One On One With L’Ecole Des Femmes Designer: Laura Sfez
L‘ecole des Femmes is an LA based clothing brand created and curated by aesthetic not-so-much-ingenue Laura Sfez. LDF designs have the French New Wave permeating through each design—intertwining with some timeless romance and sex appeal, that’s how you’ll get the full LDF look. The thing about this brand is that it isn’t really about the clothing, it isn’t about the sizes or colors available. It’s truly about the feel of it, the elegance that goes with it, and the way it makes love to your body. It’s a different breed of elegance, one that lives more in its own dreamworld without losing contact of this world. This is something that no one has quite mastered before, LDF started as a clothing brand and became a lifestyle. Naturally, we must know more.
If you could introduce yourself, how would it go?
Laura Sfez: If someone were to ask me what I do for a living? I usually say that I own a clothing brand.
Personally I need to know, who/what are you in love with? Because in order to live how you do, your heart must be in flames at all times—one hell of an admirable and raw lifestyle.
LS: Ha! That sounds lovely. Thank you. I had no idea I came off this way. I am in love with ideas, concepts and breaking them down to tiny pieces in my head and then putting them back together into one giant simple piece.
I listen to music quite a bit and I guess I’ve chosen to listen to things that make me feel a certain way. It’s like being in love all the time and getting to feel high on it as much as I choose. I don’t need to be perfect to earn it, I don’t have any anxiety or doubts, it’s just a pure feeling. Luckily I’ve found the right guys for me on this planet and they’ve recorded all of the best pieces of themselves. I feel the same way about good writing.
What was your first love? And yes, of course I’m asking questions about l’amour to a French woman but also because I can feel this blatant sexiness matched with elegance in your clothing but somehow its tainted by an aroma of romance. So naturally, I ask, first love?
LS: I don’t know at all. I know I loved music very much and lyrics and words. I think my first fascination and—I apologize for this being sexless, but words were my first love. They gave me a tool of reference for working out my rapid and endless thoughts on everything. Words are powerful, I fell and never came out.
Where do you draw this sex appeal from?
LS: The sexiness in the photos is just how I suppose I react when I wear these clothes. It is why I wear them, to feel that way.I pretty much design how I want to feel, but the clothes only go so deep… the clothes are just the beginning, the envelope. I don’t care about clothes.
Can you remember your first artistic creation?
LS: That is a very kind question to ask. I have no idea, but I know I really loved any creative writing assignment and the first weird expression I can recall was literal performance impersonations of everyone in my family. It would always piss someone off, even though they were smiling at me. I liked pissing people off but I still loved them and wanted them to know I loved them.
Are there other types of mediums for your art other than designing?
LS: Well this is the interesting thing: people don’t seem to realize that I take every photo that is not of me and that those of me are with my cameras, loaded by me, styled by me. i spend a lot of time dropping off film, picking up film, and editing photos. I always know exactly what I want and always carry my cameras with me.
How does film (photography) play into your life?
LS: Photography is a big outlet for me. Film making is the ultimate goal, dream, and drive…always. I love making videos with my sister Isabella more than anything in the world. We have never ever let anyone participate or assist or even know what we are up to. And it’s always exciting as hell for us to see if the vision will carry out the way we saw it originally together. It’s like dreaming with someone else.
When do you express your art and your self the most freely? How?
LS: Definitely through writing. I can fly when I write. I can take you to the countryside, buy you a milkshake and kill you. I can make you feel pretty, I can disappoint you and I can open you. What prompted you to begin this clothing line?
LS: I was a graphic designer, and one night I decided to design a line. My first items were pencil skirts, some with suspenders and other Peter-Pan collar button ups.
What is your role in L’ecole des femmes?
LS: I design the clothes, and I’m either in front of or behind the camera or both; I handle the business side as well.
Where does the name come from?
LS: The name is originally a play by Moliere. The signification is School of Wives, I wanted to change it into School of Women.
Did you have any doubts or fears starting this company up?
LS: Sure, I still do. No one is safe. I’m not selling bread, people don’t NEED me.
What is your motivation behind it? What is LDF really about?
LS: My motivation has always been to have a great clothing brand so that I can just make a living like everyone else, but be independent and not work for anyone. LDF is me doing my best and not caring about what the fashion conventions are if I don’t agree with them.
What has been the most challenging time throughout creating this idea/world?
LS: Facilitating. I’m not Zara, so it’s a costly business. The businesses ripping me off should know this. It’s a challenge making my own buck when there’s so many sharks swimming with me. And they don’t even say ” hi.”
When you wear LDF, how does it make you feel? How do you want it to make other people feel?
LS: It always makes me feel special and pretty, always. And I always get compliments, because someone out there always feels the strange movie-like moment from you when you’re in them [the clothes]. There is a cinematic familiarity in most of the pieces and that usually charms people I think.
How has LDF and your art affected you, apart from a professional standpoint…on a personal level?!
LS: Yes it has. It has taken the inside and put it outside; and it feels GOOD.
How is your clothing impacting the youth/society?
LS: I hope it does. And I think that as much as I may promote marijuana and cigarettes and perhaps too much erotic content for younger women to be exposed to, I also promote a flip side of thought, elegance and sense of freedom and self. I offer a different kind of woman than what we might not see popularly or commercially. I think that speaks to people who aren’t spoken to and who are really interesting. I think there is a definitely aesthetic impact, which is the outer, and then there is an introspective one that is very new… I think it prompts certain people who are affected positively to be more brave in their personal expression.
What is one thing from the line that is an essential?
LS: I think the Navy Belle de Jour is the most perfect dress.
Do you have any advice for aspiring designers/artists out there, trying to make it?
LS: Yes, be passionate or be nothing. I don’t care if you have to work out of some shit garage. Be brave. It doesn’t hurt anyone to be brave in life. Try it, and then keep pushing it and pushing it and pushing it and pushing it and pushing it… and don’t stop.
Anything else you’d like to say?
LS: Yes. Be brave. It doesn’t hurt anyone to be brave in life. Try it, and then keep pushing it and pushing it and pushing it and pushing it and pushing it… and don’t stop.
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