Interview with designer LU Lucy ( LU )

Interview with designer LU Lucy ( LU )

Hello, Lucy! Thank you for taking the time for our interview. 
Please tell us more about yourself. Where were you born? What are your roots? Was fashion design what you always wanted to do? 
I was born in Oxford, grew up in a small Oxfordshire village. Me, my mum, dad and sister. We lived in a lovely old Farm house where my Dad extended and created a beautiful home for us. He is retired now but was a very talented Builder and carpenter. He still creates and never stops doing…something I definitely connect with. My mum was always creative and kind, full of love and encouragement. She had an amazing dressing up box with fabulous gems in there…She had amazing clothes in the 60’s and 80’s…I always remember her metallic dance shoes in this box. Very studio 54 vibes. Me and my sister Zoe were always creative and had all our paintings and artwork across the walls and always quite feral and free, playing outside, running in the fields, creating our own magical worlds. I do not think I really appreciated it as much as I do now, looking back. Especially after living in Cities where every parent is super paranoid and kids do not get to be so free and have nature and countryside in their blood. My dad and sister are also incredible gardeners. My grandad ( dads dad ) was a gardener for Sir Lawrence Olivier and my Nanny ( dad mum ) was a knitwear Designer and technical knitter. My mums dad ( granddad John ) he was a baker….and I could go on, but I guess there are many creative people throughout our family. 
To be honest I never really knew I wanted to be a Fashion Designer. I was always creative and I also sang in a choir and did theatre work when I was a teen. 
I started a fine art degree abstract painting and dropped out mid way…My mum thought that doing a Knitwear degree in Nottingham would be cool as less BITCHY, more connected with craft and community. Also with the chance to work in industry for a year and study at FIT in New York. Going to NY was awesome!! I even did a super short internship at Betsey Johnson..an artist I really identify with and love to look back at her work..especially the 80’s!
Studying Knitwear Fashion was pretty cool as quite early on I developed a love for pushing knitwear into a more performance based and non traditional route. My dad even crafted amazing giant knitting needles for me so I could create massive weird knitwear using homemade yarns made from Fabrics and luxury elements in a very DIY and dark aesthetic.  
Music and performance was always there and I think I knew that I had a deep fascination and love for creating in many different ways and mixing art forms…not being boxed in as a Fashion designer. My work just developed into other materials as I wanted to be open to whatever I felt right..I still would not call myself a strict Fashion Designer.  
Your design is so colourful and expressiv. Is it because you are mainly working for Musicians and Performers?
Haha…I am really not sure how this happens…I think I obsess over certain things…You know how you can just get CRAZILY obsessed with a colour…Like everything is about NEON TOXIC Green or PUNK pink…whatever….
Recently it has been very colourful, zef style, trashy ,ravey…I think because I am connecting with Youth spirit and a love of 80’s and 90’s subcultures, Club kid vibes and Drag culture….maybe? 
Many of the costumes I have created with Musicians, Performers have been colourful and aggressively trashy ,vibrant!!! It’s to do with connecting emotions with that Punk energy and much of the time, techno nature, The abyss and Drag- Queer culture.  Also with AJA…we both get transfixed on a colour at the same time. We hyperventilate in unison of colour obsession…it’s REDONKULOUS! love that. x
Have you everthought of going mainstream?
I would be happy to try to get a little more mainstream…I am always trying to get to a place where I can add in more simple styles…I guess I find it hard. It is not so natural for me. However I am trying to work on this without moving away from the natural attitude and mentality of my brand.
I am collaborating with a cool rocky/ skater brand from New Zealand this year…I can not say exactly what and when yet…
I would actually really love to team up and collaborate with a skater brand or a shoe brand like Buffalo or Underground. I really would love to work with Lazy Oaf too!!!. This is a mainstream brand that I really love. As they are poppy, kawaii spirited and like weird shit too haha!!! 
Do you have a special technique or process for designing your clothes?
The process changes all the time!!! I can draw really professionally in Illustrator or photoshop, or it’s a quick sketch, it can be in my head! Sometimes I can just lay fabrics out or be super obsessed with colour and texture together and go from there. It ranges from a clear starting point to abstract. 
