideas into perceptible forms and textures. In regard to the concept I would like to produce innovational designs of clothes with the help of art in its various genres and forms.
Now I’m preparing new collection season Spring/Summer 2017, which is going to be presented during Paris Fashion Week, then in Kiev. New collection is very different from two previous. I prefer to create something new, although it may be wrong, because the brand should be recognizable. But I’m young; I want to fulfill my potential and to find what exactly I need. I cannot tell you how the next five years will play out, but I try to not get upset when things don`t go my way. I believe that the most important thing is to stay focused and true to one-self.