With the next edition of Williamsburg Fashion Weekend imminent, Behind the Hype sat down with designer and former WFW participant Lana Weiss, whose line of clothing, We Do This All The Time, was featured in the Fall/Winter 2011 show at Glasslands. Unlike Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Williamsburg Fashion Weekend deliberately centers itself around the offbeat and unorthodox concoctions of designers like Mark Taurellio, Hayden Dunham, and our very own interview subject, Lana Weiss.
Williamsburg Fashion Weekend, organized by Arthur Arbit, a designer in his own right, encourages designers to provoke thought rather than make their sole concern about the “prettiness” of a garment. Weiss’ concept showcased cowboy and Native American garb, described as “cowboys on crack meets futuristic Native Americans.” Following, Behind the Hype and Weiss discuss, among other things, the importance of color, DIY projects, and the inspiration of 80s pop.
Behind the Hype: What inspired you to conceive of the cowboy/Native American concept?
Lana Weiss: Hailing from the Midwest, a lot of my friends from back home played in bands that strangely mixed country-indie garage into a new concept, and that had something to do with it. Also, I’m obsessed with wearing cowboy boots and I love the whole Native American trend that’s been happening the past few seasons. I thought the idea of combining the two would be an interesting concept that could involve my favorite bright colors, and it turned out great.
Behind the Hype: Why the name "We Do This All The Time"?
Weiss: Well, it’s actually a Mae Shi song that my Southern Illinois friends and I adapted as our theme song. When we’re in large groups together, we always end up chanting that. It’s kind of like a party song, like, “Yeah, we party all the time and love life, so we do this all the time!”
Behind the Hype: Your line has a vibrantly DIY style. Is that something intentional or out of necessity? Or a combination of both?
Weiss: It’s intentional in the sense that I’ve always felt it’s important to dress “out of the ordinary” to keep yourself happy. It’s out of necessity because, in my opinion, everyone should be dressing in bright colors! I’ve always kind of done the DIY style thing since I was a little girl. I loved cutting up old pieces of clothing and turning them into something new.
Behind the Hype: As a designer, does it seem liberating or confining to you when you consider how, shall we say, “casually” people dress on a daily basis?
Weiss: They’re so boring. That’s all I’m going to say.
Behind the Hype: Who is the designer you’ve been most influenced by?
Weiss: Betsey Johnson. I’ve always loved her and I had the pleasure of interning for her last year. Her clothes are so much fun and so inspiring, and after knowing her, so is she!
Behind the Hype: Do you have any ideas for your next line of clothing?
Weiss: It’s going to be based around food. I’ve always wanted to do that because I’m actually obsessed with food, so that only seems logical!
Behind the Hype: What’s your opinion of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly? Would you say that this look of Hepburn’s is overrated in terms of style iconography?
Weiss: I think Audrey’s personality is really what made her become a style icon in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Her carefree spirit is what first got the attention, then everyone realized her clothes were kind of new and interesting and different for the time period. I do think the whole thing is a bit overrated, stylewise. But maybe just because, like I said, the first thing that she was noticed for was her personality.
Behind the Hype: If you had to choose one 80s song to encapsulate your line for Williamsburg Fashion Weekend, what would it be?