We had the good fortune of connecting with LAURYN ILASCO and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi LAURYN, what’s the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make?
Recently, the toughest decision I ever had to make was wether or not I should stay or transfer out of UCLA after doing two years of school there. I was considering going to FIT in New York for fashion to help further my interest and career in fashion or stay at UCLA studying something that didn’t make me as happy as making clothes did. In the end, after much thinking and going back and forth, I chose transferring to FIT.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
For about 6 years now, I have been making clothes. Initially, I started at the beginning of high school because I wasn’t seeing the clothes I wanted to wear in store. I would post each piece I made on my website just to document my work and the process. Once in a while I would sell clothes I made like tube tops made from scrap fabric (2019). It wasn’t until 2020 that making clothes became serious for me. During covid I became more experimental with my work. Being at home everyday for a long period of time really forced me to become creative.
At the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021, I started working on my first collection. “Playing Dress Up” was a turning point for me. I began using making clothes as a way to channel my feelings and reflections. “Playing Dress Up” was inspired by how I, at the time, was turning to things I enjoyed as a kid to comfort my anxieties of growing up. When I released that collection for purchasing, I only chose pieces that I felt like have not been made before or felt special. In addition to that I make everything made to order to prevent over producing and over purchasing of material. I have continued to do that for my other collections and will continue to do that for my collections here on out,
Like “Playing Dress Up”, each collection is a time capsule of each era of my life and I can look back on each collection that I have made and the collections I will make in the future and remember how I was feeling and going through at that time. Unlike commercial brands, I don’t want to create a seasonal collection every season. I only want to make collections and clothes when it feels meaningful. Clothes should not just be made because a new micro-season is coming up. I think brands should only come out with a new collection when there is thought and time put behind it and not when a new trend is up and coming or when its a new micro-season. My goal as a designer from here on out is to continue to create meaningful clothes and to always use designing as a way to express my feelings. Making clothes will always be an art form for me, through that practice I feel like it is one step in being more sustainable in addition to doing everything made to order, and recycling scraps and waste produced from the clothes I make for future use.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I lived in Los Angeles for school from 2020-2022 so I didn’t experience a lot initially as I moved to LA during covid, but my second year I got to experience more. Some of my favorite places to eat are Mogu Mogu, Tsujita LA, Ami Sushi, Kazunori, and Sonoritas. My favorite place to get boba is Sunright Tea Studio. I enjoyed going to all the different flea markets, like Silverlake flea, Los Feliz, and Fairfax/Melrose flea. I loved spending time in Little Tokyo, the sculpture garden at UCLA, and any park with lots of grass and museums (The Broad, Lacma, Moca).
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would shoutout my parents, they both have supported me and my creative endeavors since I was a kid. And growing up I was never interested in sports or dolls, I was interested in creative things. In elementary school, my parents enrolled me in art programs for painting and ceramics for the summer and later, sewing classes. In fourth grade (2012), they supported me in having a booth at San Francisco’s Renegade Craft Fair; I sold finger knitted necklaces with my friend Georgia. For as long as I can remember, every single creative thing I have gone after, they have supported me and not only that, but helped me explore different creative hobbies as a kid. And now, they lovingly support me making clothes and transferring to fashion school.
All photos beside the collage are taken by Marie Goldfarb (ig:_mgoldfarb)