Having begun her life in Berlin and already gaining a feel of the fashion lives of New York and Antwerp, Laura Andraschko is now recently graduated and based in London. Taking a look at her work - and especially the most recent SS23 lookbook - has the ability to transport any fashionista back to the late 2000s and early 2010s. Those who were active on Pinterest, Tumblr, and any other blogging media during that time will recognise the Effy Stonem, Jenny Humphrey, party-girl aesthetic at first glance and experience the nostalgia of wanting to be that carefree, defiant, liberated teenager. Well, Andraschko, along with her distinctive creative vision, are bringing all our girlhood dreams to life, rejecting recent clean girl and fitness influencer aesthetics that have pervaded all of consumer culture in recent years, and bringing back the good old “so what?” way of life.
Today we introduce to our readers the young, London-based designer and recent graduate from the notorious arts school, Central Saint Martins, Laura Andraschko. Laura, how has your day been so far?
Hi there! I’ve been putting out fires since 8am (laughs)! UPS crisis averted.
Please tell our readers a bit about yourself and how you first stepped into the world of fashion designing! Were you always set on making this your career?
I grew up in Berlin. When I was 18 I moved to New York, then to Antwerp to intern at Ann Demeulemeester, and from there I went straight to London. I was always obsessed with fashion. My mother had this one cool friend, she was a costume designer, and I really loved her and hanging out in her archive and trying on all these amazing pieces. Later as a teenager, I would go to school with the craziest looks that l made the night before. At that time I was really obsessed with Galliano.
How has your everyday life changed since graduating from Central Saint Martins and you began focusing on a professional career in fashion design?
I’m still working the same long hours! Starting your own brand straight from uni is definitely daunting at the beginning, and navigating through that was a challenge. Although you had a constant pressure at CSM with crits and such, you still had guidelines of what to do. Real life is definitely scary, but also so fun and exciting. You get to do what you want in your own time.
Does it feel less restrictive practicing your art outside of a university setting?
It one hundred percent does! I don’t design the same way we were expected to at uni. For example, I hate drawing. Instead, I get obsessed with a piece of clothing and cut it apart and take photographs of it, and then take inspiration from my reference imaginary and start drafting a pattern straight away. I am really impatient!
Your creations have already been featured on magazines like Wmag where your clothes were styled on The Crown actress, Emma Corrin, as well as METAL magazine, and King Kong where Kim Petras embodied your clothing. What has been your favourite moment (or moments) of 2022?
Oh thats a tough one! There were some pretty amazing moments this year. I guess one of the most iconic moments was when the Cobra Snake, the father of indie sleaze, shot my military playsuit on Megsuperstarprincess. And of course Bimini at the NME awards in my argyle dress!
Recently, you threw a party in London to launch your SS23 collection. How did it go? And, will you be planning a fashion show to exhibit your designs at some point in the future?
It was honestly unreal. I am friends with most of the models and the people working with me that night and it just felt so organic to launch this very personal collection that way. The music was especially made for the event by October, she also modelled at the show, and it just all felt so special. The models were mixing with the guests and a photoshoot took place in the middle of the room so the look book was actually shot during the launch and guests could see the models posing in typical 2010 Terry Richardson-esque fashion. At the moment I am already working on the next collection FW24. I am planning a show around March 2023!
Your collections consist of some of the most stylistically distinctive designs available in fashion right now. Looking through your Spring/Summer 2023 lookbook can transport anyone back to the late 2000s where the punk and scene subcultures were most pervasive amongst alt teenagers. Where were you during the late 2000s? Did these particular scenes express you?
The collection is definitely based on my teenage years, around 2010. I was an emo at first and then slowly became indie I guess. Sneaking out to concerts, smoking weed behind school, kissing the bassist from some shitty band in the rehearsal room pretty much sums it up! I was definitely a notorious party girl!
Does nostalgia play a big role in your revitalisation and recontextualisation of these aesthetics through your own fashion designs?
Yes it plays a really big part! I always long for some sort of past. I guess this time felt so free and fun.
Aside from nostalgia and your own experiences of the 2000s, there has been a huge rise in appreciation of early and late 2000s fashion and media in the 2020s. This has culminated in teenagers of today becoming infatuated with shows like Skins and Gossip Girl, with the former especially exhibiting some of the edgy, party girl aesthetics (through characters like Effy Stonem) which your Spring/Summer 2023 collection seems to embrace in a fun-loving way. Do you believe there is a reason for this cultural shift which has even brought some of these aesthetics into mainstream view?
I think the media we consume has become oversaturated with too many influencers advertising an uber-healthy lifestyle, e.g. 10-step skincare routines to get the perfect dewy skin, thousands of work out videos, lifestyle gurus a la Gwyneth Paltrow to thousands of YouTube influencers telling you to drink celery juice in the morning etc etc. I feel as if it’s a reaction to and rejection of all of this. The Effys and Jenny Humphreys don’t give a fuck. They have smeared make up, party all night, behave badly and don’t care if they are embarrassing. I feel like people miss behaving like a Lindsey Lohan. Fuck shit up!
It is refreshing to see that each generation has seen its own new wave of punk, and you seem to be at the forefront of this decade’s punk revitalisation in fashion. Your Spring/Summer 2023 collection accentuates punk’s core values especially in how your models embody the clothes; the poses are exaggerated yet fitting for the designs, refusing to conform to mainstream ideals of modelling and embracing what may be perceived as non-lady like or trashy, working to free those modelling and those consuming the clothes from patriarchal and heteronormative beauty standards. For instance, one of the models wearing a grey tutu dress, a Royal British jacket style blazer, and black pumps is pictured bent over with her sheer tights on display. Do you view fashion designing as something that should be fun and non-sensical or as more of a devised social and cultural statement?
I mean I’ve never given many fucks, so what! I’ve tried to implement this energy into the collection and really into my whole brand. We all do need to loosen up a bit. Everything feels very serious nowadays, I wish I was working in fashion when you could smoke backstage and what not.
What is something that you’d like to accomplish before the end of this year and how would you like to move forward with your designs in the near future?
I am currently working on my online shop and plan on expanding my universe. With the new collection coming I want to build up my world so you can tap into that and be part of it! Bring party girl couture to the people! I am really excited… Stay tuned.