Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Interview with Loulou of Loulou Loves You!

Loulou's giant bow veil, similar style available at Audrey Grace
I had the pleasure to meet the designer Loulou of the brand Loulou Loves You while in London and she is very lovely. I am a big fan of her lingerie and accessories line, both of which will be stocked in Audrey Grace. Below is an interview I conducted with Loulou! x

Loulou Set, by Loulou Loves You available at Audrey Grace
Peaches looking lovely in a Loulou Loves You flower headband
Peaches Geldof in Loulou Loves You flower headband
Collar by Louniverse (Loulou Loves You)
Loulou Loves You - Rosie Flower Headband - Photographer: Lara Jad / Model: Ollie (Next) / Make up: Leah Mabe / Hair: Tomoyuki Hair / Styling: Frankie Murray
Headpiece by Loulou Loves You
What is the story behind Loulou loves you?
I always say that setting up this business was a little bit of a round about accident. I'd never dreamed of doing fashion design or even working in fashion at all. I was doing a degree in painting (about ten years now!) when I became seriously ill and had to give school/everything all up. Fast forward a few years when i was getting back on my feet. I'd decided to take some pattern cutting and dressmaking classes, despite never having he huge urge to make clothes I'd always enjoyed and been good at sewing. At the same time I was building up quite a large lingerie collection (I've always been a sucker for silk, bows, lace and all things hidden underneath) and one day when clearing through my wardrobe I realised I had over 80 pairs of knickers! And I thought hang on maybe I should be making these...
Can you tell me a little about your design process and where do you draw your inspiration from?
Despite being an avid pencil pal (I draw all the time, diarying), I tend to rarely draw designs for my pieces. I have them in my head and then I go straight from my brain to the fabric, experimenting until it's perfect. 
I feel like my process is very spontaneous, my last collection I dreamt and then woke up and made notes. Often It's whilst watching a movie (Disney heroines are my biggest inspiration) and I'll think ok, this is what Aurora is wearing underneath that dress. Or maybe just from a theme. When I designed the 'LOVE' collection my main source of inspiration was just 'old fashioned romance' and holding hands.
Anything that I love will inspire me, movies, animals, dessert, science, adventures, I'm often thinking about what kind of dates people could be on and what they could wear to fit that theme. I think it only recently hit me that I'm a romantic.
Finally/firstly, I tend to make things that I want and then I wholeheartedly hope that other people want them too.
Where do you source your materials from?
I buy my fabrics from some great stores London, I also will always pick up bits and pieces from here and there, I have a vast collection of trims and fabrics that I'm planning to make some one off items with.
How long have you been designing lingerie and accessories?
I set up Loulou Loves You in Summer 2007, man that time has gone quickly.
Have you always been interested in fashion, vintage and accessories?
I'd say yes and no. When I was a child I had a huge dressing up box... as i grew up I've never obsessed over catwalks, magazines and fashion blogs. Though I do remember in the mid 90's when the first Supermodels (the original and still the best, remember when models had thighs? that was awesome) were about, me and my friends loved looking at them in magazines at school.
I always see myself as someone who works in fashion but isn't 'IN' fashion, I'm sure I couldn't cut it in the VOGUE offices. I'm always a bit shocked when I start an interview and realize that the questions are fashion related and not about what my favourite dinosaur is, until I think about what I do. However I understand that the way I work is about the things I like and do and less about what is on trend.
My biggest interest has always been personal style and finding your own unique look and what works for you. I've never been someone to adhere to peer pressure, in any area of my life, so always found it easy to just dress how I liked (er some looks I've had really haven't been so good!)
I wouldn't say I dress in a lot of vintage, but I do buy vintage dresses because my body type is very hourglass and tends to often fit better into vintage shapes. I love accessorizing, it's the best bit, pulling together a theme for your outfit. It's perfectly plausible that I'll match my socks to my notepad.. I just bought shoes because they match my hair.
Who is the Loulou Loves You girl? What is her aesthetic?
The Loulou Loves You girl is any age,  she's young at heart, she's brave, independent, kind, confident, smart, sexy, she dreams big and ultimately she believes in magic. I think the term 'sexy slumber party' describes the Loulou Loves You look pretty well.
Who would be the ultimate celebrity (or even a style icon from the past) that you would love to see wearing your brand?Jayne Mansfield, Jessica Rabbit?
Since the boutique is called Audrey Grace what are your favorite Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly films and photos, or even specific outfits they have worn?I think Grace Kelly looks pretty glamourspectacular in the Hitchcock movies, but outside her work in movies... I think her wedding dress is just about the dreamiest I've ever seen.
I've never been a big Audrey Hepburn fan but I remember seeing some photographs of her with her pet deer and I think maybe that is the coolest fashion accessory you could wish for. 
I can't wait for the photos of future me with my 5 puppies, three cats, tapir and armadillo wandering around the supermarket to come out.
Who are your favorite artists and photographers?Some people I know who are insanely awesome - Shae Deter, Katie Coleslaw, Bunny Bissoux , Caitlin Shearer , Malia James.
Some people who are insanely awesome who I'd like to know - Nick Mann, Neil Krug, Ellen Rogers, Edward Gorey, Quentin Blake, Marcel Dzama, Walt Disney
Who are your favorite designers?
Lu Flux (I'd like this for me and my future mate, Vivetta, Eric Saeter and Jessica de Lotz for jewellery.
If I could afford it I'd dress head to toe in Dolce and Gabbanas AW2010 and SS2011 collections. I swear I was made for leopard print, lace and cute collars.
What (music) are you listening to now?
I grew up listening to all my Dads favourite music, and it's still what I listen to now, mostly old stuff, for me it still doesn't get much better than Roy Orbison. Right now I also have a good rotation of Blood Orange Spector, Thunderstorm or dolphin sounds, Folded Light, Alice in Wonderland + Jurassic Park movie soundtracks, Summer Camp and Big Deal. 
12. How did you come up with the name Loulou Loves You?
I'd basically been using it as a tag for myself for years, and it just fits, because I have a lot of L.O.V.E (for you)!
14. Who is your style icon?
All my friends who always blow me away with their babeability. Victorian children, Mary Poppins and pretty much any Disney female, they are alarmingly good at wearing bows.
15. What can we expect from your future? Any exciting collaborations or anything?I'm drawing and painting a lot and have a couple of drawing projects I've set myself for October + November which I will be spending in LA so I'm super excited about that!
I just qualified as a holistic massage therapist and so I'm setting that up, healing based around illness recovery and stress release I hope.
I also just started a radio show with my best friend Laetitia (Fashion writer Mademoiselle Robot) called Babe Time where we talk about Babes! And then we have an oracle where I can chat about the universe, and then we answer your questions, about anything at all. It's about helping people out, encouraging people to dream big and it's beyond fun so loads more to do with that I hope. Oh and I do a spot of fortune telling too.
I feel lucky because I get to spend every day working on things that mean so much to me, which is the dream really isn't it?
If anyone wants to do a project with me then they should throw some ideas my way! I love strangers.
Any favorite places in London?
The Natural History Museum, The Science Museum, London Zoo, Screen on the green cinema, walking on the Southbank, laying in the daisies in Regents Park, Camden town for rummaging, Scoop for ice cream, Lounge Bohemia for cocktails. 
A painting of my dear friend, radio partner + fellow dreamweaver Laetitia.
Loulou's painting of her friend Latitia, Loulou is creating an exclusive set of painting that will only be available at AGB!

Image from Loulou's new collection, "Lux"

For more on Loulou and her line check out Loulou Loves You, all photos from Loulou's website and tumblr

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