Lavinia Ilolahia (left) and Talia Soloa (right) from Layplan. Image supplied.
Talia Soloa and Lavinia Ilolahia are the designers behind womenswear label Layplan which they initially formed in 2013. The friends met while studying fashion at Massey University in Wellington and Layplan is a result of the duo’s love of colourful, feminine designs. They’ve gained a loyal following on Instagram and their clothing is regularly worn by well known New Zealand women as well as their friends and family who are vocal fans of the brand.
We caught up with Talia and Lavinia to find out more about their brand, what inspires them and what you would never catch them wearing!
Tell us about your latest collection?
We’re currently working on a timeless collection slowly building it one piece at a time. For this particular collection we are being much more intentional with what we’re bringing out as we are aiming to stray away from ‘trends’ and aim for more pieces that will last through seasons. Hugely inspired by bold and beautiful women who influence us.
What made you become a designer?
Both of us have (luckily) grown up around creatives. Nia originally wanted to study architecture and Talia, art. We both have a huge appreciation for the arts and we find design is such a special way to express ourselves.
What inspires you?
Talia: People mostly, also love interior design at the moment and the different ‘moods’ they create.
Lavinia: Structure and unusual silhouettes inspire me the most. I like the challenge of trying to build shapes onto the body and making it work in a way that’s wearable.
Looks from Layplan’s recent range.
Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
Talia: Eeeek I can’t put my finger on what my ‘style’ is as I feel I’m still, and maybe forever will be, trying to figure that out hehe. I love a bit of a crazy-ruffle-puffy-dress just as much as I love a white tshirt and jeans.
Lavinia: It’s funny because I feel like my style is the “mature mum” version of Talia’s – I also love love love the crazy/poppy/puffy type of dress but it’s a controlled, simplified crazy in comparison to Talia. I think this merge between both our styles influence our designs because we both have similar taste, but different ways of executing it. Our designs develop quite a bit from initial because we both try and put our DNA on it. By having both crazy and controlled we feel it makes for clothes that people are able to wear across any event/function they have (or just for the sake of looking cool).
What is your all-time favourite purchase?
Talia: I was gifted by Nia a pair of mesh socks with dinosaurs all over that I wore to death or my $30 ‘Death Row Records’ T-shirt.
Lavinia: I had bought these really cool mismatched miso/sashimi earrings at a dollar store Tokyo years ago and I literally wore them everyday for 2 years. I have since lost them and am still mourning my loss 🙁
What wardrobe item should everyone invest in?
Talia: A good pair of blue jeans, a Layplan jumper in ruby and a pair of white sneakers – whatever floats your boat!
Lavinia: A MERINO TURTLE NECK.
Do you have a style rule you always obey?
Talia: Black socks with white sneakers is a no deal – I’m so sorry to all your black sock lovers!
Lavinia: None! I’m freeeeeeeee.
Looks from Layplan’s recent range.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Talia: To be completely honest – knowing that I work alongside someone like Nia who is first my friend, then my business partner/mentor (hehe) is a big highlight for me.
Lavinia: Amen to Talia because same. A highlight for Layplan has also been working along side a few influential women! That’s huge for us.
What can’t you live without?
Talia: People, always!
Lavinia: Most def my friends
Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
Talia: Never say never :p