The Graduate: Lara Cross

monkeys web

Mad scientist Lara Cross looks to Fibonacci spirals, Chaos and Theory and the endless correlation between art and science for ideas.

What was the main source of inspiration behind your textile & fashion designs?

My latest range of designs were based on an Art vs. Science theme. I wanted to find the science in the art, and prove that the two concepts were quite integral and not mutually exclusive.  I designed a resort range of clothes to showcase the prints, which have loose fits and soft shapes, to keep it comfy and relaxed. I wanted to use lots of contrast textures so I made all my own beads from resin, stencil cut lots of leather and used a range of beautiful silks and cotton blends. Often, the fabrics dictated the end garment design.

How were the ideas behind the print developed?

I looked at lot of scientific imagery, from Micro-photography to Astrophotography and some quite gruesome medical imagery.  I played with concepts like Fibonacci spirals, Chaos Theory and chemical reactions and did lots of little sketches, that I then transferred to my current obsession of drawing on acetate and resistant, plastic surfaces. I did lots of layering with reflective surfaces like brass and copper and then collated the designs on computer.  Basically, I played the mad scientist with my muse The Alchemist. The results are like looking into my head- a little bit whako but lots of fun.
What are your thoughts on the direct-to-fabric digital print technology that Think Positive offers?

My experience with Think Positive began years ago as a fashion student and has been a constant source of joy for me. I think it’s quite obvious when you are dealing with a Think Positive print compared to a rival printer, the colour reproduction is amazing, they are dedicated to quality and I love that they are always trying new things. The freedom that this process allows is great for a designer like me; I don’t just like colour, I love it! The more colours the better! And when I want a big repeat, I want it massive! You only have that freedom with digital, and I haven’t even scratched the surface of what I can do with Think Positive.

What influenced your decision on fabric choices for this collection?

I wanted to use a broad range of bases so I had more freedom of garment design, also, sometimes a design calls for certain effects, so I printed the Brass Monkeys design onto Silk Satin Georgette for it’s shimmery effect, and I freestyled a little experiement with a cotton Broderie Englaise so it would be almost mesh-like. Then some fabrics, I used for love- velvet and crepe de chine are so amazing to work with I couldn’t leave them out. The amount of times I caught myself stroking the lengths of fabric at our exhibition was probably more obscene that it should have been.

How would you describe your design style?

Ha! I would say, very cheeky,  terribly irreverent, decidedly dramatic and super-sublime (though, I am prone to superlatives). My drawing is very street-friendly, loose and relaxed, yet highly decorative. I am experimental and can be quite graphic and hyper-stylized at times and then cross back over to something a little more subtle when the mood takes me.

What do you enjoy most about the creative process?

I guess that it starts with an idea, a spark and that becomes an obsession, it rolls around in my head and mixes with feelings from my heart and pops out as a visual and tangible representation. At the end of the day, creation is a document of how you spent your time and passion, and that’s a good feeling, no matter what business of ‘creation’ you are in.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan a whimsical future where I design prints for women to lounge around pools in and feel fabulous about themselves, and this involves my alter design ego Glory Box Designs ( where I get to design purely what I want. Ideally I will be doing as much freelance as I can in the meantime to keep me sharp, and if I must seek inspiration in foreign lands, then who am I to argue? I also have two films to costume in the next year so I hope 2013 to be incredibly productive. All in all, if I am face-up in pixels or elbow-deep in ink, I’ll be happy.

damask from acetate Screen shot 2013-01-23 at 11.56.09 PM Screen shot 2013-01-23 at 11.55.37 PM bloodsdream-low-res
Author: K