This week I welcome onto the blog a new high fashion label to hit the streets of London – a label for women specialising in edgy handmade silk tops, conceived, inspired and based in London mixed with the Italian sense of luxury and French “nonchalance” – representing the dual culture of the founder, Oriana Abbondanza. I caught up with Oriana recently to find out more about her brand, Les Amies Anglaises London … Hi Oriana!
Hi! I’m Oriana! I am originally from Rome, where I studied at university – I took a degree in Modern Languages. After my degree I moved to Spain to complete a doctorship there and after working in Spain for few years, I eventually moved to London. I have been working within the fashion and luxury goods industry for the last 15 years. Last year I decide to give it a go and create my own company and label, Les Amies Anglaises London. It is really only in 2015 that I decided to commit myself 100% LAAL. Also, I love Japanese food and of course Italian Food !
What inspired you to launch Les Amies Anglaises London?
Although I have been working within fashion and luxury goods industry in the last 15 years, I never worked in the ” proper creative area” of the business, ie designing a collection; but since I moved to London the idea of having my own label and my own company became stronger and stronger in my mind. The idea of designing tops came suddenly. At the beginning it was about designing simple T-shirts, then the idea became more elaborated and …it ended up being the LAAL collection: each top is a masterpiece itself. I wanted to use a simple item as a top and make it… a statement !
Have you always had a passion for fashion?
I discovered my passion for fashion a bit late, but I have always been a very “creative” person. Art has been my main interest. I would have loved to study a fashion related degree for example, but when I was at the university, the choices were limited – not like the ones you have now!
Your tops are very edgy – a sort of cosmopolitan glam rock twist in the most luxurious of materials, 100% silk. Where do you draw your design inspiration from for your top collections?
As I often mention, London is my main inspiration. It is such an inspirational city for creative people and everything can inspire me really: from graffiti on a wall, arts exhibitions, people in the street, to the simple nature around me. The ADASTRA top was inspired by the stars of the summer sky in Rome ( my hometown)! The silver studs of the tops remind me of the sky full of stars in Rome!
The Harnessless Criss Cross Top is gorgeous, so me! That is my particular favourite. What tops proving most popular amongst your customers so far this season?
I have to say that the whole collection has been very well received, but definitely there are some tops that made a special impact – Harnessless is one of them actually! Then ADASTRA, CHIMERA, BLACK ORCHID, URBAN ENCHANTRESS, Rêverie and Spleen.
Out of all the tops in your collection, which one is your favourite?
This is a very difficult question to answer ! I have to say that I love each of the 12 tops of the SILK OBSESSION collection, because I know all the hard work there is behind each of them… I definitely love Adastra – I can’t thank enough my couturiers for their patience because it was really complicated to sew on the studs! But honestly I love all of them, each of them are special to me!
The photographs on your website of LAAL’s first fashion shoot (with globally acclaimed photographer, Simon Songhurst) are just as edgy and fabulous as your tops. Shooting at the uber cool Penthouse Studio in Shoreditch, must have been a fab experience. If you could travel to any place in the world for your next photoshoot for your next collection, which place would you feel would sum up your next collection and why?
Working with Simon has been an unforgettable experience and I will only shoot with him for LAAL – that’s for sure. Actually, we are already thinking about our next shooting…it will probably be an outside environment, completely different from our first shooting…I will reveal it in the next interview if you want !! hahahahah!
I look forward to that Orianna!
If you could pick any famous lady in the world to be the “Face” of Les Amies Anglaises London- who would you pick and why?
I won’t be too original here I am afraid! For being so ” London”, Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne would be the perfect match for the LAAL look. I do like the intensity of Edie Campbell and the coolness of Binx Walton too!
Looking ahead to Spring/Summer 2016 – what styles/ colours do you hope to introduce to your collection?
I am attracted by contrasts so you will always find in my collection dark and bright colours/prints. For SS 16 I definitely would use brown/chocolate tones and I am obsessed with turquoise and red- pink tones! And you will always find animal prints ! Love them!
Although you are London based, you ship from your warehouse in Spain. Are you able to offer a global delivery service?
Yes, definitely. We have a worldwide logistics system and we ship from Spain to the rest of the world!
What are your plans for the future?
This year is about promoting the brand and gaining visibility. Next step will be the participation at international fashion shows, such as Scoop, Tranoï in Paris and White in Milan – definitely a bubbling and intense time for LAAL !
Personalnow – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
Obviously LAAL tops! I love miniskirts and minidresses during the week. At weekends you will find me in leggings, blazer, leather jacket. Regarding shoes : I love ankle boots and generally speaking I am always in high heels!
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?(apart from your own!)
I love YOOX.com and mytheresa.com. I am a big fan of mix & match so I love to mix some couture pieces with high street pieces. This is the thinking behind LAAL when I call my label a Prêt a Couture label!
What’s next on your clothes/shoe/bag wish list?
The whole RESORT Collection from Balmain if LAAL will boom ! hahaha.. If not, I could always queue for the Balmain and H&M collection in November !
Boots or Shoes?
Although I love both of them, I would definitely go for shoes or ankle boots – probably because I am not super tall and I feel that high heel shoes suit my silhouette better! Even if – as a good London girl should – I carry my secret in my bag ! ( ballerina shoes before the commute!!) I found this English habit great! Now I can’t commute any other way!
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can find out more about Les Amies Anglaises London
My website : www.lesamiesanglaise.com.
Twitter : @LesAmiesAL
FB : Les Amies Anglaises LAAL
Wow Orianna – it sounds as though 2016 will be a busy and exciting year for you! Being a born & bred London girl myself, I’m pleased that you’ve adopted the English habit of ballerinas in the bag! Dear readers, what fashion habits do you have? Do tell! I’d love to know!
All photos have been published with kind permission from LAAL