Sportswear inspired femininity by Claudia Ligari

 Designer Claudia Ligari

- Describe yourself as a designer and as a person. What are the differences between both descriptions?
- I’m the same person but when I’m working on a collection I tend to be more dreamy or scatty and I don’t give any space or time for the person to be.  It’s difficult to say where the person finishes and the designer starts. I have a strong personality and I’m very independent and those two things are perfect for the designer but not so good for the person! Once the designer start it’s difficult to stop and most of the time it causes pain to the person and makes you wonder on which side you really want to be. It’s a very fine line; the game is to learn how to balance the two.

- Have you always wanted to create clothes? What is the most fascinating thing about womenswear for you?
- Yes, as long as I can remember I always wanted to do clothes, which is really weird, as I don’t come from a background where people were even remotely interested in fashion!!
Clothes can be very powerful. They can be a great way to express and represent you to the world, to make a first impression. They say something about the person, and the most fascinating thing is how they can change us!! Don’t we all use different outfits for different occasions? 

- Where do you seek for inspiration? Maybe you have any interesting or even strange inspiring sources?
- Inspiration can’t be explained. Mine is always very random, it can be anything! It can be a situation, a person or an object.
I don’t really like to have a particular story in my collections; “no references” has become my slogan. Of course each garment reminds of something but what I’m trying to achieve is “timeless pieces”, garments that can be worn through many years and always look new.

- For the latest Spring Summer 2013 collection you were inspired by London Olympic Games. Share more concrete details. Have you been to any of the games?
- Oh god no!! But I live near the stadium! And also I did gymnastic for many years when I was younger, this is probably why I have a thing for sportswear garments!!
If you pay attention you will notice that they always have the newest cut/shape or the newest high tech fabrications and so I find them an endless source for inspiration, very “avant-garde”. 

I would have to say that my SS12 was more Olympics inspired - a girl comes from the future. With my SS13 I kept things more simple and wearable as I wanted more comfortable and grown up look, but yes - the sportswear still resonate throughout the boxing short, baggy trousers or the sateen sweatshirt…

- Your clothes emphasize the sensuality of femininity. What femininity clichés you could name nowadays? Does it influence your creation and collection voice?
- I want people to start thinking that wearing tight things doesn’t always mean sexy or buying expensive stuff doesn’t always mean nice!
Clothes are helping us to give voice to our body language, but if we are not comfortable with whatever we are wearing, then the garments are instantly loosing their power. My aesthetic is androgynous and unisex as I try to show a different way to perceive beauty and femininity and I guess this goes against the cliché of what women should wear to look beautiful and elegant, or sexy and feminine.

- Which item is the most important/favourite for you?
- If you mean in general then believe it or not my answer is shoes!! Shoes can change a whole outfit! If you wear a pair of great shoes your outfit can only benefit from it.

- Best advice you ever received?
- Never do sales or returns!!

- You are based in London. Does it influence your creativity directly? Does it hard to be young designer in London or Italy?
- Of course London influences my creativity. It is the city that moulded me into what I am now. It helped me to establish my aesthetic.
It’s really hard to be a young designer. In Italy there isn’t such a great support as in London but on the other side here, in London,  there is too much of competition and money in everywhere which is never enough to achieve 100% what you want in terms of product. We never come first and have to battle through getting the right fabrics, prints or even space for production!

- What are your biggest achievements so far? Do you still need to march and fight to get the attention?
- I always said I wanted to have my own label and if I look back to three years ago I can’t even believe how far I have come. I have my own label, people supporting me from all over the world and I am selling in cities like London, New York and Milan. Obviously this is just the beginning and there is still need to march and fight, now even more then before! Once you get some attention you must keep up with the demand, people tend to get bored of things really quickly those days so it’s a very hard job to keep your foot in there!

- Advice for someone who wants to break into fashion business?
- First of all get some financial advice as soon as possible and secondly (I know this is going to sound really cheesy but…) you must always follow your hearth even when people tell you are mad and should or shouldn’t do something. Be brave because there isn’t better thing then learning from your mistakes, it will only make you smarter and stronger.

- Your plans and goals for near future?
- I’m working on a new project but it’s a surprise!
I will be working really hard to establish the label throughout Europe and hopefully I will be able to move somewhere else by the end of next year, as I feel I’m now ready for a new experience… I’m thinking Antwerp or Berlin but haven’t made a decision yet. Will see!


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