Lenka Padysakova born in Slovakia, now based in London is known for her 1920’s to the 1950’s historic classic style.  Lenka’s work is very in-depth.  This extraordinary young designer really puts her soul into creating and designing exquisite work.  By looking at her work you can definitely tell that she eats and breaths fashion, working hard and does extensive research.  Her gift is truly one of a kind.  Lenka Padysakova has such knowledge of different history of historic periods of art, she is a unique individual known like no other I’ve known.  I had the pleasure to interview her and she was very delighted and gracious to answer.

EFM: Tell me what a typical day is like for you?

LP: hmm, typical day...such a thing does not exist for me.  Every day is very different and always brings new things and surprises.  But what is maybe typical about it is the fact that my day has usually around 16 hours of hard work.  And that is no matter if it’s Monday, Sunday or Bank Holiday.

EFM:  In detail, what is the process for you when you are preparing for a photo-shoot?

LP: Depends what photo-shoot it is.  But there are lots of meetings with photographers involved before and lots and lots of research.  I come with an idea of a shoot I have in my mind.  This needs to be explained to the photographer.  I have always lots of visual materials, sketches and few options for locations.  I ask photographer to bring his ideas to the shoot as well.  I have to choose the right models, make-up and hair stylists (or I do hair and make-up myself).  On the actual day of shooting it is important that everyone knows what they are doing.  Everyone involved needs to have enough time to do their own part of the job and just having a good time. While I am looking after the models, getting them dressed, photographer is setting up and doing test shoots.  If the lighting is very complicated or difficult, test shoots are done some day before the actual shooting day.  It’s a very long day, very intense, but if the preparation was done properly everything is enjoyable and smooth.

EFM: I read that you have always been interested in fashion, piano, and art.  What brought on this passion of yours?

LP: It all started with me playing the piano from an early age.  It was like another world for me compared to the real one.  I was studying a history of music, biography of composers...I spent almost every afternoon at the music school.  I attended lots of concerts and competitions...My teacher (first few years was his wife teaching me before him) was my best friend.  It wasn't like going to a lesson, but like meeting a friend and talk about everything.  But I was always playing with clothes, dressing my Barbie dolls as well.  I don't really know where it all came from.  It must have been somewhere deep inside me since I was born because there was nothing else I ever wanted to do in my life except music and clothes.  I just love so much to be lost in a galleries, listening to a classical concerts, musicals or fashion shows...I actually teach piano at this moment as well.

EFM:  You were born in the 80's, how is it that a young person like yourself became so intrigued by the history of art?

LP: I probably was born in a wrong era (smiles).  I have been described even in a primary school as a girl with an old-fashion romantic soul.  I was told that I am living in my own made-up world, which is true.

EFM:  When I saw your work I didn't just see pretty clothing, I saw art.  Would you agree, if so explain why?

LP: Yes, I totally agree.  I am a creative human being who is not satisfied with doing only pretty clothes.  I want to do designs which ones will bring on your hidden personality, to make you feel like you are special, or a hero from a theatrical play.  Everyone is special and the only one on this world.  You have to know that and feel that.

Photographer: Jon Gee

 Fashion Designer and Stylist: Lenka Padysakova - http://www.lenkapadysakova.com

EFM:  How long does it take you to come up with a concept, and what inspires you to do so?

LP:  I can’t push myself into that and it will come itself.  It always did.  Sometimes it takes longer; sometimes I have many concepts just in one day. Everything and everyone is inspiring.  I am always hungry for new exciting things, new people to meet, and new stories to hear.

EFM:  Would you say that by attending London College of Fashion, that having the knowledge of the history of art influence you so much that it manifests in your work as a fashion stylist?

LP: London College of Fashion gave me "a different point of view" on fashion.  I learned more about the business and commercial side of the fashion.  Yes, I developed as a fashion stylist as well, which is great.  But even though, it didn't change my style.  I would say my "handwriting" became even stronger.  I did actually a BA course just in 2 years instead of three.  I was accepted straight away to the second year because my portfolio was already strong enough to do so.

EFM:  You are also a Fashion Designer.  I read that you have launched your own brand?  Can you tell us in detail about your brand?

LP:  My brand is my little baby carrying my full name.  It’s a total reflection of me.  For my own collections I just let everything go out straight from my heart. When I am creating a new collection it’s like being on another planet.  My mind is flying around and catching all information for making mood boards.  Then it comes to the point of making drawings, patterns, samples, fittings...I am doing everything by myself.  Until the last fitting it is still creative and developing work which I enjoy so much. My designs are influenced by history of art, fashion and music... but I am bringing into that contemporary details and colours.  All items are very feminine, glamorous but with certain power what gives to the women wearing them a brilliant feeling about being themselves.

EFM: If you do not mind, can you enlighten us about the "Black Beast".  Don’t tell me that you are an actress as well, for short films?

LP: The "film still" from a short video BLACK BEAST where I did play, did make-up, and hair.  Well, the Director of this very short, I would say video clip (there is music only, no words and it has around 4 minutes) Bet Orten asked me to work on her project. She came to me saying that she has got this idea about a girl who is digging her own grave. She loves my style and she said to me that I am her MUSE and she wanted me to play in this video but also she wanted me to make my hair and make-up the way how I am doing it.  She wanted some huge black dress to make as well. I did few designs as I was very excited about this project. She has chosen her favorite so I just made all by myself and have been myself in this video too.  It was great fun, but freezing cold! (smiles) The photo is made by her- Bet Orten.

Music Video Director: Bet Orten   Fashion Designer/Stylist: Lenka Padysakova

EFM:  Lenka, you basically do it all; design, styling, makeup, hair, and short music videos.  How do you balance and manage it all?

LP:  It’s a tough job.  But I can manage it very easily because I love what I do. And it’s my life rather than work.  In this case I wake up every day with a smile on my face and looking forward what another day will bring me.

EFM:  With all of this, where do you see yourself in the future?

LP: Everything in my life is moving so quickly that I never know what will happen tomorrow.  I know what my passion is.  I want to keep creating my designs, to be happy and make other people happy by wearing my clothes.  I would like to see more and more people wearing my items.  How far I will get and where in the world will "the wind" brings me I have no idea.  I leave it all on the destiny...

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Interview by Rochell “E” James




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