I do like to collect images and videos for pinterest. All my boards end up merging and crossing into each other…the stories are part of the same family in a way. I guess a repetitive process is MUSIC. I often start with a track or mix that goes straight to my heart and brain…and from her the Electric shocks in my brain fizz and shake and the ideas escalate! I often work with particular styles of music and video choices that really resonate with the collections or pieces of art I am producing. With the costumes I just created with Aja for Bangface ( Crazy techno, donk, experimental silly music ) I consistently had RuPauls Drag race on in my studio , 80’s electro and DJ BUS REPLACEMENT SERVICE mixes..it heightened and made my art explode with stupid , childlike, bonkers love…It was the perfect concoction of emotions for this particular project.
Tell us more about the work you dong for AJA(Noise Maker kween Aja Ireland) ?
Aja and I have been collaborating for about 2 years now. It started with her best friend living with my Sister in Nottingham and they introduced us. It just grew from there…It gets better and bigger and more ridiculous and completely on the same bonkers, beautiful wavelength as we go. It is a wonderful collaboration and I am so free and energized working with AJA.  There is a deep sense of strengthening each other, DIY, experimental , REDONKULOUS, weirdly funny, Organic, free thinking, open expression that is released when we come together. AJA is magical to me and we really support each others art forms. It just works. 
We have so many exciting ideas all the time and It just keeps getting stronger and more exciting all the time. I like that we never really know where it is going to go. Each project is full of wonderment…That child like feeling that should nver die! It’s pretty humbling and we are very lucky! The project we just collaborated on, the Bangface costumes…really the best yet…So stupidly funny, creepy, weirdly fun! Projecting this club kid, sinister, weird Britain vitality that was IMMENSELY IMPORTANT for Bangface, it was pure joy. I definitely laughed out loud a lot and had many dance breaks while listening to DJ BUS REPLACEMENT SERVICE…This particular mix…. OH haha..so fun…It sets the scene…
The costumes nearly did not make it…It was crazy…DPD messed up big time…We had all hands on deck. I want to give a HUGE shout out to Helen and Nicole who helped us to get the costumes to AJA….HUGE RELIEF! big love ladies!! hahaha
AJA and I have some amazing big plans together in the next couple yrs….AJA has a new QUEER NOISE CLUB night in Nottingham, celebrating the individual, ..safe platform for female, trans, non-binary and LGBTQ + artists, perfomers, Drag artists, visual art, techno, noize……pushing boundaries and completely free and liberating!!! 
Aja says…….” Live experimental electronic performance, noisy f*cked up techno, visual over stimulation and a place you can dress as trashy as the inside of John Waters basement bin – WELCOME TO QUEER NOISE CLUB!!”
Hahaha…this is summing up what we both want to achieve and celebrate together. 🙂
Through this amazing event, there will be many branches from this creative tree-  into other creative ventures…..We would like to eventually have a pop up shop where LU LA LOOP, along with others will create Drag culture, performance costumes, art and unique expressive creations that are accessible and can be bought at the event…Pure joy! Aja and I also want to create an event like this with a special AJA performance curated by AJA and I with a weird, experimental choir, completely inclusive..Costumes created together and to showcase with a POP UP experience over a weekend, potentially in London + Berlin around Fashion week time. This is something that is really just a spark at the moment…but , it should become a reality and grow into something really unique and awesome in the next couple years…So let’s see….I don’t wanna say too much.  
Obviously more ongoing collaborations are in the works for various gigs and festivals…Also AJA is trying to get funding so we can create even more insanely cool creations together and with AJA other collaborators. SO please wish us good energy! xx
In what way does it differ from your main Collections?
I guess it differs with the pieces being totally Organic and having basically zero boundaries. Also AJA will normally have a very clear starting point to jump from….It’s sort of not that different mentally and conceptually. But a more extravagant and much more Crazy costume identity. I learn a lot from being in the AJA zone…Like the feelings I get that are full of love and also thinking about how I can inject this feeling of pure silly fun and positivity, love and light…Like don’t be too serious and put this into everything I do….I am really trying to put this free thinking into my collections and unique pieces, while also trying to make them saleable. I truly feel that when you let your inhibitions go, put stupid weird visuals and music on…You get lost in that and put that into the sewing and creations, others will feel that joy when they see and put on your clothes..Here is hoping! haha
What is the best piece to choose from your latest collection?
Choose whatever is making you smile and whatever speaks to you! Take them all!! hahah….Be playful. 
