I’m really excited that I discovered Lena Hoschek. Not enough that her recent collection ‘Kiss me Piroschka‘ is a feast for the eyes and all of her other collections are as far away from mainstream as they can be, she also has an interesting story to tell.
It all started when Lena discovered a collection of old dirndls on her grandmother’s attic and got totally inspired by the way they were crafted. After her grandmother taught her how to hand-pleat, crochet and knit, she began to study national dresses from all over the world and discovered that no matter if they were from Austria or Peru, they were always full of ribbons. These ribbons were skillfully crafted by artisans and could be found in an endless variety of creative patterns. Lena started to collect them with such a passion that she jokingly called herself the ‘fabric truffle pig’. And while constructing a skirt out of them seemed like a stroke of genius, it took her years to bring the process to perfection.
I got the chance to see a – probably very small – part of her ribbon collection and can understand how these pretty bands can draw you in. They come in a never-ending choice of motives and ornaments and in every imaginable colour and fabric. It takes a skilled artisan 6 hours to put them together and make a skirt out of them. Once you see the finished product you really appreciate the hard work that goes into it. And it’s not just the skirts, Lena loves to work with local crafts(wo)men and hired a group of old ladies to hand-stitch the beautiful folklore blouses in the collection. It makes you think twice whether you should get yet another soulless fast-fashion item or instead invest into a unique piece from Lena that has been put together with love and care.
But let’s hear what Lena has to say …
Who is Lena Hoschek? Tell us your story and how you became a designer!
I graduated from fashion college in Vienna 2003, worked at the Vivienne Westwood Studios as an intern for 8 months and founded my own label at the age of 24. In the past 13 years, my company has grown from a small local business to an internationally renowned brand. We currently have 40 fulltime employees working for the company.
Who do you have in mind when you design your collections?
Basically, myself because I like fashion that dresses everybody well not focusing on a certain body shape. I have very high expectations when it comes to fashion and my designs. I put a lot of attention to details and I think a dress should have more than one purpose. It should look beautiful as well as be comfortable and sustainable. I dress every female and even males that like to dress timelessly and classic and have a sense of humour when it comes to fashion.
It doesn’t look like your following trends, which is very refreshing. Is there an overall theme that you follow or do you have a signature style?
I am very flattered by your comment because it is definitely the way I see my collections – independent of certain trends. My signature style is definitely an hourglass silhouette. I love a cinched waist in my collections and I love to vary the themes, so working with folkloristic elements coming from Mexico, Africa or at the moment from Hungary for me is like breathing in. I love getting into inspirations from all over the world as well as prints play a very important role in my designs. Minimalism is something that has and will never occur to me.
Looking at your latest collection “Kiss me Piroschka”, what was the inspiration behind it?
Hungary is a neighbouring country of Austria and you can find those Hungarian elements mixed in in our national dresses throughout the centuries. You can definitely recognise the influence that our neighbour country has on our own culture. To go further east in my research there is a very comprehensive inspiration of folkloristic embroidery even used on menswear. Alltheses ornaments are an endless source of inspiration. I love the Hungarian temperament and the influence of gipsy and ethnic styles which go very well with the bohemian trend. I do not follow trends but nevertheless seem to be hitting the pulse of time, as you might be able to tell looking at my collections.
What’s your favourite piece?
I love flamboyant skirts with a lot of patterns and ribbons because they are so easy to combine with flats and t-shirts. So I would say that the pleated skirts with miles of ribbons and elastic waits bands are just my summer favourites because they make a lot of noise. 🙂
You are relatively new to the UK market. Can we hope for a store opening here?
We are constantly looking for a great location, so any tips are welcome.
What else can we expect from Lena Hoschek in 2018?
We are already planning our next fashion week in Berlin in July. I can’t give away to much but it is going to be a very flamboyant collection that puts you in the mood for summer.
To find out more about Lena Hoschek and shop her collection, click here