2.19.2013

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH LEON LOUIS

Last August, I had the pleasure of meeting Leon Louis Joergensen and Esben Leschly Blegvad, the cool duo behind the dark and gothic conceptual unisex Danish label LEON LOUIS at the Gallery Showroom during my Copenhagen Fashion Week foray. While perusing their Spring Summer 2013 collection, I got a chance to pick out my favorite pieces which you can check out HERE!
As promised, here's my exclusive interview with Leon Louis Joergensen, the creative director and designer of LEON LOUIS. Here, the young designer candidly talks about his eponymous unisex line, androgyny, Carol Christian Poell and his motherland. 
What is the story behind your latest collection entitled "Strange Illusion"?
Actually the collection is built around this illusive muse of mine. This is a person that aims to find a sense of space. A proper settlement in the afterlife, surrounded by lush simplicity and minimalistic isolated appearances. If I had to explain my train of thoughts more visually, I would like to refer to the medium of film. Normally, I try to predict and visualize what they would be wearing in this world of mine and the outcome is what you see in my SS13 collection – of course with a wearable and functional foundation.
What are the key pieces from this collection? What are your personal favorites?
The key pieces are certainly some of the styles crafted with hand stitching. As these are the more artistic styles that have been incorporated with a lot of expression. My personal favorite is definitely the twisted leather jacket.
Define the general aesthetic of "LEON LOUIS".
LEON LOUIS stands for a reflective sartorial state of mind. The pensive wearable designs aim to complement the wearer. The silhouette allows us to be protected from the elements, yet enables us to participate and step onto the unknown. Dark hued colours, exquisite tailoring, lush quality fabrics and thematic collections are key to the LEON LOUIS philosophy. 

Is there a signature "LEON LOUIS" look that gets carried over season after season?
The wear-and-tear look is a very important expression in all of the collections. Furthermore, we aim to use handcrafted detailing on most of the styles. For me, this gives the garments personality and at the same time lot of unique expression. 
What made you decide to create an androgynous clothing line?
I wanted to challenge myself and through time more and more of the men's wardrobe has found its way to the women’s closet and vice versa. Therefore, it was a relevant and zeitgeisty topic for me to use as the foundation for my line of work. Boundaries are there to be challenged intelligently. 

Which is easier to make-menswear or womenswear? What are the challenges that you encounter when creating a collection? I would say there are difficulties in doing both. If you work with traditional tailoring as I do, there is a lot of detailing to consider working with the men’s and on the other hand you have the women’s where the lines have to be perfect exposing a subtle amount of skin, without becoming too revealing. There is a thin line between going under and staying above. I simply need to stay one line to find the perfect mixture of the masculine and feminine. Scandinavian designers are known for minimalism and modern designs.

How do you want your brand to be remembered?
The brand with the lush simplicity you could comfortably wear every time of day not worrying about your sartorial look and decisions.


 
Are there any contemporary designers that you look up to? 
I must admit that I don’t really have any designers I look up to. I have always been very independent with my way of approaching things. I know what I desire and I never settle for any compromise. Should I mention a designer, whose artistic and interesting expression, I do find inspiration, it simply must be Carol Christian Poell.
How do you prepare for a new collection? Do you have any rituals that you do such as painting, sculpting or perhaps doing a road trip somewhere?
I always try to clear our my desk and buy a new sketching book. My black book wrapped in leather is very important for me throughout my period of evolving a new collection. Furthermore, I go somewhere I have never been to. So this can be seriously anywhere, allowing me to keep my calm and focused state of mind. 

Why do you think there are several young Scandinavian designers moving to Copenhagen to try their luck over there? Do you see Copenhagen as becoming the next big fashion capital?
I think they are moving there, because Denmark is a great country and has a lot to offer in many ways. Denmark is a calm base, but fashion is happening mainly in Milan and Paris, where LEON LOUIS also shows, meets with our stores, clients and interesting press. Copenhagen Fashion Week, has an interesting base, and at times strong buyers do make the trip to the North, which is good for all the brands. It might be interesting to have a different mix of designers showing, to boost the quality of the week. It should be a form of creative editing of brands, which would attract even stronger press and buyers. The potential is there. If one looks at Paris Fashion Week, a certain selection takes place, and the strong schedule is a result of this, plus it raises the bar for quality shows and designs.
A big shout-out to Leon Louis and Esben for taking time out of their busy schedule for this exclusive interview. More power and can't wait to see you guys next season! Also, thanks to Marlo Saalmink for always hooking me up with Scandinavia's best designers!

Indeed, LEON LOUIS is another addition to the growing forces to be reckoned with in Scandinavian fashion! I'm absolutely looking forward to see how this conceptual label evolve over the next seasons to come. Keep your eyes peeled for this fantastic label guys! 

All photos courtesy of LEON LOUIS
For more info on LEON LOUIS check out www.leonlouis.com.