Tell me about your visual inspirations for the collection?
LEYLA: „California Dreaming“ and John Lennon‘s „Imagine“ form the title of the new collection: „Imagine Dreaming“. This is not nostalgic or retro though. It’s just that the hopeful, forward-looking feeling of the 60s and 70s perfectly captures the essence of this moment we’re living in.
Does love have a color for you?
LEYLA: In general, love is warm and transitions from a warm yellow into a bright white, that expands and covers everything you can see and feel…but in general, we see love as the color red – because love is associated with the heart.
As a lover of pattern and color, you are based in all-black Berlin. How did that influence your trajectory of success?
LEYLA: I have never really perceived Berlin as “all black” – when I first moved to Berlin, I was exposed to so many colors, in so many different ways, that it never seemed to be “only black”. Definitely not as colorful as California. I would say Berlin is rather grey in terms of the weather – between October and March the heavens above are almost always grey and foggy, more than anything else.
‚Imagine dreaming‘ is an ode to the carefree. How has the pandemic and other rather worryingglobal news, influenced your design process?
LEYLA: I personally find the current crisis quite different from the pandemic we have experienced over the past few years. At the beginning of Covid, the world was at a standstill, and we understood that life was in the process of massive change. With time we got used to the whole situation – and became more carefree, letting life be as it was and taking things as they came. We wanted to overcome the sadness and frustration of our everyday lives – we needed to feel more alive and celebrate life – and to indulge once again in what made us feel good, through self-expression and dressing up beautiful things. At the moment we find ourselves speechless, but hope must prevail! And we must maintain our faith in each other and in the possibility of creating a better future for all, as different as it may feel in times like this.
What is your favorite textile to work with?
LEYLA: Silk in all its variety – shiny, slinky, light, and heavy ….chiffon, georgette, Duchesse, organza.. I love it all – especially how it moves on with the body. You can easily wear it in the summer as well as in winter… It is just one of the nicest materials to work with.
What is your example of natural sexiness?
LEYLA: Being naked.
lala Berlin is famous for a masterful pattern mix – what is your rule of thumb to venture more dynamic in the wardrobe?
LEYLA: Mixing and matching are always good to bring a certain edge and different combinations. Particularly with pieces that can add versatility to what you wear. Mostly done with the right accessories – heavy-duty boots to a mini skirt, a hint of color if you want to be subtle…a strong pink, green or yellow on your shoes, bags, or even colorful socks – a bit of fun does not harm anyone.
Where do you see your designs worn?
LEYLA: Everywhere and anytime… Even on the red carpet.