You’ve waited patiently and we’ve delivered: Eco-Friendly Fridays is back. This Friday, we’re featuring Lana N’ Val, an Etsy boutique that offers wonderfully curated vintage attire inspired by the original 1979 punk movement, with nuances of military. Owner Ville Vru hand selects each item sold at the online boutique, and he would wear each and every item himself. So, we sat down with Ville to talk about what inspires the Lana N’ Val aesthetic, his process for selecting pieces for the collection, and how his own style is reflected in the brand.
dapperQ: Tell us a bit about yourself.
VV: I am a fine artist from Eastern Europe, with all degrees and formalities, but my passion was always creating unique style for various things… whether it be clothes, interior design, domestic objects.
dapperQ: What inspired you to open Lana N’ Val?
VV: At first I opened this shop just wanting to sell things I didn’t want anymore, but then later on I thought why not to develop something more out of this over time? I actually really enjoyed doing this; It united all of these different things into one, that I really enjoyed doing before. Like photography, modeling, sewing, matching outfits. Now I get to do all of these things for one final outcome. It’s a great feeling.
dapperQ: How did you come up with the name?
VV: Lana is the name of the mannequin and Val is short for Valerie, the cute little dog also in some of the photos.
dapperQ: How would you describe the Lana N’ Val aesthetic and how is it unique from other curated vintage collections?
VV: Right now Lana N’ Val is at a very beginning stages. It is still developing and in the near future we will change our name to be known as “Last Day On Earth” (aka L.D.O.E.) Our aesthetic unites all the best of pretty much all the subculture movements/youth movement fashions, such as punk, skinhead, mod, goth, new romantic. We take little details – bits and pieces from each movement – and twist it in unexpected or expected ways. We play with it. We collage it.
There is quiet a bit of gender play as well. Since I model all the clothes myself, I wear both female and male pieces there. All of the clothes are really gender neutral, depending on what kind of look you want. But all genders are encouraged to wear any piece; There are no limitations when it comes to that. Some pieces are altered and made to be different: reborn again with a touch of my own designs, whether it be patch work or a complete remodeling.
dapperQ: What is your process for selecting clothing for the line?
VV: The way I select clothing, it is all in my head. I envision a complete collection in my mind and match each piece with a different piece. Sort of like painting a painting and matching colors. In some of the photographs you can see me wearing a complete created look, not just a photograph of one piece. Also, I look at age, condition, damages – the older, the more valuable it is.
dapperQ: How would you define your own personal style? How is your look represented in Lana N’ Val?
VV: My own look/style changes quiet a lot and pretty frequently. Recently, I have been very much into black/emerald green/white/tan pallet. I’m into dark clothing, black, things with an absence of color. I like black with a tiny piece of something; small accessories, such as a pocket square or a tie. When you pair black with a little color it stands out. I also pay attention to Victorian clothing; Most of the people wore black, but beautifully made with texture and structure, like beads. One thing that never changes with me is tight pants/jeans accompanied with slick Stacy Adam’s Madison type of boots. I always wear those or similar.
Lana’ N Val is all about my style. All the clothing in my store is the clothing I would normally wear. I never sell items I wouldn’t wear. With me it is never random; Each thing I have in the store is carefully picked, thought about, loved.
dapperQ: Who or what has most influenced your style?
VV: Over time there have been many influences but recently New Romantics– 80’s youth movement, Victorian era’s black garments, late 70’s British Punks.
dapperQ: Who are your fashion icons?
VV: From the fashion world my all time favorite is Leigh Bowery. His unique and brave style influenced pretty much everything we see today. And from more recent years of the fashion world, I would want to mention Marco Trampetti and Jeremy Scott. Also, my style is influenced a lot by film-makers and specific looks/costumes in their films; Kenneth Anger, Andy Warhol, Jack Smith… German Neo-expressionist era…. list can go on and on.
dapperQ: What is the one article of clothing you cannot live without?
VV: These two are sort of a one piece for me… they just always go together like nothing else does: I can not live without tight black jeans and black leather boots.
dapperQ: What can we expect next from you?
VV: You will see more custom-altered one-of-a-kind pieces; You will be seeing a whole collection created/styled for the name Last Day On Earth. This collection will be apocalypse/future inspired, hence the title. With the color palette of Black/White/Tan/Emerald Green. As I said, the store is in it’s early stages, but it is growing with every day!