Fashion designer Lee Klabin mars the worlds of femininity and bold structure in her eponymously named luxury womenswear label.Klabin’s designs use her signature corsetry emphasising the contours of the female body. Pushitmagazine.com interviewed the designer to find out more about her work, aesthetic and inspiration behind her last collection…
TELL US ABOUT THE CONCEPT AND INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR SPRING / SUMMER 2011 COLLECTION?
The inspiration was ‘reflections from within’ – meaning whatever goes on in the inside, is reflected outwards. The inspiration for the bubble shapes came from a comic book I was flicking through. I saw the bubble shapes used to show thoughts and comments, so we developed it from there to create our own in house hand pleating technique for making ‘thought-bubbles’ translated onto garments.
HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR SPRING / SUMMER 2011 DESIGNS BEING WORN?
To be honest with as much versatility as possible! I don’t believe in just one design aesthetic because we don’t have just one mood. For me if a piece can be accessorised with anything and still look amazing in many different ways, I’ve done my job well!
IN YOUR DESIGNS YOU EMPLOY INTRICATE CORSETRY TECHNIQUES. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR YOU TO ACCENTUATE THE FEMALE SILHOUETTE?
Absolutely crucial! I can’t think of anything worth flattering more! It is the ultimate and physiological aesthetic difference between a woman’s shape and a man’s and one that is timeless in its appreciation. You can show off nice legs, nice cleavage or a slender neck, but there’s nothing like showing off those curves!
YOUR BIOGRAPHY MENTIONS THE INFLUENCE OF PIN-UP IN YOUR WORK. HOW HAS THIS INSPIRED YOUR AESTHETIC?
Funnily enough it has inspired me more in attitude than in a literal take on pin-up. I adore the carefree, light-hearted attitude the pin-up girls seem to exude, always caught in a form of accidentally sexy, with a big mischievous grin that’s so appealing to the viewer. It’s no wonder the women who exuded that kind of attitude were irresistible.
WHO IS THE LEE KLABIN MUSE AND WHAT WOMAN DO YOU DESIGN FOR?
I’ve always said I design for a certain attitude, not for a certain woman. What I mean is that all of us have different days, different moods and thank goodness different clothes to express that! My clothes, are designs for those (hopefully many) moments, where a woman wants to feel light-hearted, super confident, comfortable and ultimately sexy, and I am forever perfecting designs that do exactly that!
YOUR FEATHERED CORSET WAS FEATURED IN THE FIRST SEX AND THE CITY MOVIE. HOW DID THIS COME ABOUT AND WHAT WAS THE PROCESS LIKE FOR YOU?
It was crazy, the company was not even a year old, we’d read in some magazine that they had started filming so decided to find out the contact details for Patricia Fields (the stylist) and sent off about 10 corsets. A month later, 9 came back, followed by an email saying they had used it on Sarah Jessica Parker! When we saw the pictures from behind the scenes that came out online, it was exactly on our first birthday, a better present we couldn’t have wished for!
BOTH YOUR STUDIO SPACE AND SHOWROOM ARE HOUSED IN THE SAME ADDRESS. WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO GO THIS ROUTE (AS OPPOSED TO HAVING THEM IN SEPARATE LOCATIONS) AND HOW IMPORTANT WAS THE FINAL LOOK OF THE SHOWROOM TO YOU?
I think its very important to have all aspects of your brand ‘humming’ under the same roof, so that each department gets to see the other’s input, and appreciate each-others efforts more. Our production team- seamstresses, pattern cutters etc get to see what they call the ‘fun glamorous side’ of the industry and our PR and sales department get to see the ‘creative hot-pot’ where all ideas are born as they call it, in production.
WHAT IS CURRENTLY INSPIRING YOU?
I’m currently working on two different seasons- Fall / Winter 2011-12 Ready To Wear & Spring / Summer 2012 couture. The two worlds of inspiration are completely different but there is of course always the synonymous continuity of our lines, shape development and quirky experimental angles with textile development. All I can say is there are shaving machines buzzing in production at the moment. Don’t ask…:)
LASTLY, GIVE US ONE WORD THAT IS SYNONYMOUS WITH THE LEE KLABIN BRAND?
- Interviewed by Marian Kihogo