Photographs by Waylon Palmer
Interview by Jamie-Maree Shipton

J: You seem so chill.

L: What’s the point of being stressed? You do your best and that’s all you can do.

J: And luckly your best is..

L: Prettay sickkkk

J: So Pan’s Labyrinth hey?

L: Yeah, I was inspired by the fairytale of the blue rose from Pans Labyrinth, so it’s about trying to gain immortality but no-one can attain it because the mountain is covered in its poisonous thorns, and I kinda developed that into themes how we live in this intense urban environment day to day with this constant subconscious yearning to get back to nature, and not always being able to attain that. And that really dictated the flow of the range from start to finish. This range for me, and the show itself, it is about taking you on a journey. And once you see the pieces coming out I think you will get that. It starts off quite structured but still sexy, really slick one toned looks, and then I’ve slowly introduced a subtle print and then the more exaggerated prints and then beautiful colour blocking.

J: So if we are talking about the unattainable immortality represented in the growth of the clothing, is that representative as well of the women..so essentially she is starting off delicate with the one colour looks and then she is getting more comfortable and outgoing?

L: I think at the start of the collection, she is almost urban. There is something urban and very city about the opening looks and then it slowly graduates into more looser silhouettes which were quiet interesting for me to play with this season, with new volumes and new relaxed fits. For me it was really important to offer the Leroy Nguyen girl pieces that are quite sexy but so so comfortable to wear and you will see that in a lot of the shapes I have created this season. And then it gets a little more, um kind of pushing the boundaries, towards the end, which are my favourite looks.

J: So thats quintessential you, Leroy Nguyen then?

L: I mean, I suppose if your thinking about signature, yes I love a good print, and you do see that towards the end. I love interesting cuts, hemlines and volumes and you see that too towards the end. And that's the blessing with doing this years fashion week essentially this collection is over twice as large as what I’m used to presenting each season so I have the numbers to explore basic pieces, wicked swim wear and looks that are a little bit more mature.

J: So swimwear is featuring again?

L: Yes I’m quite happy with the swimwear.

J: And material, last year it was bonded silks and neoprenes, but the floating shapes mean it’s delicate or softer?

L: I wouldn’t call it delicate. It’s definitely not delicate. I would say I’m more interested in the texture this year. We have sourced this beautiful wool metal blend in two different colourways which looks amazing in the light. There is also still that sports influence so there is alot of hydro mesh and bonded hydro mesh in candy pastels and vivid prints which is cool. And then towards the end you do see the turn back to silk twills and organzas. Again that kind of cool vivid print.

J: What about hair and makeup, how did you want to relate that to the clothing?

L: Because it’s all about a dark fantasy but still with a presence of strong femininity we created a look that is a little bit wet but really soft all over as well. It’s about this princess in a dark fantasy world, and we have kind of played on the idea of a lady bun which is quite interesting and left of centre but still beautiful as well. Which kinda also relates back to my overall design ethos; I always approach my designs with the idea of youthful maturity. Having looks that are really put together and that people feel comfortable in, but always having that Leroy signature stamp.

J: So who is the Leroy girl?

L: This year she is a little bit more grown up. Last year it was about “here I am, I’m loud and proud”, this year she is alot more relaxed, as I said, I think I've designed for a girl who appreciates comfort in her clothes, but who also always wants to look beautiful and make a statement-but not too much of statement.

J: So just enough to get people to notice and wonder who’s she wearing?

L: Yeah, coz they are always the ones you want to follow.

J: And was there a muse at all?

L: Yes, from the film, the character of Mercedes was my main muse. She is so strong, she is a really strong and fiercely proud women but throughout the film she has all these delicate fragilites.

J: So inline with the muse have you told the models what kind of attitude you want them to give?

L: At the end of the day it was a muse for the clothes, but the Leroy Nguyen girl is always strong and she owns it.

Leroy Nguyen's webstore opens soon at http://leroynguyen.com/
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