StyleMePrague caught up with Antonín Soukup and Miroslava Kohutiarová, two of three designers behind the award winning fashion label LA FORMELA. Last month the design trio was named Designers of the Year at CZECH GRAND DESIGN and followed by Prague Fashion Weekend where designers presented a powerful A/W 15 collection.
Conceived from an idea to offer customers a wearable alternative to extravagant clothing, LA FORMELA designs are all about underground femininity and rebellious sophistication. From gorgeous chiffon blouses and neoprene skirts to avant-garde evening dresses and faux fur coats, LA FORMELA designs are a huge success among local fashionistas who demand exclusivity and contemporary chic.
First of all congratulations on the collection! Can you tell us the story behind the A/W 15 collection?
This time we wanted to create wearable clothing with the whole collection being inspired by underground nature (people mining for gold and gems, wild creatures that live in caves like bats). So we started from the underground and worked our way up.
Several items such as neon cape, black and white checked jacket and knee-high chain boots from your S/S15 collection ended up on the most prestigious street-style website. How does it feel to see people wearing your designs in real life?
We are very happy to have Nicole (our international PR agent) who let a lot of LA FORMELA items to fashion people. We saw some photos on the internet and really liked how people styled them differently.
What do you think of the current state of the Czech fashion industry?
We are on the right track. This year was very good for designers because we had some amazing people like Adam Katz Sinding and editor-in-chief of Now Fashion Jessica Michault. Every year the Czech fashion industry becomes stronger; there are many talented people here. Every designer you look at has something unique to bring to the table because of all those years they couldn’t express themselves – so there’s a lot of creativity inside each and every one of them. It’s like a kettle that was heating up for so long and is now ready to boil.
The fashion world knows a lot of design duos, however it’s rare to see three people at the helm. Tell me how the three of you got together?
Mirka, Katka and I went to the same university but we all studied different things. The last year of university we attended the same party and shared our plans for the future and decided to create a fashion label. That was it! (Laughs). We had our first meeting a week after and begun working on the first collection. Three months later we held a fashion show in Brno and continued working together since.
Do you have to compromise a lot?
We have a system. It’s all about communication. If I have an idea or say Mirka or Katka found a new material, you have to bring it to the table and discuss. It’s like in school you have to present your idea to your peers. That’s how you get to learn and explore every day.
I met with Anna and Radka from CHATTY, they told me that they actually draw sketches separately. How do you approach the design process?
When we have an idea or an inspiration we sit down together and discuss it. We agree on one common theme or concept for a collection then we do a story line of the collection then we are off to seek fabrics. We don’t do sketches, we work directly with fabrics. We would do three complete looks and if we are happy with it then we continue in the same direction for the rest of the collection. We draw a lot of inspiration from nature, culture and art. Sometimes an inspiration comes from previous collections and we build up on that with a new angle depending on the concept. Your collections are a blend of avant-garde almost rebellious yet very feminine.
Who do you have in mind when you are designing?
It’s a woman with a beautiful silhouette and good manners, however she is arrogant. A lady punk! She has her opinion and knows what she wants.
Is that women in your head or is it someone you see on the streets of Prague?
More in our head (Laughs).
I know that you’ve created a capsule collection for showroom BOUDOIR that was a huge success! Can you tell me how it all started?
We first started working together about a year ago. The owner, Marina, has a very good sense of style, very feminine and fresh so we decided to create a collection together for women who appreciate artful wearable pieces.
What was the best-seller of the collection?
I think skirts, pleated skirts and of course evening dresses! What are your plans for 2015? We are looking for a new studio at the moment then we start preparing for Prague Fashion Weekend in September and of course, sell LA FORMELA clothing to customers!
What do you have in mind for us A/W 2016 season?
We want to do something more avant-garde, try new things, new fabrics, experiment with shapes and styles.
Photo: Courtesy of Anton Savitskiy