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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Dans La Vie: London Fashion Week A/W 2013 Catwalk Review and Interview

Designer Rira Sugawara of Dans La Vie answered some questions just before she took to the catwalk with new collection Invisible Enemy, Threat Found at Fashion Scout on Saturday 16th February 2013.

Written by Zaena Miller

Dans La Vie by Sarah Underwood
Dans La Vie A/W 2013 by Sarah Underwood

For Dans La Vie’s new A/W 2013 collection Invisible Enemy, Threat Found Japanese designer Rira Sugawara revelled in a mish-mash of fabric textures and the bold yet intricate prints that she has become known for. But this time she eschewed the brightness of previous catwalk shows, choosing instead a sombre theme inspired by cyber attacks: the head of the Mona Lisa appeared in swirling prints, but models sported sinister balaclavas, gothic black lips and giant crosses as they stomped down the catwalk to a suitably dark soundtrack.

Dans la Vie AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans la Vie AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie by Chloe Douglass
Dans La Vie A/W 2013 by Chloe Douglass

With an academic background in both print design and art history Dans la Vie takes inspiration from Pop Art and traditional Japanese printing techniques to create collections centred on the concept of ‘Clash Beauty’. A few days before her catwalk show Rira Sugawara answered these questions.

Dans la Vie London Fashion Week AW 2013
Dans la Vie London Fashion Week AW 2013
Dans La Vie by Angela Lamb
Dans La Vie A/W 2013 by Angela Lamb

Your collections are certainly not for shrinking violets, what are the main characteristics of the women who wear your clothes?
Intellectual, independent and strong woman who have a strong outlook on life I can see wearing my clothes.

Which public figure do you dream of dressing?
When I was growing up Madonna was a huge inspiration to me, so to dress her would be a dream come too. I’d also like to dress Azealia Banks, Jessie J and Rihanna: they would also be great.

Dans la Vie London Fashion Week AW 2013
Dans la Vie London Fashion Week AW 2013
Dans La Vie by Claire Kearns
Dans La Vie A/W 2013 by Claire Kearns

You’re from Japan but have lived in France and have traveled a lot- which place has influenced you the most?
I find inspiration in every city and every street I visit. Paris brought me fashion intelligence based on the philosophical spirit to be liberated through culture and diversity. In New York I experienced the exciting energy, and in Milan, an abundance of new techniques

What led you to move to France? How easy was it for you to get used to the classic French style compared to typically edgy Japanese fashion?
I moved to France to gain experience in a fashion atelier, I feel it was one of the best moves I ever made as it was after this that I set up Dans La Vie. I think the French style influenced me a lot, it wasn’t hard to get used to at all.

Dans la Vie  London Fashion Week AW 2013
Dans la Vie AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie by Sarah Underwood
Dans La Vie A/W 2013 by Sarah Underwood

Would you ever consider taking part in any of the main Fashion Weeks other than London? How about Tokyo, since your collections seem to reflect the city’s renowned street style?
One of the key elements of my collection is ‘Clash Beauty’: pushing the boundaries of conventional beauty. London enables me to push these boundaries, I would consider showing at other Fashion Weeks including Tokyo as the Street Style is like no other. However I want to concentrate on London for the time being.

Dans la Vie AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans la Vie AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie by Isher Dhiman
Dans La Vie A/W 2013 by Isher Dhiman

Which other designers inspire you?
Alexander McQueen was such an inspiring designer: I love the structure of his pieces and the way they were made.

Do you ever incorporate current trends into your collections?
Yes, I try to incorporate current trends into my collections as much as possible, at the moment everywhere you look is print!

Dans la Vie AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans la Vie AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans la Vie AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans la Vie AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans la Vie A/W 2013. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Last season you used prints from Jasper Jones’ ‘Target’ painting from the late 60s, and Roy Lichtenstein’s ‘Brush Stroke’ and ‘Explosion’. What artwork has inspired or will be included in A/W 2013?
The new collection entitled Invisible Enemy, Threat Found is an altogether darker collection and has older influences such as Italian Renaissance Art, with inspiration being drawn from Botticelli.

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