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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Lu Flux introduces Sea and Be Seen A/W 2011 and A-Lu-Ha S/S 2012 collections

Lu Flux produced her jewel coloured A/W 2011 collection in collaboration with Shetland wool brokers Jamieson & Smith. For this season she returned to patchwork, inspired by Hawaii Hour on her local Isle of Wight radio.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Lu-Flux-SS-2012-by-Antonia-Parker
Lu Flux S/S 2012 by Antonia Parker.

This year Lu Flux decided to show in the main exhibition area of London Fashion Week, away from Estethica for the first time. I was delighted to see that her stand was the usual riot of colour, a return to the mix and match patchwork aesthetic from which she strayed a tiny bit last season. Under the desk was a giant cookie, created by Millie’s Cookies as a winning design for their Cookie Couture Collection. It was inspired by her new S/S 2012 A-Lu-Ha collection, with bold swirls based on the design of a Tiki mask. It’s been awhile since I checked in with ACOFI featured eco designer Lu Flux, so it’s definitely time to catch up on the past two seasons.

Lu Flux AW 2011 sea and be seen
Lu Flux AW 2011 sea and be seen
Lu Flux AW 2011 sea and be seen
Lu Flux A/W 2011 by Estelle Morris
Lu Flux A/W 2011 by Estelle Morris.

For your A/W 2011 collection you worked with Shetland wool producers Jamieson & Smith – how did this come about and did you learn anything interesting about wool production on your recent trip to the Shetland isles?
I have always appreciated and supported British manufacturers and the use of local produce; I believe that Jamieson & Smith represent the essence of this very well. I am also drawn to the Shetland Islands and was very intrigued to understand the natural and careful processing of the wool, which uses the crofters’ traditional and precious methods from start to finish. 

Lu Flux AW 2011 sea and be seen
Lu Flux AW 2011 sea and be seen
Lu Flux AW 2011 sea and be seen
Lu Flux A/W 2011 by SarahJayneDraws
Lu Flux A/W 2011 by Sarah Jayne Morris.   

The collection was inspired by creatures of the deep sea – how did this translate into the full collection, which features some opulent velvets and beautiful bold prints?
The collection takes moments from the deep dark depths of the sea and exaggerates their textures and forms, the embroidery for example references the bioluminescent creatures and the fabric was manipulatated to resemble giant clams and anemones.    

Lu Flux AW 2011 sea and be seen
Lu Flux AW 2011 sea and be seen
Lu Flux AW 2011 sea and be seen
Lu Flux Sea & Be Seen Autumn Winter 2011 by Sam Parr
Lu Flux Sea & Be Seen A/W 2011 by Sam Parr.

Sea & Be Seen is in the shops now – where can fans of Lu Flux find a piece in the UK?
You can find the new collection in Labour of Love in Islington, London, 69b Broadway Market, East London and Wolf & Badger in West London.


Your videos are always truly wonderful – what were your storyboard ideas for A/W 2011? It has a very decadent esoteric and otherworldly feel.
The A/W 2011 Sea & Be Seen video portrays a group of pleasure seekers tired of each other’s company and so to entice a change of mood the hostess offers a mysterious and magical gift. The gift unleashes the dreamy aquatic motifs of the collection which whirl around the velvet-draped den, sending spirits rocketing. Neil O’Driscoll (the director that I work with) wanted to introduce more animation following on from the S/S 2011 film and so we used the illustrations from the prints (drawn by Dan Arnold) and brought them to life.  

Lu Flux SS 2012 A-Lu-Ha
Lu Flux SS 2012 A-Lu-Ha
Lu Flux SS 2012 A-Lu-Ha
Lu Flux S/S 2012 by Amber Grayson
Lu Flux S/S 2012 by Amber Grayson.


You have given the S/S 2012 A-Lu-Ha video a retro feel thanks to the soundtrack and camera work, was this a deliberate attempt to get away from a too heavily Hawaiian feel, and what inspired it? Food also features heavily – what dictated your choice of food?
There was quite a prominent sense of the 60’s in the Hawaiian imagery and research that I looked at during the initial stages of the collection, so the soundtrack for Barbarella seemed quite complimentary. British car boot sales and village fetes combined with an English tea party were the influences for the elements of food in the video, which is why we used things like blancmange, jelly, tea, hundreds and thousands, and even a Victoria sponge cake covered in sand. Blancmange is quite simply disgusting if you haven’t tried it by the way!

Lu Flux SS 2012 A-Lu-Ha
Lu Flux SS 2012 A-Lu-Ha
Lu Flux S/S 2012 by Antonia Parker
Lu Flux S/S 2012 by Antonia Parker.

This season sees a return to your colourful patchwork best… what is it that you love most about creating fashion and which processes can you not live without?
I love that I am able to create fashion every day and I like to think about my garments being found in all four corners of the world, seen by a worldwide audience. I would say patchworking is my inherent process, as it is my signature technique and I include it in all of my collections.    

Lu Flux SS 2012 A-Lu-Ha
Lu Flux SS 2012 A-Lu-Ha
Lu Flux Tiki face by Amber Grayson
Lu Flux Tiki face by Amber Grayson.

What do you think it is in your DNA that makes you so attracted to colourful whimsy? Can you directly relate it back to anything you grew up with or fell in love with as a child?
Ha! I must have been born on a patchwork rug! Well I have learnt a lot from my mum in terms of the methods I use. My first making memory I have is of myself, my mum and my cousin making ragdolls together -mine had long black plaited wool hair in bunches but we never got around to creating the facial features. I still have her, but I have never put a face on her.    

Lu Flux SS 2012 by Megan Turner-Jones
Lu Flux S/S 2012 by Megan Turner-Jones.

Do you ever take notice of wider fashion trends, or indeed other trends in life and do these ever effect the way you design?
I don’t really take any notice of the trends going on around me; I just design and build in my own world.

Lu Flux S/S 2012 by Estelle Morris
Lu Flux S/S 2012 by Estelle Morris.

What started on you the path of design for the current collection – eg tiki masks and aloha style – A-Lu-Ha!
It was a day in the depths of winter and I was listening to Hawaii Hour on Angel radio (an Isle of Wight radio station with the tag line Music for the Mature Listener) and it played brilliant non-stop vintage Hawaii songs. I think that was the seed of inspiration which led me to this collection. 

Lu Flux S/S 2012 by Lesley T Spencer
Lu Flux S/S 2012 by Lesley T Spencer.

I really love the way your champion other designers on your own blog. For example you have friends all over the world such as Judi of Vanguard Works and Studio Tipi – where do you meet these people and will you collaborate with any of them?
Well Judi actually found me; she has a couple of my dresses. I love discovering new artists and illustrators, it opens more doors and by collaborating with them it adds other dynamic elements to my work.    

Lu Flux S/S 2012 by Estelle Morris
Lu Flux S/S 2012 by Estelle Morris.

How do you find out about Lu Flux fans such as the Japanese blogger Chiaki, and who would your ideal Lu Flux wearer be?
I found out about Chiaki through my Japanese agents who are constantly updating me on the goings on in Japanese fashion and press. I like it when people wear outfits which match their character, like Brie Larson for example. She is an American actress who stars in a show called The United States of Tara and she wore my Boo Boo Bear dress. After meeting her I thought they went hand in hand.

You can read more about Lu Flux in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

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