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LU LA LOOP

WELCOME TO THE ACID TRIP WONDERLAND OF LU LA LOOP

TEXT BY
ANNIE QUEERIES

07.02.22

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What’s pink, black and Peaches all over? Why it’s one-of-a-kind, punk-trash-couture swaddling a Canadian electroclash icon, of course! 

If you had the opportunity (and good sense) to pick up a copy of Dreaming Magazine’s delicious debut issue, you, no doubt, (gay) gasped with delight as you regarded the glorious Peaches gracing our music section, fabulously adorned in a rather voluminous piece of puce costumery, featuring enormous, glossy, chain-linked lips and an outrageous spiky tongue (on the garment, that is, not Peaches).  ‘Who is she wearing?!’ you most likely screamed.  Well, calm down and let us tell you!

 

This superb creation was the terrifically twisted handiwork of Berlin-based fashion designer Lucy MacPherson (Lu, for short), who is passionate about creating ‘wearable art’ for performers, drag artists and just about anyone who loves to express themselves.  Nestled in the heart of über-bohemian Kreuzberg, Lu describes her ‘destination’ store, Die Kraft (‘The Power‘), as a ‘safe space’ for all the outsiders, misfits and queers to come and be their most authentic selves.  Are you partial to a cheeky bit of tartan and vinyl? Are you weak at the sight of acid-green zebra print?  Are you an absolute slut for crazy DIY couture that is all about living life with wild abandon whilst decked out in traffic-stopping style?  Look no further.  Offering a combination of her own limited/custom pieces (including her reworked streetwear line ‘THRASH TRASH by Lu La Loop’) and a lovingly curated selection of designs from unique, independent labels, Lu’s mission is to empower her clients to be fierce - ‘When people put on a costume, it can give them this fierce energy and drive…to just go out and be [themselves].’ Amen to that.

 

Lu describes her bold aesthetic as a blend of ‘Zef culture and trashion elements, with kawaii and poppy twists, drag adoration, club kids, 80's & 90's pop-culture lusting, sometimes with a dash of dark, but always fun!’ Think cyber-punk-bondage-bunny giving out free hugs on the way to a three-day rave in a sweet factory. Her earliest inspirations perfectly capture her approach to fashion, art and life;  Cyndi Lauper emerging from the New York subway in a flurry of backcombed orange hair and unapologetic sartorial maximalism declaring that ‘girls just want to have fun’ is an image indelibly burned into her nascent designer brain. Her favourite movie of all time is the John Hughes classic ‘Pretty in Pink’, starring the ultimate quirky girl icon of the 80’s, Molly Ringwald. An artistic outsider who upcycles an old gown to serve a stunning look and slay prom? The writing was on the pink polka-dot wall for baby Lu.  

 

Lu’s career in design started with a degree in fashion knitwear (‘my mum said it would be less bitchy than straight-forward fashion’, she recalls with a giggle) at Nottingham Trent University, where she made all her own yarns and focused on experimental pieces intended for the stage. After graduation, her unique knitwear was featured in a small boutique on London’s Brick Lane.  When dream-pop superstar Grimes picked up one of her neon creations there - ‘she wore it loads!’ – Lu was set on a path of creating fashion for performance that has grown from strength to strength. ‘I started working with other artists, especially my friend and long-time collaborator [techno and noise artist] Aja Ireland and it just became really natural [to design in that space].’ 

 

Cut to Berlin a few years later, where Lu was throwing a fashion show and just happened to bump into Peaches outside. ‘I gave her my business card and sent her my collection, then she was doing a gig in London so we met in her hotel and she bought a hoodie from me. She wanted it slightly different so we changed it, then she got us tickets to the Secret Garden Party (a festival in Cambridgeshire where Peaches was playing) just so we could deliver this sweater.'  Who knew a supply chain could be so glamorous? When Lu moved to Berlin in 2018 (with her ever-supportive and loving husband), she was hired as a stylist for Peaches for a magazine shoot, thus cementing their collaboration further – ‘we became friendly and now we know each other!’

 

Building relationships with clients is a key element of Lu’s creative process and business model – ‘it has to be from the heart.’ Throughout her development as a designer and business owner, her relationships with the people who inspire her are as essential as any raw material, textile or design concept. She credits her good Judy and German drag superstar Bambi Mercury as a crucial early champion and supporter of her business - ‘she was hugely influential, coming into my store and posting ten, twenty stories, then all these people came because they loved Bambi.’  Further support from drag royalty came in the form of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11 winner and queen of contortion Yvie Oddly, who donned a custom piece of Lu’s cooky couture for her stint in RuPaul's Drag Race Live!, a Las Vegas show residency at the Flamingo Las Vegas. ‘You’ve got to have that emotional [connection]. When [my clients] put on what I’ve designed, I want them to have this reaction, it’s intimate.  With Yvie, that’s what happened.’  One of Lu’s favourite aspects of living and working in Berlin is the collaborative nature of all the creatives in the city; music blends with fashion, drag and art seamlessly in this cultural melting pot, which serves to enrich the creative output in all directions.  Indeed, to provide some sweet respite from the dreary doom of the past year, Lu hosted a music-DIY fashion-drag mash up event during the summer at Die Kraft, which served as a tonic for the battered souls of all the local residents – ‘it was like sunshine!  Everyone was just so happy to be together.’  

 

What does the future hold for this free-spirited fashionista? ‘I have so many dreams! I’ve started making a vision board! I want to continue to work with Yvie and maybe do some collections for drag tours, and I would love to create for Bimini Bon Boulash, GottMik, Shea Coulee, musicians like Boy George…too many to name!’  It has also been a long-held dream to create an Indie movie – ‘I am a massive fan of Taika Waititi movies; I love Taika's appreciation of ‘the outsider’. His movies are so warm, funny, relatable and have this childlike sense of wonder that I feel is so vital in my world.’  Lu plans to grow her store and turn up the dial on the costumery tomfoolery - ‘I want to be able to showcase some of my cool shit!’  Die Kraft will also see the launch of an online store to complement the Lu La Loop line, thus enabling even more clients across the world to get their hands on some of Lu’s unique designs.  Simply put, Lu is manifesting MAJOR fashion moments, fabulous fun times, iconic collabs and just a touch of global domination. 

Oh, and Lu’s prediction for 2022? ‘I think there is going to be this energy where people just want looks; they’ve been in sweatpants for two years!’  

 

Girl truly does just want to have fun. Why don’t we join her?


You can find Lu on Instagram @diekraftberlin @lulalooplucy as well as their website and Etsy

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