Lena Hoschek has gone on a journey back through fashion and found herself in the UK. She strikes a balance between granny chic, college look, British menswear and romantic tweed-meets-floral-patterns. For her latest collection, the dressmaker – who once completed an internship with Vivienne Westwood – has combined her enduring love of femininity with typically masculine items of clothing.
What’s your favourite outfit in the collection?
I like the contrast between dandy and girly. Tie and stiff collar above, floral skirt and loafers below.
Your favourite song from the catwalk soundtrack to your Brits collection?
I’d say it’s the Miss Marple theme song by Ron Goodwin. There’s no other song that can pull me out of tiredness or a bad mood like that can. It immediately motivates me and puts me in a fun mood.
Where were the photos for the Brits collection shot?
Because I love red hair, I booked ginger models for the shoot and rented a house in Kent. Our landlord there was called Hugo and he had a long, red beard and long, red hair. He let us convince him to put on his grandfather’s old tweed suits and join in on the shoot.
What’s your opinion of the trend for handicraft that’s increasingly influencing everything from fashion to food?
I’m extremely enthusiastic about it. I’ve always been proud to call myself a dressmaker rather than a designer. For me it’s extremely important not just to design pieces, but to make them a reality myself in my studio. I find it inspiring that more and more people recognize craftsmanship, appreciate an item of clothing and are starting to turn away from the throw-away society. In my opinion, fast fashion is the worst possible thing.
Is there something along the lines of a “typical” Lena Hoschek customer?
Not at all. We have 14-year-old girls, but also customers who have already turned 80. Aristocrats, bloggers, hipsters, bobos and fifties fans: it’s exciting that my line – which is so clearly niche – speaks to customers from such diverse parts of society and cultural groups. It’s also great to see how customers interpret my clothes for themselves and don’t pull on one brand from head to foot.
Stars like Lana Del Rey, Dita von Teese and
Mosh wear your creations. How important is the celeb factor?
Celebrity styling is incredibly important for a brand’s performance. But you also have to be aware that it costs an arm and a leg: almost nothing is possible without an advertising budget. So that’s why I’m pleased that there are stars who have discovered my range themselves and wear my collections – mostly in their private lives. A huge compliment.
You are an advocate of loving yourself as you are, even if you’re not a size zero…
I’m an advocate of leading a healthy lifestyle, regardless of whether you wear an 8 or an 18. The most important thing is always to feel good and radiate happiness from within. Everyone’s body is different, everyone has different genes and different body consciousness. Personally, I feel most comfortable when I’m slightly overweight and am happy to have one or two bumps of cellulite if that means I can keep eating my beloved ice cream!
What makes Vienna an interesting fashion location for you?
As a creative person, you have great fertile soil in Vienna, a combination of Heimat and a down-to-earth attitude with numerous creative influences. Vienna is a city that hugely benefits from its multicultural background. It gives people with stressful everyday lives heaps of energy and quality of life.