Much like us, Deena Lynch’s first foray into fashion was sparked via glossies at a young age. It was between the pages of these fashion magazines that the musician and illustrator developed a fascination for Christian Louboutin. “Then it continued as I fell in love with Sex and the City and Carrie’s shoe fetish which perpetuated mine,” Lynch reveals.
Perhaps it was fate when the Australian Louboutin outpost tapped the Japanese-born creative for its Fall/Winter 2020 campaign. The vibrant collaboration takes cues from 50s pop art and the country of France, home of the red-bottomed heel. Lynch describes the inspiration for the partnership as “playful Paris” and in turn introduces a series of FW20 sky-high pumps dressed in flamingo pink, sunshine yellow and arty prints.
GRAZIA speaks to the design trailblazer following the release of the campaign.
GRAZIA: Hi Deena! Congratulations on such an interesting collaboration. How did this opportunity come about? When you were commissioned, where did you begin your design journey?
Deena Lynch: “The Australian Louboutin team reached out to me and said they had been watching my career for a while and how I worked as an artist aligned with them. I was so flattered, turned bright red and rolled up into a little ball from excitement when all of this happened. This was honestly a dream collaboration for me to partner with them for the Fall/Winter 2020 Collection.
“Christian Louboutin is the first brand to completely trust me as an artist in every facet – music, art, film and fashion.”
I was honoured they gave me such free-reign but I had to start by trying out a whole bunch of different ideas. For one entire day, I set my timer to 20 minutes and allowed myself to jot down, scribble, draw many different ideas in that time and then I refined from there.”
You’ve said that Louboutin’s FW20 collection instantly transported you to a playful Paris. Can you describe to me your experiences when visiting this city?
DL: “There’s so much to Paris that I don’t think I can even do it justice in one answer. I am still yet to have the opportunity to fully engulf everything the city has to offer, but in the small slice that I have, I felt so intoxicated by the art, architecture, the underground scenes, theatres, melting pot of cultures, food and romance. It all seems like a beautiful chaotic dream.”
You learnt French while producing the video for the Cube collection. What was this process like?
DL: “I’ve never had any exposure to the French language, so it sounds romantic but it was actually a challenge. After spending a few days in hotel quarantine where I gave myself a crash course in French, I was able to write the simple lyrics for the soundtrack to go with my concept film. I actually recorded the vocals 84 times, with my French friend grilling me until the pronunciation passed his and his other French friends’ approval. It was worth it. I’ve continued to learn the language a little bit each day.”
This collection is so colourful – perhaps an antonym to 2020? Do you feel that? What do you love most about the FW20 pieces?
DL: “I do feel like the collection is an antonym to 2020, and my Spectator Jonze art behaves in the same way, which is why I loved the collection so much – it felt like the perfect match. I always use bright colours bordered by black lines to offset the content of what the art is visually interpreting. The colour palette is also what I naturally tend to go towards in my own day-to-day art. My favourite pieces of the collection are the items that encapsulate that with the Louboutin patent Cube pattern – the Elisa baguette and the Mondiri block heels. I love that they capture Louboutin’s genius so well, where he is constantly able to create uniqueness that’s also so timeless and chic.”
How did you land on this sound?
DL: “I wanted the sound to help push that playful Paris I had in my mind, while still keeping it a magical world that seems a little fantastical and surreal. I wanted it a little classical but still modern, and I wanted it a little foreign but familiar.”
You’ve been obsessed with the designer since you were little. What are your earlier memories of Louboutin?
“I think my obsession with Louboutin started as a little girl when I would save up my money to buy fashion magazines that I hardly understood.”
DL: “I would cut up clippings of all my favourite pictures and items. Then it continued as I fell in love with Sex and the City and Carrie’s shoe fetish which perpetuated mine. I sent the Christian Louboutin local team a page from my diary from when I was a teenager, it was a diary of 101 Dreams and on the first page was my dream to own, not one, but a whole wardrobe of Louboutin shoes. That was my number one dream and on the second page was falling in love. Which meant that my love for Louboutin superseded my desire for love itself.”
Did you feel any pressure being asked to interpret something for a house as storied as Christian Louboutin?
DL: “Oh definitely. I “umm’d” and “ahh’d” on decisions and colours until I drove myself mad. I wanted to use this opportunity to push myself further as an artist but to also come closer to the calibre of Louboutin’s artistry. I learnt a lot and saw new perspectives as an artist and I am still so grateful that they believed in me as an artist and allowed me to explore that.”
This is definitely a career highlight! What’s next for you?
DL: “I’m working on my second EP ‘ANTIHERO’ for release early next year and a short film to go alongside it. I want to continue pushing myself as an artist. I hope to continue doing collaborations with my music, art and film, or whatever else comes my way. I’m willing to push the limits of my artistry and try different things. I like being unbound and challenged.”
What is your advice for younger aspiring creatives?
DL: “Be authentic to yourself as an artist but be relentless. Those doors will eventually begin to open but you have to be ready for the hard work too. I’m still in the middle of that journey but looking back even one year ago, I could’ve never imagined the opportunities that have come my way, that fully embraced who I am as an artist. I’m excited to see what lays ahead and I’m ready to continue to face the challenges.”