Emerging Designer: Olga Lapinskaya
«There should be room for one’s personal opinion and individual style and wardrobe, which can be in some respects extravagant and also unisex»
You have taken part in many competitions, what did it give you?
At first I felt interest, but then I learned to treat both victories and failures equally philosophically, as I got understanding of the industry demand, saw the development prospects and the way trends are born. This is valuable experience, which broadens the mind. Besides, it increases brand awareness and the number of fans.
What is the philosophy behind the brand?
The basic concept behind the brand is the personal view on clothes of their owner. We spend so much time on masks and disguise – to look nice in the eyes of our boss, of our partner, in the eyes of our family and friends. There should be room for one’s personal opinion and individual style and wardrobe, which can be in some respects extravagant and also unisex.
How would you describe your brand in three words?
Independent. Intellectual. Original.
What is your signature style?
There is always a component of handmade craft in the collection, which makes the items more personal and distinguishes them from the similar looking mass-market products. In addition, the brand LKN-SKY pays great attention to textures. I think, it’s very important for tactile sensation, and this makes it possible to concentrate on total looks. For this purpose we use a universal colour, which is complimentary to major outfits of a modern person.
What inspires you to create new collections?
It is usually something significant, there is always a clear concept behind the collection. I try to cut off and eliminate all the banal and superficial. I think the strongest emotions are pain, fear, thrill, and objection. Through rejection they can bring about a brighter response compared to endless joy.
Could you, please, describe the process of creating collections? Where and how are your items produced? What fabrics do you prefer?
As my brand is not a big one yet, I am personally engaged in creating the items on all stages. It disciplines a lot. Firstly, I am responsible for the technological and constructing part, let alone the sketching. And I certainly do the hand craft work myself. When working on the previous collection, I could partly delegate the work of creating texture to my assistants and the sewing machine. But the textures in the new collection are entirely done by me. Manufacturing is based in Moscow, producing small editions for the brand. I source fabrics in Moscow too, as there is currently no point in exporting large amounts from Europe or China. This all is yet to come in the future.
What is the most challenging part of your work?
It is to stay true to your principles. Not to adjust to someone else’s taste and promote your own vision. There is a fine line between a flair for trends and copy-paste another’s success. There should be constant balancing, because clothing has its customers, but at the same time it is necessary to follow your own vision, so that the customers could distinguish the LPN-SKY brand among the many clones.
«I think the strongest emotions are pain, fear, thrill, and objection. Through rejection they can bring about a brighter response compared to endless joy»
What is the best part of your work, what do you like most?
I definitely enjoy all stages of creating the collection, as this shift of activities doesn’t allow to get tired of monotonous work and keeps challenged. Yet, sketching is a very favourite part of my work. In addition to designing, I am doing fashion illustration, which helps me develop my imagination, and even on the very initial stages of creating a collection, I can visualise the outcome in detail.
What has been the highlight of your brand so far?
The greatest achievement so far was the participation in CONTRFASHION project within the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia. This gave me a good impetus for further progress, helped establish new contacts, and it was also a great pleasure for me to be able to realize my concept on the podium.
What is the story behind your latest collection? What was it inspired by?
The collection entitled «Ver Sacrum» was inspired by the eponymous ballet by Igor Stravinsky and synesthesia. I have always thought that it is absolutely hypnotic music, unbelievably avant-garde for its time, and I was really eager to embody it in forms, silhouettes, and texture. I can’t really judge objectively if I am a synesthete or not, but it was an attempt. Everything in the collection, including the embroidery, is based on music. The black color was due to the symbolism. I have been thinking what colour is associated with rebirth and whether it can be the background for everything else. Black is close to the original, pagan notions of Spring. The essential content of the music (by Stravinsky) is based on a reference to the traditional Russian melody, which I also attempted to incarnate in the details of the clothes. They resemble the shape of the Russian folk costume.
Who are your fashion icons?
I really like the style and character of Tilda Swinton. She is such a multi-faceted person, but at the same time always true to herself. She is very special.
What is your idea of beauty?
Beauty manifests itself in the individual style.
Who would you like most to wear your clothes?
Every collection is like a manifestation for me. Fashion today in some respects enters into a dispute with the art, and I am willing to take part in this debate. When putting on the clothes, a person creates his/her own concept of himself or herself. I am sure there are many people who don’t see themselves as flowers or princesses. I create my clothes for them. My manifestation is aimed at them.
What are your plans for the nearest future?
My plans are to develop my brand and myself. Also, to expand the range of customers, to improve the quality of the products, and, perhaps, to review the cut of some items. And I certainly can’t live without the creative process, so I am always looking for new and interesting projects!
«There is always a component of handmade craft in the collection, which brings individual character to the items…»
Where can your clothes be bought or ordered?
The clothes can currently be bought by direct order, customers can write me either on instagram or to the email address. The collection is showcased on my website, and I am planning to open an internet shop there soon.
Photos are provided by the designer Olga Lapinskaya.