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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Lako Bukia: The London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Preview Interview

Georgian designer Lako Bukia explains the inspiration behind her upcoming S/S 2012 collection, to be shown on the catwalk at Fashion Scout on Saturday 17th September 2011. With sneak previews as interpreted by illustrators!

Written by Amelia Gregory

Lako Bukia by Natasha Nicole
Lako Bukia S/S 2012 by Natasha Nicole Waddon.

In the second of my London Fashion Week previews meet Georgian designer Lako Bukia, and who wowed us with her distinctive style last season. Choxa was inspired by the Georgian National Ballet and featured plenty of military flourishes juxtaposed with feminine flowing chiffon, approved but what can we expect for S/S 2012? Lako Bukia talks about why her homeland is so close to her heart, viagra and why it’s so important to create clothes that suit all women.

Lako Bukia Choxa
Lako Bukia Choxa
You can see more of Choxa on my review blog.

lako-bukia-by-jessica-knight
Lako Bukia S/S 2012 by Jessica Knight.

You hail from Georgia, which seems to produce a lot of world class designers, for example Tata-Naka. Why do you think that is?
I don’t know, but when I was little I used to hear a lot about Georgians being very talented. Georgia is a really small country but it has a very ancient history so that makes it special. I am happy to hear that you think there so many talented people who are now representing the country abroad.

Lako Bukia by Claire Kearns
Lako Bukia by Claire Kearns.

What do you miss most about your home town?
I miss all the traditions we have that gather together friends and family every day. In London you don’t get a chance to be with your friends every day and it’s harder to get help. In Georgia everyone is ready to be there for you.

Lako Bukia S/S 2012 by Gilly Rochester
Lako Bukia S/S 2012 by Gilly Rochester.

You are highly educated, with several degrees and other qualifications in fashion design: how have the different places that you’ve studied affected your approach to fashion?
Different colleges and universities have given me different things so from each of them I have learned something special. Attending different colleges helped me to pick up on the most important things and put them together in my mind. In Georgia at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts I learnt about colours, paintings and fine art, Central Saint Martins was more about developing creative ideas, Istituto Marangoni in Italy was good for learning about business and marketing and finally at LCF there was a good combination of everything and I also learnt good technical skills.

Lako Bukia Flower Skirt by Sam Parr
Lako Bukia S/S 2012 by Sam Parr.

You make clothes to flatter every woman, how do you ensure that is the case?
Construction and fabric are the most important thing. Different cuts must be used with different fabrics or you risk ruining everything. Every time I design something I have a particular fabric in mind and I will travel all over until I have found it because if I use something else it could change everything. I use lots of silk and chiffon fabrics, because with these it is possible to create very flattering styles and this is important to the Lako Bukia aesthetic.

Lako Bukia by Natasha Nicole Waddon
Lako Bukia S/S 2012 by Natasha Nicole Waddon.

The new collection is inspired by Asian trees and flowers. Where did you turn to for your inspiration for S/S 2012, and why were you attracted to them?
I have always been attracted to Asian culture: my favourite writer is Japanese and the designers that I adored from childhood are Japanese too, so it was one of the things I really wanted to work on. Luckily I traveled to China and Hong Kong this March and was amazed at the architecture and beautiful gardens full of pretty flowers and trees.

Lako Bukia print design
You have introduced print for the first time this season, why did you decide to do this and what has the learning curve been like?
Every season I try to do something new, so it is always a learning process. I love exploring new things and I am not afraid of the challenge. I think if a designer wants to grow and learn more, then they should do something new or more difficult every season. I have always been fond of fine art and I used to paint a lot, so I wanted to make use of this in my clothes. So I decided to draw and print on the fabric.

Lako Bukia S/S 2012 by Gilly Rochester
Lako Bukia S/S 2012 by Gilly Rochester.

Why are you so interested in contrast? You favour quite a dramatic colour palette – is this a reflection of your personality?
I can be very depressed and I often see more of the negative in life than the positive, but my friends and family would never believe this because I don’t show this side to them. I guess that is why my colour palette is more dramatic: because of my personality. If you are not strong in this industry (and in life in general) then you will not survive, so I need to be strong, and my experiences have made me stronger.

Lako Bukia Shoes by Sam Parr
Lako Bukia Shoes by Sam Parr.

It’s important to you to appeal to a wide market, offering commercial pieces amongst showpieces – how do you balance your offerings so that they are attractive on all levels, and what kind of commercial pieces have you introduced this season?
If you look at my collections from the beginning then you will see that they have changed a lot. At the start I thought fashion was all about being creative and making art. My first collection Mushroom was completely unwearable, with hand made fabrics and very big sleeves. Step by step I have learned that being a designer is not just making something very extraordinary but it is also about doing business and making something new, different and wearable. I always try to have a few showpieces for press amongst more commercial garments but this season almost everything will appeal to buyers: printed fabric chiffon shirts, dresses, trousers, small shorts and corsets.

Lako Bukia Mushroom
Lako Bukia’s graduate collection Mushroom.

What can we expect from Lako Bukia in the coming years? 
I will always try to be more creative and make more interesting clothes. I never want to lose my style as I try to climb to the top. My aim is to redefine the way the world sees femininity and sexuality. Due to a decade long pressure from the fashion world and show business representatives, femininity and sexuality are now widely perceived as being equal to wearing tight and revealing clothes. The women of the world have forgotten that there is something more exciting in the mystery of garments that do not stress ones body shape.

Lako Bukia takes to the catwalk on Saturday 17th September 2011 as part of Fashion Scout.

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