LARA TORRES

...exploring the relationship between fashion and memory

I am currently living and working in Lisbon and Berlin, where I have been developing a continuous project on the relationship between fashion and memory. My work is developed within the field of fashion design with a special emphasis on research and both, an experimental and transversal, approach to design. Having graduated in 2003 from Fashion Design School, I started to question myself about the importance of fashion and about my own choice of using fashion as a medium, and since then my work has been a continuous attempt to answer these questions.

I see dressing oneself as an act of redefining the self; an external layer that communicates and translates our individual existence and in the end what is left of us, our remains. I work by reassembling details, collecting them and redistributing them into new shapes, establishing connections that acquire new meanings.

My working process is very close to failure, in the sense that it repeatedly recreates the act of remembering. It resembles the mechanisms of memory since remembering is a process that is very close to failure because of its fragile relation with its own original subject. Every memory is, in fact, a degraded or composite image of a previous moment or event.

Through the collaboration with other artists and designers, and by exploring the techniques specific to each artistic field, interdisciplinary crossover has led me to formal and technical responses seeking to crystallise, attribute, reproduce and materialise the ephemeral (object) and the intangible (memory), thereby, often questioning the boundaries of clothing as utilitarian objects.

Sometimes the pieces gain a sculptural character through the use of rigid materials, in order to permit them to preserve their “life experience”, blurring the boundaries between fashion, design, performance and art. I was often led to do performance presentations due to the performative dimension of some of my pieces. My fashion shows often abandon the catwalk to make way for more theatrical, static performances with the aim of making the audience stop, pay attention and carefully observe the garments in detail and not necessarily to be entertained.

Nothing inspires me like…
Failure.

I hope…
That I can develop my research and artistic development with some financial support in the future.

Cultural influences…
Are working material.

I got where I am...
Through my most recent projects “Mimesis | Fac Simile” which was carried out in collaboration with Jeweller Catarina Dias and Ceramist Mário Nascimento, with the purpose to cross interdisciplinary fields and produce a series of garments/objects/jewellery pieces with the intent of memory perpetuation.

Fashion can sometimes...
Be a shallow subject with no critical point of view and just market orientation.

I scream when…
I can’t work!

Money makes…
The world go round! Unfortunately… and it also makes very bad fashion, art, etc.

Creativity comes from…
A lot of reading.

I suck…
At doing business.

I live East…
Berlin.

My goal…
Is to do more research in fashion-related subjects.

The earliest memory...
Is crashing with my tricycle.

I get bored easily...
With everything that involves money.

Incompetence…
Makes me nervous.

I love getting older...
Because it gets better and better.