Why Talia Soloa and Lavinia Ilolahia of Layplan are taking a slower approach to designing and making clothing.
WC: What led you to studying fashion and your work in a creative industry?
Lavinia: My parents are both creative, so I definitely got it from them. My whole childhood was surrounded by house renovations (my dad was and still is constantly changing up the house), my mum always had her hand in creative things, gardening/landscaping making traditional Tongan wear, so I always felt quite free to nurture my creative abilities. I initially wanted to pursue architecture, and fashion didn't really come into mind as a serious career path, until the very last minute when enrolling into universities. I found that I enjoyed the A-Z process of designing clothes. I loved that I could have complete control in seeing out the design, fabric choice, pattern making and then making process. It was at university that my love for fashion grew.
Talia: Art and design were always the spaces I felt most ‘comfortable’ in. My first love was art, I love to draw and create but fashion was the combination of art and outward expression through clothing which sounded pretty cool to me. I am very fortunate to have a creative family and so I’ve always felt pulled toward design and art!
WC: You’ve mentioned you’re both inspired by women in your life, could you tell us about some of those wāhine?
Lavinia: Yes! Women like my mum. She’s confident, speaks her mind and she also had verrrrry cool style back in the day. My nan is a great one too. She migrated to NZ to help pay for my mum's studies. She sacrificed so much to enable her children to thrive, and in turn, I do what I do now because of it. She's one of the most hard working women I know. They both inspire me, I love when women just operate out of their confidence. It hits differently.
Talia: I am so blessed to have many incredibly bold women in my life but to name just a few I would say my...
Want to keep reading? Find the full story, Made With Heart, in Womenclan magazine available 2021.