Launched for the Spring/Summer 2012 season, Lashes Of London aims to be a unique online shopping experience that allows its customers to reinvent themselves with each garment they select from the carefully curated web presence. Embodying a fresh take on fashion, the brand is a simplified assortment of covetable pieces identifying the ultimate edit of major trends for its fashion conscious customer base. Lashes of London allows its devotees to not only experience a fresh attitude, but more importantly, a lifestyle that allows constant reinvention in the transient world of fashion while still remaining true to what their own personal style dictates.
Each season, the in-house style team takes its customers on a global journey, sourcing inspiration from diverse locations, whether they be thrift stores or refined boutiques, always coming back to signature London looks, adopted from street style and iconic muses. Additional one-off embellishment and beading gives Lashes Of London pieces their own unique touch, perfect for their individual clientele. These unusual discoveries and elements of uniqueness injected into each design add to the brand’s individuality, which is no exception for the latest edit. Photographed by Masha Mel and art directed by Nicole Levy, the latest Lashes of London looks included gorgeous pastel ombre playsuits with subtle cutouts, 90s inspired metallic skater skirts, must-have sequinned party dresses and beautiful vintage lace pieces.
Set in what could be Carrie Bradshaw’s dream-like 80s bedroom from The Carrie Diaries, everything from Blythe Dolls, Hello Kitty, band posters, puppies and kittens make up the backdrop for the latest reinvention of the modern day Lolita-esque, Tumblr loving, Lashes Of London girl. Portable spoke exclusively to Mel and Levy about the bubble gum fashion film directed by Felix Cooper, shoot and collection and exactly who the latest reinvention of the Lashes Of London girl really is.
Portable: What was the concept behind the shoot and accompanying fashion film?
Nicole Levy: The concept behind all Lashes shoots is always Girl Fun. The collection dictated the concept; as soon as I saw the pastel colours, it reminded me of all things cute and fluffy and I instantly said ‘don’t think I’m stupid but we need to shoot this in a petshop.’ We literally come up with the concept in two minutes, we don’t like to think too much about it. That’s what keeps it fun and a little dishevelled. I spotted Masha’s work a few months before the shoot and knew I wanted to work with her, she just gets it. Plus she wasn’t allergic to fluffballs which was a bonus.
Masha Mel: The concept behind the shoot was to create a bubble gum and pastel fairytale story. We had two different locations in mind. One was the beautiful teenager room with lots of interesting things like cute toys, colourful ponies and Hello Kitty bed cover. Another location was the petshop where we had a chance to interact with funny furry animals.
P: Who, what, when and where were you inspired by and why?
Nicole Levy: I got a kitten a couple of months before the shoot so he definitely had some sort of influence with the petshop idea. I’ve become kitten obsessed. Plus Sarah, one of the Lashes girls, had just got a Boxer Puppy called Lola! We also shot part of the lookbook in my sister Charlotte’s bedroom, it is full of old Blythe dolls, fairground teddies, broken barbies and piles of shit, very hectic but looks great. I always thought it would be great for a shoot and this collection had the right elements to make it work. So really, this happened naturally. The locations we shot and things we used were surrounding me the whole time.
Masha Mel: I always get inspirations from Tumblr! For this shoot I was inspired by teenager lifestyle and youth.
P: What was the inspiration for the collection and how did you transfer that to a film setting?
Nicole Levy: Parma Violets, Cherie Currie, Lolita, Space Girl. The inspirations sort of blend into one another. We made sure the clothes were shot in the most affective way but keeping it all very natural,fun and sugar-coated. We don’t want the girls standing still and posing, they just wanna play and chase the puppies.
Masha Mel: The collection has lots of pastel colours and we wanted to show it off by creating a dreamy but fun atmosphere.
P: What fascinates you about the marriage between fashion and moving image in contrast to a still image?
Nicole Levy: Film shows another dimension tothe brand, you can feel the energy, it takes you on a journey. What originally attracted me to Felix Cooper’s work was this one he created with Jazzy de Lisser called ‘Dreamy’. I watched it whilst I was freezing cold but for those 2 mins, I was somewhere exotic. I think both the stills and film bring individual elements of excitement to the shoot, I like them both equally.
Masha Mel: I love moving image but I did only two films in my life. I think moving image is the future but it requires much more work and skills than a still image.
P: What are your backgrounds in the industry, what did you study?
Nicole Levy: I studied fashion design at London College of Fashion but I was awful at the practical side. I did work experience at a fashion PR company when I was 17 and never went back to college. I did try and get on a PR course but I got rejected. Eventually I held the role as fashion director at a fashion PR agency for 7 years before setting up on my own about a year and a half ago. So, it worked out ok in the end, phew.
Masha Mel: I have been a photographer for 4 years.I worked for lots of publications such as I-D, I Love Fake and ASOS magazine. I studied at LCF.
P: Who is the Lashes of London girl or customer and how did you portray this in the film?
Nicole Levy: She embodies all things fun, experiments with her looks, doesn’t follow the pack, inspires others. Can be girly or tomboy, depends on her mood. Loves fluffy animals! Not a perfectionist, bit of a flirt. I think the film clearly showcases all of the above.
Masha Mel: The ideal customers would be teenagers upwards. Fun girls who are stylish and love to experiment with their style.
P: Were any specific techniques used during the shoot or in production to create the finished product?
Nicole Levy: We did request Masha shot on film though because we prefer the rawness of the photos. And another thing, I’m so grateful Catwalk Pets agreed to let us shoot there. It could’ve been a logistical nightmare but it was easy and there were no accidents, those animals are super well-trained.
Masha Mel: The lookbook was shot on film. I have some techniques but this is a secret!