I first heard of her work from a friend of mine. He was describing it and I fell in love with the concept. I asked her about her workplace in Berlin and she told me that she is sharing a studio with other creatives. After summer holidays we met for the first time so she could tell me more about her brand. L.O.M creates awesome luxury party and festival wear for the colourful souls. Louise O’Mahony is the fashion designer and mastermind of L.O.M. She says that her designs are trendless and fashionable at the same time. Her magic is in her colourful clothes and her aquamarine hair.
Cristina Benzi: Colourful prints are always present in your designs. What do colours mean to you personally?
Louise O’Mahony: I absolutely love colours, I think they are very important. They make people feel happy, like when you look at nature and flora rather than big grey buildings and roads, it makes people feel good. When you look down the street and you see a patch of grass coming out of the ground your eyes are drawn to it and makes you feel good. I feel like if you can do that by wearing colourful clothes, why not, I wish people wore more colour.
CB: But if you need to choose just one colour that represents you. Which one would it be?
LO: Rainbow! But seriously – I think it could be the aquamarine colour of my hair. I’ve tried a lot a different colours in my hair but this is the one that I´ve had the longest and I feel like I’m probably going to be an old lady with aquamarine hair.
CB How did you start to work this way?
LO: I studied costume design at University, after that I launched my own wedding dress company but after six years I was getting a bit bored of the white so I made a collection that was very colorful and very different using lycra to create playsuits and fringe tops instead of tight and heavy dresses. That went really well, people were into it so L.O.M took off but I still make wedding dresses occasionally.
CB: On your homepage I’ve read that your are inspired by new adventures. Which kind of adventures do you mean?
LO: I really love traveling and I’ve been lucky enough to have been to many different countries. I love South America because it is very colorful. This year I was in Guatemala for a month which is a super colorful country, they have their houses and amazing fabrics painted and patterned with rainbow colours, and the people like to wear colorful clothes. That is super inspiring to me, but adventures could be also going to festivals or wild parties and meeting crazy people. Having fun is also adventurous!
CB: Coming from England but now living in Berlin. How was this change for you and your label?
LO: Its was definitely life changing in a really good way. Brighton is a really awesome and colorful city, very liberal and full of artists and musicians but moving to Berlin was just like the next level of freedom and playground to express yourself, and it gave me the opportunity to get a bit wilder with my outfits.
CB: How does your workplace in Berlin compare to the studio you have in Brighton?
LO: My studio in Brighton is pretty big and we have three rooms, so there is a sewing room, an office room, a store-room and stock area. Whereas in Berlin I have a shared space with other designers, where I just have a desk space so this is like my office – I don’t do too much of the making here but I run the business and do all the admin here. We do have a sewing room with machines and a pattern cutting table that I use from time to time, and can also work on new designs here. I have to say it is really great to be sharing a space with other designers, I spend so much of my time here with these girls and it has become my happy place.
CB: As a handmade, ethical and sustainable label we could say that your designs are part of the slow fashion movement. How do you make this happen?
LO: I don’t follow any fashion trends so my stuff doesn‘t go out of fashion. People still buy the first collection that we did 4 years ago because it is kind of trendless in a way. We also make everything in England and we use high quality fabrics, things are made really well so these are pieces that you can have for years. I like the Vivian Westwood quote “Buy less, choose well and make it last”
CB: What do you think is the best way to promote your brand?
LO: It keeps changing. It used to be Facebook then Instagram but those places make it hard for small brands to flourish without paying, many brands can invest a lot in advertisements and we can’t really compete. But I generally think the best way to promote them now is to just wear them. People always ask me where are my outfits from and I give them my business card, or my Instagram. The more people that wear my pieces the more people get to know about us, my customers always tell me they get so many compliments when they wear the pieces. I love spotting people wearing them on nights out and at festivals, they always look like they are having such a good time, and people want to be part of the fun!