INTERVIEW WITH SWEDISH FASHION
ROCK DESIGNER LENA QUIST
Models: Helena & Twiggy
Lena Quist is the rock designer from Sweden. She gets all her inspiration from the music she's listening to. Her fashion sense is sexy, colorful and of course rock and roll. The perfect ingredients of the 80's glam rock collections.
AngelDevil: in your earlier years, how did you decide that you eventually wanted to become a designer? What is your background?
Lena: When I was 14, a friend I started sketching on some clothes coz the fashion trends were so boring and after a while I started thinking; maybe I can do this for a living, so I learned how to sew and started to make my own clothes. From there, the road has been everything but straight. I started with getting a proper education in sewing, but after that I didn't wanna do this anymore. Took a year off. Was invited to go to the fashion week in Copenhagen, realized how much I missed it all so I packed my bags and moved to Malmö to study fashion drawing, pattern construction and historical corset making. I loved every moment of it, so as soon as the school was finished I started my brand, just making one-of-a-kind-items as a hobby at first. One year later I decided to take it to the next level and start a company out of it, but I got a job - a boring job - at the same time and choosed the money over my creativity till I got an offer of making a fashion show at a Malmö sewing fair. I accepted, and after the show it was clear: I could never return to the job I hated. I quitted and have never looked back. The last year has truly been the best year of my life, even though I've never been this poor at the same time as I work all the time!
Hopefully that will change some day.
AngelDevil: How would you describe the style of your work?
Lena: It's pure rock' n' roll! But with a touch of whatever I'm influenced by for the moment. Right now I have "a thing" for evil dolls, so I guess the last collection turned out a bit bondage punkish cute.
AngelDevil: The music clearly influenced your work. Who are some artists that you’re inspired and influenced by?
Lena: My main influences are Kiss, Alice Cooper, Mötley Crüe and some of the 80's Madonna. Sometimes I like to mix it up a bit with some Sex Pistols and Ramones, real old school punk!
AngelDevil: How did you end up working with Rock Bands like Crazy Lixx, Danger and BlackRain?
Lena: To start with Crazy Lixx; we’re from the same city. Luke and I are hanging out quite a lot and his girlfriend Twiggy is one of my models. They are both, two very dear friends of mine, so I guess it came out of that. One funny thing though, is that it's not until now I'm making a stage outfit for Luke.
As for BlackRain and Danger; they found my MySpace-page, liked my stuff and contacted me. Most people find me there, not my webpage, which is cool.
AngelDevil: And what’s the most interesting or special piece that you’ve designed?
Lena: I've got two answers on that; one corset completely covered in mirror glass and one couture dress in black lace with a very special back piece, it's really something extra. The singer of Down in June liked it so much when she saw it on the fashion show that she ordered it immediately and now has it as her regular stage outfit!
AngelDevil: How far in advance do you work on your collections and what is the process?
Lena: When I started my brand I was trying to work on the collections at least 1 year ahead. I can't work like that anymore.. I'm so sick and tired of the collection when it hits the market that I wanna puke.. Instead I start working on the collection 6-8 months before and keep on working on it till the day of the release. After that I start working on a part 2. It's much more fun both for me and my customers to have news more than twice a year.
AngelDevil: Tell me about the new collections (fall/winter 2009/10). How did you choose it?
Lena: This fall/winter collection is called Psycho Circus and it's my tribute to Kiss. Part one is inspired by all of their cool stage outfits and I've turned it into a mixture of heavy metal and burlesque pin ups with a touch of my craziness. Part two; I don't know yet
I've always wanted to do some sort of tribute to Kiss, but it's not until now I've felt that I can actually do something really great out of it. I wanna do them justice.
AngelDevil: What are you working on now?
Lena: Right now I'm working on the f/w collection, preparing for my UK fashion show (June 27) and am making some special orders for some rockstars and cool models + all my ordinary orders.
AngelDevil: Well! Anything you want to add?
Lena: Yeah, this week it's exactly one year since I quitted my boring day job and became a full-time designer! It's the best decision I've ever made. So, to celebrate and thank everyone it's
20 % off on all my designs till June 30!