From Art Deco To Grecian Drapery, Designer Lisa Michelle Dishes on Influence
What happens when you combine classic elegance with a modern edge? You end up with designer Lisa Michelle Felsenthal and her eponymous collection. This Los Angeles-based talent is an Otis graduate who’s resume is equally impressive as her work. She previously interned with Jeremy Scott and Michelle Mason and then designed for Monique Lhuillier. In 2008 she launched her own line, which encompasses luxurious fabrics and flattering silhouettes. We recently chatted with the designer to learn more about her work and design process.
You originally set out to study art history, has this interest translated into your fashion designs?
My background in art history definitely finds its way into my designs. I have always been interested in the connections between art and fashion, particularly in terms of sculpture. Ancient Grecian sculpture and drapery is a huge influence in my clothing design in the most recent collection.
Other times, the art historical influences on my designs, take place on more of a subconscious level. From my studies, I have this visual library in my memory of inspirational images and works of art that I am always drawing from.
Where did the inspiration for your latest collection stem from?
This last collection had a number of different inspirations. A mix of sculptural and Grecian drapery, in combination with flapper styles from the 1920’s, inspired the collection. Aspects of art deco architecture were a great source of inspiration for the accessories collection. I wanted the beading in the headbands, cuffs, and belts to mimic the geometric patterns in art deco architecture, while also capturing that glamorous aspect of the 1920’s.
How do you approach accessory design vs. clothing design?
I do approach clothing and accessory design in different manners. The accessory collection is fairly new, as this is my first full season. It’s a whimsical process of collage and layering different trims to create rich and unique textures, within the accessories. I’m always experimenting with different sewing techniques and appliqué. I focus on the details of each piece right away.
When designing clothing, I either start sketching and draping directly on the mannequin to come up different styles. The draping process can be very experimental too and just seems to evolve organically. Sometimes, I begin with a sketch of a particular idea and the process of draping leads to many other versions and silhouettes. Although they are different, I try to approach both the accessories and clothing in an artistic manner, as I strive to make each piece special and unique.
As a Los Angeles designer, what are your thoughts on LA’s design scene and it’s influence on global trends?
By showing my line in different events, I have met a number of emerging LA designers that are creating their own unique products. So, I think that LA has a thriving design scene because there are a lot of opportunities to create and showcase your product here. LA has an environment where designers and artists can really express different personal styles in a creative and open manner. All these different styles and new products, which are put out in LA have an impact on global trends.
Who are some of the fashion designers (past and present) that you find yourself looking up to?
As for present day designers, I am always intrigued and inspired by Alber Elbaz’s collections for Lanvin. I love the shapes, styles, and embellishment techniques in the line. Marc Jacobs is another favorite designer of mine. As for past designers, Madame Vionnet is someone that I find myself looking up to. Her unique drapery and pattern work has been influential to me, as I always trying to experiment with bias drapery. She created so many unique, elegant, beautiful and modern styles through her use of drapery. She is a designer that I truly admire.
Do you have any pieces of jewelry that you can’t leave the house without?
I always like to accessorize and add a statement necklace or jeweled cuff, from the collection, to my outfit. It gives my look a little sparkle and adds a certain touch.
Lastly, what advise do you have for aspiring fashion industry hopefuls?
I would advise aspiring fashion designers to do what they love, create new collections and just face challenges as they arise. Overall, creating my own line has been one of the most challenging and satisfying experiences of my life.
We commend Lisa on her success and a big thank you goes out to her for taking the time to talk with the MyFDBlog.
Since accessories are always all the rage in the office, we wanted to share the love and give our readers the chance to
win one of Lisa Michelle’s popular cuffs. Up for grabs is a sparkly black and gold Metallic Floral Cuff (retail $85), which will match any outfit.
Sorry, this contest is now closed. Our latest contest is on the sidebar to the right, thank you!
Official Rules: This contest is open to international entrants and a valid email address must be submitted to be eligible. Entrants will be entered into MyFDB’s email list. A winner will be chosed at random and notified via email. This giveaway closes November 30th at 1:00pm (PST) time. For more information on Lisa Michelle please visit her official website.