Founded in 2016 by Creative Director Tatiana Lim, Laveau is created with the hope of helping people appreciate beauty within imperfection. Drawing from childhood imaginations and experiences, Lim creates drawings of “monsters”, which are her nightmare in character form, to represent one’s fears, pains, anger, and other emotions. From these monsters, Lim extract pieces from the drawings and recreates it into the adventurous, whimsical, and ethereal prints featured in Laveau’s designs to commemorate and appreciate the hurdles one has to go through in life. Inspired by the childhood dreams and imaginations of Lim, the prints are symbolic of the boundless imagination of childhood that our Creative Director wants for those who wear Laveau to remember.
With a lifelong passion for fashion and the arts, Lim enrolled in Parsons School of Designwhere she studied to become a designer. As a true citizen of the world. Lim splits her time between United States, Asia, and Europe. This dichotomy of culture inspires the essence of the Laveau brand.
A TALK WITH TATIANA LIM, FOUNDER OF LAVEAU
Tell us how you started fashion designing and how that led to creating your own business?
I started designing monster-type dolls at the age of 10 as a hobby. Around age 14, I started considering fashion designing as a possible career after joining a fashion club at school. After my first fashion show, I felt my heart skip a beat; as cliché as it was, that’s when I knew. In my life, everything was lined with rules. Everything was very black and white, but design was completely different. Of course, there were rules, but they weren’t so black and white. In fact, there were infinite color combinations.
At around age 15, a massive shift in my life and health made me question everything. I hit one of my lowest points but still tried to get better for college. Everything went well until my health once again deteriorated beyond recognition during college. I realized how wrong I was about life and understood that I needed to change, and Laveau was born.
What pieces do you wear yourself? How does it make you feel?
Laveau’s silk slips feel smooth on the skin and are a statement piece that could be worn up or down; you can lounge in it or wear it to a dinner party. I sometimes add a blazer to dress up the outfit.
Do you think ecology must be embodied as much in the choice of materials as in the timelessness of design? How do ecological values impact your artistic choices?
The quality of the material is crucial so that the pieces last. We are fully aware of the damage dying or printing fabric is, which is why we chose not to produce the collections fully but limit the items by setting some preorder pieces. This was done to mitigate overstocking and possibly over-producing stock, which causes more waste. We try to be as sustainably-minded as possible in an industry that isn’t sustainable.
What is the most challenging issue regarding the expectations of your customers?
Well, it’s the unknown. Since starting Laveau, I’ve known that the fashion business is a guessing game filled with risks that rest on people’s likes and fondness. But just like how common divorce is these days, consumers can easily have a change of heart.
What does ethical design mean for you?
Ethical design usually points to sustainable design, but I think most people would know that. Recycled clothes made in the past still don’t erase the carbon footprint of when the piece was made or the carbon footprint for when it has been reinvented. Laveau tries to be as sustainably-minded as possible, so we try to deliver quality over quantity. But the quality and ethical design can come with a price tag that’s not so ethical to most people’s wallets.
Describe in a few words your creation process.
When designing, I tend to prefer seclusion. I’ve always had an inner palace, which is in fact a ballroom I created as a child to escape to and develop my designs. I get inspiration from every walks of life, including documentaries, books, movies, manga, cookbooks, traveling, road trips, going to the park, and even grocery stores.
I’ve also always had a habit of creating a music playlist for each collection to create a mood. Music can convey emotion, but it can also help you recall emotion and memory. When I begin any concept for the collection, I will repeat the playlist until all my designs are complete to ensure the emotions and concept is consistent. Since this process is done over multiple days, in a sense, it helps to keep you in the zone.
Can you share with us some exciting news regarding your brand?
There will be more great things to come, so keep a lookout for Laveau.
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