Amy Beasley July 6 2017
The title 'What’s A Girl To Do' is based on that melancholy feeling of being a young girl and stuck in that period before you start to fully form into a woman. It’s being a little unsure of yourself but still knowing how to tease and delight.
POST SHOOT INTERVIEW 'LES ANIMAUX' FOUNDER AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR WITH LISA JACKSON
Damaged / Goods: How has your background working for notable Head of Design posts inspired your designs as the Creative Director of your own luxury
Lisa Jackson: I feel fortunate to have worked for so many great brands, when you are trusted by a creative director to oversee the development of their collection it is important that you see the world through their eyes. This is great training for a designer as it forces you to open your mind to styles that you might not have considered, I find this invaluable for my own collection as I wanted it to be a complete "mash up" where the mix dictated the aesthetic allowing us to be playful and versatile during styling but also allowing stores to make an edit that really reflected their customers.
Damaged: Tell us more about the cerebral new-wave, slightly rebellious woman you design for?
Lisa: This collection was always going to be a paradox, as humans are truly complex creatures and we wanted to reflect that. I believe thatmost people are a mix of genders, which is why there is always a portion of the collection designed to be gender fluid. When I see very feminine collections, although I can see the beauty I often feel there is something missing, another level that has been missed somehow. I don't recognise that ultra femininity in myself and the women that I find inspiring are always unpredictable, stronger, a little androgynousand occasionally challenging AND can be any age....Ihate that in our society women becomeinvisible as they grow older, I wanted to register that you can kick ass at any age. Physical beauty may fade but spirit remains with you....
Damaged: How do your creations challenge the conventions of femininity?
Lisa: My own wardrobe is compiled of masculine oversized tailoring, feminine blouses and dresses, oversized coats and tee shirts, if I like it I wear it. You should always feel comfortable in yourself and once you know what really feels like an accurate reflection of you, then you can create a whole world with your clothes. For Les Animaux we like to subvert things a little bit, partly because I don't feel comfortable when something is too polished; it becomes unattainable andI just think that most people don't have a lifestyle where they can maintain that. I wantour clothes to be worn in the real world, so people can concentrate on living and not be focussed on what they are wearing the whole time.
Damaged: How has Les Animaux evolved since your debut Spring 2016 collection?
Lisa: It has definitely evolved since the early collections as I feel I was maybe a little timid. After working on collections for other designers for many years I think it took me a little time to rediscover my own voice….I am really happy with the direction now and it feels more like me, less conventional, more challenging and it feels a much better fit....
Damaged: What were your inspirations for your Fall/Winter 2017 collection
Lisa: We never really have seasonal concepts, concentrating more on a brand identity "distorted femininity with a new wave attitude". I don't like to close us off from things, our development becomes less restricted that way, however for the styling of the look book we revisited "An Evening at Le Phonographique" a cult alternative club in Leeds in the 80's and 90's it was the era of post New Wave, New Romantics, punks and Goths mingled. I don't know what it was about that era, I guess having emerged from a particularly depressing decade people wanted to be creative with their image and there was a lot of experimentation, vintage pieces, band tee shirts, fetish pieces from local goth stores, weekends became a real adventure and we wanted to express a bit of that.
Damaged: How many people are behind the production of your signature pieces?
Lisa: Collections are always a collaboration, that is one of the reasons I named the brand "Les Animaux", it represents my humanistic beliefs but also the collaboration of the creation. We are really lucky to work with great factories both in the UK and Italy but it was important for me that we created some special pieces in house, these pieces are developed on a mannequin and are often very organic. We have a small team in the studio but it is important that anyone who comes to work with us loves draping and hand stitching. It is my intention that we keep this portion of the collection as part of our brand as it develops, I want people to know that we have developed those pieces for them in a very individualistic way.
Damaged: What fabrics do you use to realize your meticulous garments?
Lisa: We try to keep a balance. I adore Italian tailoring and shirting but also hi tech Japanese developments, we always try to have something luxurious . In addition we like to mix in denim and twill, to balance out the more feminine pieces. Currently we are sculpting pieces in tulle with hand appliquéd lace panels stitched onto fish net, it shouldn't work but it does, especially when worn with a classic pinstripe tailored pant from Italy.
Damaged: Do you want to have a men’s collection in the future or are you inspired mostly by women?
Lisa: We definitely have our gaze directed towards men, currently the men who wear the gender fluid portion of our creations would need to be extremely brave but I love to see it Styled that way when people borrow the items for shoots. We prefer an oversized fit, often developing pieces from male "blocks" to get a more relaxed attitude , my ideal would be starting small with a capsule collection of 16 pieces within the next year.
Damaged: What’s your Damage?
Lisa: I have been incredibly fortunate to live all over the world whilst working as a fashion designer. During that time I have met and worked with amazing people and the experiences have really opened my mind and allowed me to see the world from different perspectives whilst experiencing diverse cultures. I have always been welcomed wherever I have lived and been able to make a home, even if only for a few years. It is something I would want everyone to be able to experience and I believe the only way to properly engage with the rest of the world is to be outward looking and inclusive. I mourn that this could be something that we are in danger of losing.
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