Lola Haze TM designer, Laura Mehlinger gives Modern Glossy an exclusive interview about her newest collection.
Your theme for the fall is Wabi Sabi City —how did this influence your design direction for fall 2009?
Times of uncertainty—and times were bad when I designed this collection—call for a return to the body and an acceptance of imperfection and transience. For Fall/Winter 2009, I examined the Japanese ideal of wabi sabi, in which beauty is found in imperfection, impermanence and quirks. While referring to this concept, I continued the distinct aesthetics that are the hallmarks of Lola Haze TM: boldness, play, and the energy of New York City.
When you began this collection, how do you begin envisioning it as a whole? Are you influenced by a general theme or idea and organically develop from there, or do you have a more directed focus as to what you want to do?
I began with the conceptual framework of wabi sabi, and then developed specific ways of expressing the concept. One of the visual themes of the collection is body ornamentation. In the Tattoo group, designs inspired by tribal and eastern body ornamentation are hand-painted onto sheer black mesh, a fabric that both veils and reveals the body underneath. The marks, imperfect themselves, caress and frame the body’s natural contours. But these Tattoos are transient ornamentation, and the revelation comes when the tattoos are skimmed off the body, leaving only the natural form.
How has living in New York influenced the design process in your work—Do your surroundings influence you?
The energy of the city,its playfulness juxtaposed with its moments of classic beauty, are reflected in the sensibility of Lola Haze TM. Also, I look to New York women all the time for inspiration and to see what their mood is. Specifically in this collection, I embraced the simplicity and appeal of one piece dressing: rompers, teddies, jumpsuits, body stockings, and plenty of chemises and slips. Alongside these modern silhouettes are updates to some Lola Haze TM favorites.
What type of woman do you envision wearing Lola Haze?
Women who are bold and playful and dress for themselves!
Where can we purchase Lola Haze?
You can buy Lola Haze TM at a range of stores from Victoria’s Secret to Love Brigade and Friends. Go to www.lolahaze.com for stores.
Are you currently working on any other projects?
I am continuing my collaboration with New York artist Charlotte Pinson with a series of quirky, elegant painted silk tops and dresses. I love the collaborative process and the focus on surface art and design.
Additionally, I’m continuing to teach Panty Making Workshops, which are a big hit (makeworkshop.com). It’s gratifying and fun to see new sewers who start out so nervous take home their own pair of panties they made themselves.