Lara Klawikowski


What inspired you to start a career in fashion?
I’ve always loved clothes and dressing up, and it was a childhood dream to be a fashion designer. I wasn’t entirely sure about what career I wanted to pursue when I matriculated, and chose to study fashion design while I decided what I really wanted to do with my life. But I loved learning about fashion, pattern-making and garment construction so much, and also won a few design awards as a student, and this lead to my career as a fashion designer.

Who are the designers and thought-leaders in the industry that you look up to and admire?
Vivienne Westwood, for her unwavering authenticity and environmental endeavours in the fashion industry. Iris van Herpen, for her Alexander McQueen-esque high-tech avant-garde couture. Stella McCartney, for pioneering sustainable fashion.

What is your take on the Vodacom Durban July theme “Birds of a Feather”?
In line with my latest collection ‘inflorescence’ showcased at SAFW, where I drew inspiration from the botanical detail of flowers, particularly multi-colour parrot tulips, for the textures and shapes of dresses, I’m using flowers that resemble birds as inspiration for my VDJ looks. I’ll once again transform fabric waste and plastics made for recycled materials into glamourous upcycled designs.

How can fashion play a constructive role during the pandemic?
Fashion is optimistic, uplifting and hopeful, and gives people something to look forward to and dream about. Beautiful clothing is a pick-me-up in tough times.

Pick Six : More about you
Favourite food and drink: Indian food. Honey nut latte.
Favourite holiday destination: Poland in the summer
Favourite movie or series: The Queen’s Gambit or My Brilliant Friend
The best book you have ever read: This changes the more I read! For now, the Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante
What is your spirit animal, and why: Lion – best hair! Also, my star sign is Leo
Three people you would invite to dinner and why:
Marie Kondo – her book The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up is the most useful book I’ve read and she seems lovely in person in her TV series.
Russell Brand – I love his chats on his channel Under the Skin.
Adriene from Yoga with Adriene – I’ve streamed her yoga classes every morning for years. She’s like a friend I see every day. It would be great to meet her in person.