I really like my TABOO BUNNY hoodies…Really cosy, punky spirited, club Kid vibes.  Also I like the pieces I create with PUFFY 3.D metallic applique creatures and motifs, also Velcro on and off puffy moon and star sweater…Also it’s genderless and has that childlike, playful experience that I adore. 
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
OH WOW….it’s from everything…. At the moment….PUNK-PINK, DJ BUS REPLACEMENT SERVICE, 80’S AND 90’S ADVERTS,MUSIC VIDEOS, AND MOVIES,  EARLY JEREMY SCOTT, HORROR MOVIES, CLUB-KIDS ,YOVSKA…(TOTALLY OBSESSED!! ) KAWAII-JAPANESE FASHION, RAVING,TECHNO CULTURE, 80’S NEW YORK AND LONDON ICONS AND MUSICIANS, READING CYNDI LAUPER’S MEMOIRS…I LOVE HER AND REALLY IDENTIFY 🙂  
NINA HAGEN , COSEY FANNI TUTTI, THE OUTSIDER , MONSTERS AND ALIENS, TRASHION, ZEF CULTURE, 
RU PAULS DRAG RACE, QUEER EYE, ANYTHING TAIKA WAITITI MAKES…
(ME AND MY SISTER ZOE LOVE HIS FILMS)…CELEBRATING THE OUTSIDER…PURE LOVE!!! THE ABYSS, 
REALY LIKING THIS INSTAGRAM RIGHT NOW…STUPIDLY WONDERFUL-
I AM ALSO HUGELY INSPIRED BY KAT AND JUSTIN WHO MODEL FOR ME SOMETIMES. THEY ARE SUPER OPEN, FULL OF LOVE AND HAVE SUCH A POSITIVE AND EXPERIMENTAL LUST FOR LIFE! ❤
MY HUSBAND CHRIS, FOR SUPPORTING ALL MY CREATIVITY AND HIS LOVE FOR STRONG, INDEPENDENT FEMALES……..HE IS PRETTY BADASS!! AJA…DUHHH….HAHA
ALSO MY STUDIO MATE AND DESIGNER MARGOT @IAMKILOGRAM…WE HAVE SO MUCH FUN AND SUPPORT EACH OTHER THROUGH EVERYTHING! FRIENDS, FAMILY…AND SO ON AND ON AND ON…..
I COULD GO ON…BUT YOU HAVE PLENTY! 😉 X
What do you think of German fashion?
I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED BERNHARD WILLHELM, HUGE INSPIRATION TO ME. 
I LIKE STAR STYLING FOR THEIR HUMOUROUS AND FUN TAKE ON FASHION. 
IN BERLIN, SPECIFICALLY I LIKE THAT THERE IS AN ATTITUDE OF FREEDOM +
DIY CULTURE. 
I AM MEETING SOME LOVELY INDIVIDUAL CREATIVES HERE. IT’S WHAT ATTRACTED ME TO BERLIN, ALWAYS.
What is your advice for the ambitious designers?
I THINK IF YOU ARE NOT ENJOYING THE JOURNEY AND FEELING THAT CHILD LIKE FUN, THEN STOP, REFLECT AND FIND THAT THING THAT MAKES YOU ON FIRE!!! I HAVE THE INNER SABOTEUR TELLING ME I AM NOT GOOD ENOUGH BUT IT TAKES A DAILY PRACTISE AND TO REALLY JUST GO FOR IT AND NOT TAKE IT TOO SERIOUSLY!!!——–
IN THE WORDS OF RUPAUL——
” JUST DO YOU” ❤💕 AND ” SLAY”
AND IN THE WORDS OF ADORE DELANO……. ” PARTY “
Credits:
PINKITY PUNKY SLURP MONSTER COSTUME + MASK- BY LU LA LOOP @lulalooplucy
TOXIC LEMON TITTIES COSTUME WORN UNDERNEATH ( REWORKED MORPH BODY SUIT BY AJA )@ajaireland
BEHIND SCENE PICS OF THE COSTUME  IN LU LA LOOP STUDIO X
PUFFY MOON AND STARS +ZEF ALIEN SWEATER ( KITTY KITTY BYE BYE )
MODEL- KAT- @xotrashprincess
STYLING AND PICS BY LU LA LOOP TOO. 
TABOO BUNNY HOODIE
MODEL-  JUSTIN @stinnystone
PHOTOGRAPHER- MARK @s183_markhunt
Text / Irina Rusinovich /

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