This week Ruby Slipper are excited to feature the creative zeitgeist that is Linda Vydra as our Business Ninja of the Week. If you’ve not heard of Lydra as yet, be prepared to see more of this innovative Fitzroy-based brand on the legs of stylish hipsters Australia-wide. Lydra (a mega-mix of Linda’s first name and surname) produce bespoke bags, clutch purses and timber-frame bags and in addition to a diffusion line of artist-collaboration leggings called Pins By Lydra. These leggings have won our heart! The Lydra Mission is to raise awareness of the crafting skills of older people in our community, as well as offering a creative outlet to crafters with casual employment, creating magnificent Lydra pieces. Sustainability in the production of fashion items is at the heart of Lydra.
We will be doing a feature Ruby Slipper photoshoot AND GIVEAWAY on a range of ‘Pins by Lydra’ legging shortly – but first we’d like to introduce you to Linda (inset above, with her magical industrial laser-cutting machine) and show off some of the stunning acrobatic images from the first ‘Pins by Lydra’ promotional shoot.
1) ‘Lydra’ sounds like a combination of your first and last names, Linda. But it also sounds like a mythical, mysterious creature. Describe what ‘Lydra’ means to you – if Lydra were a girl, who would she be a mix of?
Lydra to me would be a young innocent girl. Who is seeking a place to shine and be herself. She doesn’t care what others think of her and has her own style and charisma. She often wears a messy side braid in her hair .
2) The Pins by Lydra project is a mixture of fashion and art. How did the creation of Pins by Lydra come about, and how did you settle on leggings as your art canvas?
I made a pair of leggings for a Fashion Gala I was involved in 2 years ago. I wanted a way to express my thoughts and have control over the fabric. So I used digitally printed fabric as my medium. Since then I have been wearing the leggings I made and received a lot of positive feedback from people. I love the idea of collaborating with other designers to create intricate and unique designs that stand out from the crowd.
3) Tell us about Lilli Waters and her work. What are the themes of the SHE RAW collection?
Lilli Waters is an amazing photographer and a great friend. She has been taking the magnificent fashion shoots for the Lydra handbags (http://www.lydra.com.au/portfolio-page/collection/) and recently had her first solo exhibition at the Blak Dot Gallery. She did an exhibition of 41 womens’ portrait over 16 months, filling up most of her weekends doing shoot after shoot. She is one dedicated lady! We got talking one night and thought it would be great to work together and put her photographs onto leggings, which then became the launch of Pins By Lydra.
4) How can artists get involved with Pins By Lydra should they envisage their own work on your beautiful leggings?
Artists can get involved by submitting their work online at our online application form- http://www.pinsbylydra.com/artist_submission/.
We are always on the scout for emerging artists with different designs. The designers also receive a commission for each pair of leggings sold! It is helpful if the artist has an exhibition coming up and we can tie the launch of their range of leggings with an event.
5) Are your leggings opaque – or is there a chance of flashing our knickers through them as we walk down Bourke Street?
No knickers showing :D. The leggings come in all different colors, so you will be just fine to keep your knickers to yourself.
6) How did you come to create Lydra – do you have an arts or fashion background in education?
I have a multi-disciplinary background that has taught me what I know today. I have an Advanced Diploma of Advertising and a Diploma of Fashion Design and Technology. They both work hand in hand when running a small business. It is often easy to be creative but knowing how to market your product is also very important. I’ve been lucky enough to also have a lot of support from my partner who is a graphic designer as well.
7) Which pair of ‘Pins’ is your favorite, and why?
My favorite pins are yet to be launched, so I can’t tell you too many secrets about them. All I can say is that they are gold leggings with pink prints on them and then can be customized with your own photos. Stay tuned for the release date on our official Lydra Facebook Fan Page!
All official Lydra promotional images by Tristan Manas.