- Raissa Yang
I got the opportunity to sit down with the designer of House of Li Jon, Lia Mira, for an interview last week. Her collection, titled Li Jon Sculptured Couture,was recently shown in the Art Heart’s Fashion Show. Having seen photos of her elegant and out-of-the-box designs I was dying to get in touch with the woman behind the designs I saw on the runway.
Mira worked as a bartender before becoming involved in the fashion industry but has always had a love for fashion. After pooling her savings she was able to start her company and now considers herself an artist because of the nature of her designs. Mira creates clothing and designs out of chain mail. The craziest part? She does it all by hand. Take a look at our interview to learn more about this incredible woman and her unconventional designs:
What is the main idea behind your brand?
“I wanted my brand to be sophisticated and edgy. Metal is already a very sexy material so the challenge was making the designs sophisticated yet also practical enough so a regular person could wear the clothing. My inspiration for my designs come from all over. I get inspiration from shoes, dresses, color schemes. Really anywhere.”
How long have you worked on this collection?
“The collection shown at the Art Heart’s Fashion Show was just a bit from my entire portfolio. I have been working on these pieces for four years. Every piece is different because I try to push myself farther every time I work on a new design.”
What is the best part about being a designer?
“I love seeing people’s reactions to my designs. You see, I make everything so that if I want I could wear them. So I test every design for comfort. I don’t just sell a design that looks nice. I want people to be comfortable in my designs. It has been tough being a designer. My designs are so intricate that it requires a lot of patience and dedication.”
What is it like making your designs out of chain mail? I can image it must be very difficult.
“Oh yes it’s a lot of work! I never work straight through on one project though. I tend to switch in between things. Each dress can take anywhere from 3 to 5 weeks to complete. So about 300 to 500 hours per dress. Some of the dresses have over 50,000 rings on them! The pieces that contain Swarovski Crystals are the hardest because they are very intricate and detailed. Other than the huge time commitment my work is challenging because it can be very exhausting and make my hands sore.”
What is it like wearing your designs?
“They are very comfortable because like I said I try everything on. When you hold the design in your hands its heavy. Each design is probably around 10-12 pounds, but once you put the design on it’s not heavy at all. It ends up leveling out on your body, so you don’t really feel it. At the end of a long day though my muscles are sometimes a tad sore. It’s like I worked out without even trying!”
Can you tell us what is coming up next for the House of Li Jon?
“Well we are doing LA Fashion Week soon. I’ll be working with Eric Rosset again who is the Arts Heart’s founder. I am also currently meeting with artists and new people and working with PR people who want to carry my work for celebrities.”
Check out the runway below:
Images by: Mattia Holm