Native New Yorker and FIT graduate, Lauren Bagliore has worked for the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Libertine, Zac Posen and more fashion notables where she honed her skills before launching Lauren Bagliore. Inspired by art, Bagliore has a knack for proper draping, tailoring, and finishings that give her collection a touch of edge, simplicity and femininity. Infused with colors of silver, gold, black and white, there’s never a sense of one clashing with the other. It’s an ultimate sense of unity with design and color.
1. Tell us a bit about your history in fashion.
Working with world acclaimed design ateliers and companies such as Zac Posen in New York and Vivienne Westwood in London really opened my eyes to what it is like to operate a design house and offered but a glimpse into what it was like to run a business as well. At Westwood, being there was an honor and a dream opportunity, so that in and of itself was amazing. I also did some styling in New York, worked with Libertine, and a few other larger design companies as well before starting my own company. I cannot say there was just one place, experience or position that has been most influential; some have offered more inspiration than others to me in my own work, but all have given me invaluable life experiences to learn and draw from before starting my own business.
2. What’s the inspiration behind your collections?
I am inspired by many things—mainly my own life experiences. You know the saying, “What does not kill you, only makes you stronger.” Well, when we go through such life experiences, it is never fun in-the-moment, but it is the beauty that enfolds in the aftermath, the life-lessons that teach and inspire and really develop character. It is in the after-math of the tough times that I am usually inspired to create…and out of the ugliness usually come some form of beauty which humbles me every time. I am also inspired by every day, regular people. I love looking at how people put themselves together—it is a form of self-expression and I really appreciate that and recognize that in the individuals I meet or observe. I love travelling and often do, so I enjoy the cultural differences between each geographical place and how it effects how people dress—looking at real people and how they creatively put themselves together.
3. How does this collection differentiate from the last? Or what sort of message, if any, were you trying to convey that you refrained from portraying in the past?
A sense of maturity, artistic influence, etc. This collection differs from our last in many ways. For one, I really feel we have grown. The good news is…we keep progressing and I can humbly say that I have seen each season get better and better. We never have compromised who we are as a designer womenswear brand; we have upheld an artisan aesthetic and conceptual approach to fashion, along with our focus on maintaining beautifully constructed, quality, pieces. Innovative design and craftsmanship is and has always been an integral part of who we are. I see this season upholding and staying true to the strength that is signature of Lauren Bagliore woman, but also allowing the true essence of her femininity to surface a midst her strong exterior this season.
4. Are there any collaborations in the future? What’s next on the bucket list of fashion stardom are you looking to cross off with you brand?
Ma si, figurati…yes, of course! We are always up to something, you know… We will be doing a large fashion show and fundraiser gala called “THE SHOW,” March 27, 2014 in Canada, in partnership with HART–Human Aid Response Teams (www.hart.ca), along with Ratanak International (www.ratanak.org)–both organizations work to raise awareness and fight human-trafficking, which as you may know, is a cause very close to my heart. It will certainly be an event not to be missed. We will have some of our clients and partners from New York come to partake in “THE SHOW” in Calgary, to support the cause. We hope to bring both cities of economic importance together through the means of fashion, to be in unity in the fight against human-trafficking.
In terms of design work, I would love to do a collaboration with shoe designer Julia Lundsten for FINSK as I am a huge lover of her architectural, yet wearable shoes that really complement our collection. Many of our clients have been requesting that I design shoes for the Lauren Bagliore Collection, so I think this would be a natural progression for us. I also love Nicholas Kirkwood’s work so working with him would be wonderful too. A dream would be to do some kind of design collaboration with Rick Owens as I appreciate his work and unique identity as a leader in the conceptual movement of fashion.
5. What separates you from the other brands out now? What is lacking in the industry that you feel you are concentrating on?
The Lauren Bagliore Collection is a wearable yet conceptual, edgy yet feminine. Many of the pieces are seasonless and convertible, can be layered season after season, and worn for day or evening. The collection has an architectural fluidity, as draping is what we have become known for (and what I truly love doing). I think the line exudes a sense of that Parisian effortless street-style sophistication, along with a bit of Japanese/Asian edge—which is really signature to the Lauren Bagliore brand.
For me it is always about design, concept, and the art convertibility in my clothes– or also how simple something may seem to be if one chooses to wear that piece in its most simple state. That is my challenge as a designer. I do not follow trends or what others are doing—it is part of my process to avoid comparison to others, as I like to be unbiased and have my inspiration be as unpolluted as possible. I see my work as having the ability to last over time. I create so that each piece can be layered, as I mentioned, or work from collection to collection, season to season. Quality and craftsmanship are part of the DNA of every Lauren Bagliore piece. I believe these things are what allow us to stand apart from other brands.
6. How do you feel about celeb designers, when trained designers like you, study the art and hone the skills?
There are very many people who claim to be a designer seemingly overnight, while there are others who are very creative and excellent at branding and marketing themselves, or their vision. That in and of itself can be an art. I think there are a lot of celebrities who have undoubtedly worked hard to gain their public reputations, but I have always felt that a true artist will stand the test of time. I respect those who have studied and fine-tuned their craft, or have worked hard to get there somehow despite their circumstances or lack of opportunity. Sometimes it is the persistent who are the best artists, creators, inventors, and designers—the ones who do not give up. Instant success can come to anyone, but it is the ones who are most passionate—despite advanced training, schooling, and circumstance—are those who stand the test of time and be remembered for their work.