“What once made me look strange to other people, made me fascinating for others now! And my weakness became my force”.
Today we would like to introduce you to Jean Lugowski. Jean is a designer who makes beautiful corsets, victorian style costumes, and clothing. We came across his designs and fell in love with his talent and personality. We were so intrigued by his designs and found him as a designer so alluring that we contacted him for an interview. We hope you enjoy getting to know Jean as much as we did.
EotB: Please tell us your story and how you began designing?
JL: I had a great childhood! That always inspired me so much! But I was a very shy, quiet and unusual child. It was difficult for me to have friends, I even was scared of the outside world….so I made my own inside world protect me, inspired by all the Disney and Fantasy movies I’ve seen. I loved witches, mermaids, ghosts, and monsters. I felt too different from the other children like I had nothing in common….I felt too special….too bizarre…. So, alone most of the time, I was drawing all the time to express my inside world. And that for years!
Fortunately, growing up, things got a lot better since. I found a family in the Artistic life! Photographers, make up artists, hair designers, models,…. my job leads me to meet many people and not be shy or scared anymore! Because I found my place, I found the world I want to live in and make my dreams come true! What once made me look strange to other people, made me fascinating for others now! And my weakness became my force.
I went to St luc Liege Art school and I graduated as an Illustrator. Then, I started focusing on my other creative skill….sewing! Drawing wasn’t enough anymore. I wanted my inspirations to come alive, all the characters I created to become 3D!
EotB: What was your first design?
JL: I started making clothes for dolls first but my very first design was a dress for my sister’s birthday. I made a black satin evening dress for her and that was a fascinating challenge! She is my first muse! Renaissance inspirations came early in my designs!
EotB: We loved the “Curtain Dress”, can you please tell us the story of how and why it was created?
JL: Many things inspired me for this one. I loved “Gone with Wind” movie and, of course, the very famous green curtain dress the main character “Scarlette O’ Hara” made for herself when she had no money left. I thought it was so hilarious and smart at the same time!
But it was quite simple and I knew I wanted to go further with this idea.
I then, found an old curtain in a flea market and the idea came back as a flash! I started collecting any kind of curtain, carpets, and mats I could find and started playing with it soon! I love the idea of a broke Duchess who had to make her new gown with her curtains and tried to make it smart.
EotB: What types of materials do you use when creating your products and why have you chosen them?
JL: Anything shiny! I love shiny things! And I have a good taste for colors! That drives me crazy! But it must be good quality! That’s the only rule!
But I have no rules for creations. Sometimes I have a precise idea of what I want, sometimes I begin without knowing what it will become at the end, just like a painting. Creating brings me so much joy. Playing with colors and brilliance! Then, anything can be used to decorate! There are no limit to the imagination!
EotB: Does your brand have a signature style and if so how would you describe it?
JL: People tell me they recognize my design even without my name on it. So I guess I have a signature style! I think colorful and historical corsets inspirations are the main things that keep coming back often. Usually with lots of pearls and rhinestones on it like fireworks!
EotB: Who do you imagine wearing your fashions when you design them?
JL: I always imagine characters when I create a dress. I think of her manners, her behavior, her personality, the way she moves,…. Is she a fairy or a witch, is she good or bad, poor or rich, is she a Queen, a Marquise, a Burlesque dancer, a goddess of nature or from the sea…. I give a psychological dimension to the dress that helps me to go in one direction.
EotB: Which design is a favorite for you and why?
JL: My favorite design is always the one I haven’t made yet because it makes me so excited to have that wonderful new vision in my head! (usually with a new challenge) When I make it, I’m glad for a minute and I already start to dream and plan the next creation to come!
EotB: Please explain the artistic process of creating one of your designs from start to finish.
JL: First I draw my idea on paper. I’m good at drawing so it helps to have a precise idea of what I imagine! Then, I think and plan what I need to make it real and beautiful! I write down a list of each step to do. I need to be very organized! Think about the structures (because sewing is like architecture) And money means nothing when it’s about creating.
I start research on what kind of fabric I want, which colors, pearls, rhinestones, brooches, or any kind of decorations,…
I make my own patterns then I sew for hours! Usually, a Marquise gown takes 3 days to make. It depends on how sophisticate you want it to be, it can take the whole week! But I’m quite fast and it’s hard to stop when I begin. So it can be finished soon.
Most of the time I have great surprises, I discover new ideas, new inspirations (while doing it) I didn’t think about when I made the first sketch. I love those surprises! But it’s quite frustrating at the same time! Because, each creation, each dress, each design has a thousand possible ideas to come up with but I have to pick up just one among them!
EotB: Where will we be able to see Jean Lugowski’s work next? We know that COVID-19 has probably affected the theater schedule, but what is the next planned stage for your work?
JL: We are having such a troubled time! It’s also hard for Artistic jobs! But I don’t give up hopes! I cannot stop creating, that is what makes me happy and alive every day. So I keep going and make new creations coming soon! I have the time to make very sophisticated projects I never got the time to do before! And it’s time to experience new things too! So I will get out of lockdown with new skills. Shows, shootings, and exhibits will come right when it’s all over! I can’t wait!
EotB: Please tell our readers how they can purchase one if your creations.
JL: I sell some of my costumes on my Facebook page Le Marquis: Jean Lugowski. Beside my Costume design skills, I’m here to create what people want and can’t find anywhere, any kind of clothing! Men and women’s wear! (trousers, corsets, dress, underwear, shirt, coat, skirt,…)
Also, I can create for them if they want to be surprised!
Never be afraid to ask and send a message on my Instagram or Facebook page!
Be sure to check out Jean’s social media accounts liked above to see more of his work and if you are interested in purchasing his designs. We loved getting to know Jean and will continue to follow this amazing talent.