Brighton-based British avant-garde fashion designer Louise O'Mahony is the brain behind the label. She graduated as textile student of the year in 2005 on her degree of Costume Design & Textiles from the University of Huddersfield.
Since then her work has been exhibited in many fashion shows in the UK and been featured in magazines such as Nylon, Grazia or Elegant. Louise also runs 1950's inspired label Oh My Honey and works on commissions for singers, performers and brides.
Her current collection for L.O.M. is called "Folklorico" and was inspired by Mexican, Asian and European folklore. Pom poms, fringed seams and elaborate flower prints turn the designs into a vibrant adventure for girls brave enough to embrace their feminity.
Interview with Louise O'Mahony, founder of L.O.M.
Louise, your current collection is inspired by folklore from all over the world. How did you come up with this inspiration?
I really love to travel, and once every couple of years I try to take myself on a big trip. A few years ago I spent six months in Asia and was completely bombarded with inspiration from every angle. I visited a lot of hill tribes in Northern Laos, Cambodia and Thailand and loved their clothes and the craftsmanship of their textiles. I took a lot of pictures and bought a lot of fabrics and materials that I have been holding onto, waiting for the right time to use. I also went to Mexico recently and I could see how the two very different continents had similarities in their indigenous people.
Who is the woman that wears your clothes?
I originally thought my clothes would be worn by performers and very avant-garde people. However, this collection has been so popular with all kinds of women all over the world. Festival season has been very busy, particularly for the fringed Lycra top and pom pom frill jumpsuit, because they are so much fun to run around a field in! But women have also been buying my clothes to wear to weddings, on holidays, even to work. I think the kind of woman that wears my clothes is just someone that loves colours, like to stand out in a crowd, and isn't afraid to wear something different!
Could you please describe the process of creating one of your collections from the birth of the idea to moment when it's finished?
Every year I create a new collection inspired by one theme, once the theme is decided I start gathering inspiration, materials, images, and create a mood board to work from. I sketch between 50-100 different designs, then take the things I like most and mix them together with the other designs to make a whole collection. For the Lycra pieces, I designed the print and then have it printed in the UK, we then cut out the shapes, add the detail – the customer can choose from a huge range of different colour pom poms, fringes and tassels - then we start to construct the garment. All of my pieces are constructed by myself and my skilled seamstresses in my studios in Brighton, UK.
Your fashion is a firework of colour, and every piece is extraordinary. How does your personal wardrobe look, do you sometimes wear boring basics?
Not really. I don't own much black. I'll be honest, when I'm working 16 hour days in the studio, my 50's skirt with giant petticoat and sequinned crop top aren't the most practical or comfortable to wear, but even if I am just in leggings and a jumper you can bet they are bright, bold, with all kinds of prints and colours going on. (In Winter I wear a dinosaur onesie I made for my boyfriend over my clothes – haha!)
Do you prefer to work on collaborations for singers and brides or to design your collections?
That is a really difficult question! I love making the one-off performance or bridal pieces, because they are usually very unique projects to get the chance to create, and you get great pictures. However, designing and making my own collections is so much fun, and it is such a great feeling to know that people all over the world are partying in things I have made.
Let's have a little look into the future: What can we expect from you, another label, completely different inspiration themes?
I think two labels is enough for now! They are both very different, and both do different things for me. One focuses on 1950's bridal wear, delicate, big skirts, petticoats, lace and beadwork, and the other on outrageous colourful festival and party wear, Lycra, tassels, sequins. They are ticking all the boxes for me right now. But new things are coming for both of them. I will be launching a new collection for L.O.M. at Brighton fashion week in October, and a new bridal wear collection for Oh My Honey in January!
Thank you very much for the interview, Louise, I'll keep both of my eyes on your work!
Visit L.O.M here don't forget to like them on Facebook.
Copyright of all pictures by Louise O'Mahony.