After obtaining a fashion degree in Milan, she came to London in 2009 to study for an MA in Digital Fashion at London College of Fashion.
In 2012 she launched latex brand Dead Lotus Couture, and the label, leading to DLC’s catwalk debut at TG’s April 2014 Ball with a show starring Japanese performer Yusura.
Nange (pronounced as in ‘Angela’) is a regular vendor at London’s new pop-up alt/fetish fashion market Le Boutique Bazaar in Shoreditch, and this coming Saturday (March 14) sees her staging her first overseas fashion show at the Dominatrix weekend in Holland.
In April she is due to stage two further shows — one presented by The Fetishistas at the Festival of Sins relaunch at Resistance Gallery on April 4, and the other marking her return to Electrowerkz for her first full-scale TG presentation on April 10.
For this Fetishistas Q&A, my first question to Nange was: did she think that, with a painter mother and sculptor father, it was inevitable she would pursue a career as an artist of some kind?
NM: “Since I was a child I lived surrounded by an artistic environment. Paintings and brushes, sculptures and art pieces, art books and exhibitions were everyday life, especially with my mum having her studio at home.
“It was just after that I discovered that not all families had the same lifestyle. I am sure it strongly influenced my way of thinking and perceiving the world around me, but didn’t necessarily guarantee I would choose an artistic path.”
TM: While furthering your education you involved yourself in various different forms of artistic, musical and technological expression. What was it that finally decided you to focus on fashion?
NM: “Once I finished art high school I really wanted to be just an artist. I was very passionate about comic art, animation and sculpture but after more research I thought choosing fashion was the best option.
“I’ve always seen fashion as a discipline which involves more than one skill and it could lead me to use all my passions at once, giving me the freedom to express my art but to have a career at the same time.
TM: And what took your fashion focus towards fetish and/or latex in particular, and launching Dead Lotus Couture?
NM: “I always liked rubbery materials since I was little — the smell, the tactile sensation and the versatile aspect of it. I have also always been fascinated by the sensual aspect of things, so I guess the two things together led me in my choice.
TM: I think your MA in Digital Fashion probably differentiates you from most other fashion graduates who have set up latex clothing businesses. What exactly is ‘digital fashion’ and what, for you, is the importance of latex to this concept?
NM: “Digital fashion is a very wide and subjective field that leaves a lot of space for personal interpretation. My concept of digital fashion holds a mix of disciplines and passions I have, such as technology, electronics and media software.
“I came across latex as material during my Masters and I instantly fell in love with it.
“Its look and versatility leave a lot of space for experimentation while inspiring projects characterised with more of an edge then typical fashion, which I always prefer.”
TM: Your more experimental Dead Lotus Couture projects include the pioneering Metrika dress with a 3D-printed neckpiece that you displayed in Paris at the 3D Printshow last year. What sort of achievement does that represent for you?
NM: “For a long time I’ve wanted to do something with 3D printing. Metrika is my first practical approach to merging latex and 3D printing, but not the last. It’s definitely the first step for something more interesting and challenging.”
TM: And before Metrika, there was for example the Mechapolypse concept for a ‘mind-controlled’ dress. What exactly was that concept?
NM: “Mechapolypse was my big step into — and achievement in — my idea of digital fashion, after almost two years of working on it.
“I could merge and experiment in one project with a lot of different fields such as art, media software, electronics, material experimentation, latex, prints…
“It’s the world’s first dress that interacts with brainwaves.
“It was a few years ago so it’s a bit of an old project now, but it’s still in my heart and even if working on it was extremely challenging, it still represents a great career achievement for me.”
TM: Where do you think ‘wearable technology’ will end up, and where would you like to take it yourself, either with latex or other fabrics?
NM: “Everyday new and exciting projects are being published and entering the market, so it is becoming a recognisable field finally.
“I believe wearable technology will be more part of our everyday lives in the near future.”
TM: Where, in an ideal world, would you like to see Dead Lotus Couture positioned as a brand? What is your mission statement for the label?
NM: “I would love to explore electronics more through Dead Lotus Couture. It’s something I am missing at the moment but hopefully soon I will manage to start developing new ideas I’ve had for a while now.
“Unfortunately time and priorities are always a problem and they can slow things down.”
TM: When you were setting up Dead Lotus Couture, did its visual style evolve ‘organically’ or, as a graphic designer, did you first spend lots of time consciously developing the look you wanted for all your publicity/editorial imagery?READ MORE
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