With spring just around the corner, everyone’s looking for those perfect airy pieces that will sway in the light breeze. With a collection that is just that, Laili Lau‘s latest work has been influenced by the contrast of nature and modernity that she’s experienced in her home city of Caracas, Venezuela.
The young designer continues to incorporate her love for adventure into her feminine designs to create collections that embody her personality and lifestyle. We were fortunate enough to get the chance to interview Laili and discuss what’s inspired her to pursue fashion design and are excited to share her story with you, below.
Darling Magazine: What or who is your biggest design influencer?
Laili: It would be a combination of things: travels, music, art, movies. Right now I am very inspired and fascinated by adventurous women like Robyn Davidson, Nelly Bly and Cheryl Strayed. As for design, I love the styles from Tess Giberson, Yinqing Yin, Hackwith Design and the mood of Zhang Yimou movies.
DM: How does the culture of Venezuela affect your designs? Or do you take inspiration from other global cultures?
Laili: Yes, the culture of my country does affect my work. It is a tropical country and my design process is around the weather; the garments have to be practical, light and functional. The colors are soft, the prints are cheerful and reflect nature. I try to do two small collections a year and they are based on our two seasons: rainy and dry season. The inspiration I take from global culture is based on cuts, drapes, silhouettes and sometimes traditional garments from different cultures.
DM: How did you start on this career path?
Laili: Since I was very young I was fascinated by handcrafted things, which led me to study fashion design; after I got out of the institute I did internships at some local fashion labels. After that I first tried at a personal project which didn’t work because of my lack of experience, then moved on to work on a series of fashion related jobs including working as a creative director’s assistant at a high-end label and textile print design for a department store label, in the end all of these previous jobs gave me the knowledge and strength to start my current project. I still learn every day from my hits and misses.
DM: What’s the most important part of the creation process for you?
Laili: Finding a concept and trying to develop it as simply as possible.
DM: If you could sum up your brand in 5 words, what would they be?
Laili: Simple, light, soft, free and joyful.
DM: What advice would you give a woman who is looking to develop her own personal style?
Laili: Believe in your instinct. Try everything, and let yourself enjoy each phase and never stop evolving. The best thing is to discover yourself through changes.
DM: You say that you want to “transcend just being a label to become a lifestyle.” What do you mean by this, and how do you hope to accomplish that?
Laili: A lifestyle to me is a set of values and most brands just pursue aesthetics that tend to absorb people. What I want is for each woman to find herself reflected in the values of my project instead of just being assimilated by them. It is being able to transcend trends and connect to everything that is around you and in this way you can give your personal touch and express your freedom.
Images via Alvaro Camacho