Designer Lucas Meyer-Leclère
Dear Lucas, would you introduce yourself and your brand? What does it stand for?
My name is Lucas Meyer-Leclère and I am the creative director of LML studio. Karl Lagerfeld hired me to design fabrics for Chanel when I was still a student at Saint Martins. I learnt how to fully unleash creativity whilst keeping extremely organised. After that I designed accessories for Jimmy Choo. As I was living between London and Milan I was missing a sense of excitement so I moved to Berlin where I had some art exhibitions. Eventually I missed fashion and started LML studio where I am retailoring and hand painting existing pieces or fabrics. The brand stands for the acceptance of differences and harmony within diversity.
At what point did you decide that fashion was your destiny? Did you choose fashion or did fashion choose you?
I was about ten years old when I saw The Beauty and the Beast by Cocteau and started drawing clothes for the characters. It never left me. I chose to go along what my souls seeked the hardest to make me understand and accept. The more I learnt to let go and respect it, the better I felt. However, I don’t think that we chose what we love or want. We shape it. Craft it. Polish it. That takes time. And we make mistakes. That takes energy. And life falls in love with us again. And that gives hope.
You’ve worked with very famous designers such as Karl Lagerfeld and SANDRA CHOI (NEVER MICHAEL KORS) at the start of your career, what did you take as a lesson from them for this industry?
Karl was “humbleness” personified. Hard working, gentle, generous, demanding. An abyssal culture and high sense of style. Sandra is sympathetic and affable in the most stressful situations possible. Extremely hard working and very humble too. They are both very available and listen carefully to their collaborators and have great respect for craftsmanship. In the end, they are both wonderful designers.
You were born in France, lived in Milan and London and then moved to Berlin. Fashion here is different in comparison to Italy, France, it stands for different values. What attracted you in Berlin?
There’s no fashion culture per say deeply rooted in the recent history of Berlin and that’s very freeing. There are tremendous craftsmen, however, all over the country. In Berlin what there is, too, is an overwhelming sense of style, an open ground for personal experimentation. There is a reason why every designer in the world comes to Berlin for inspiration trips. There is another reason why you see a bit of the city in many catwalks in Paris, London, New-York and Milan. Sex and art brought me to Berlin at first. The possibility of making love in clubs I found extremely liberating. Nonetheless, by living here, a sense of depth, of moral, an intellectualism and a sense of responsibility I found exhilarating. Perhaps through my experience at the Evangelical church and in cultural life. You can’t take out Wagner from Germany. Also the extreme kindness and generosity of most Germans.
You live here for 5 years now, how did fashion in Berlin change during this period? Do you see any positive changes in terms of consumers being more sustainability aware or rather a decline in the interest in sustainable fashion?
The eclosion of responsible shops shows a desire for brands and consumers to move in this direction. I was glad to exhibit and sell my clothes through the Galerie Molitor in Kürfustenstrasse for example. A lot of my clients are interested in the narrative that brought these clothes here.
This will be your second time at the Berlin Fashion Week, how do you feel about it?
I'm thrilled to have this opportunity once more. We had a wonderful time for “Painted Love” and I want to do a lot of things differently so watch this space!
What do you think about upcycling?
Your clothes are one of a kind. They are not just free of sizing, but also free of gender, why is that?
Because I like the thrill of the unknown, or trying things out, pushing boundaries, and sensations are keys. I have worn things from both men and women since I’m a teen, and from many different sizes. That being said When I had my first jacket made I was about fifteen and the emotions of trying a sleeve that fitted perfectly I can not translate. Same for shirts at Budds and suits at Huntsman on Savile row. That’s why we are starting a made-to-measure service from this season.
How would you describe your fashion pieces in 3 words?
Come. feel. Them.
What drives you? What is your personal mission as a designer, who puts a lot of value on sustainability?
Showing alternative ways of conceiving creation. Drafting a new luxury dwelling in art as a responsible eco-system. Dwelling in resources to create new fabrics and surprise our clients.
LML Studio is placed under the aegis of Elaine Sturtevant’s words: remake, reuse, reassemble, recombine. Why are these 4 Rs important for you and your fashion cause?
First of all because Sturtevant as an artist is one of a kind. She had asked Andy Warhol to give her the screens of his flower paintings to make her own for example. She was in reproduction but not only. She also created very wild works like a ghost train in which one could see many different artworks. These four R’s as you put it, help conduct an artistic conduct to work towards.
What role does sustainability have in the fashion industry these days? Why do you use clothes from brands like Jimmy Choo, Dior and Chanel and re-tailor them?
Sustainability is the first and last thing people in fashion think about. Luckily there are many initiatives being made. It is also hard to size down to one trend since fashion can mean anything from Primark to Vuitton. I chose clothes for their feel and cut. Most of the time the nicest come from these houses, but not only.
We assume your collection for this year’s Berlin Fashion Week is, if not ready, then at least in process, what will be the key message behind them this year? What do you want to provoke in people’s minds?
I aim to highlight the great chance we have here. In place and time. I feel it’s a duty to be conscious whilst enjoying freedom as much as possible… but at the end of the day you might just see some nice jackets on pretty boys, and that’s already quite nice.
Where do you find inspiration in Berlin, when you are stuck or without ideas?
Schaubühne, Staatsballett, Komische Oper, Sprueth Magers and Isabella Bortolozzi. I wish I was sometimes without ideas. The feeling of “stuck” comes more from a frustration to not carry every idea forward because it is a matter of focusing on the ones that are relevant. To cure the doubt I found walking in tiergarten a great remedy.
Lastly, what is next for LML Studios?
Dressing Tiran Wilmse for his performance in Beaubourg and setting up a larger tailoring atelier with a gallery hosting artists and our clients.
Thank you for this interview, Lucas. Good luck at Fashion Week!