By Saira Toppin
Fashion and art are intertwined in innumerable ways. Many fashion designers tell the public that they receive their inspiration from art, people, nature, and other mundane things. What about artists, where do they get their inspiration from?
I bet we can say they get theirs from many of the same things that fashion designers do. Let’s see what gets Lars Klingstedt, fashion designer and artist, to tick (maybe our theory of shared interest is true). Klingstedt combines his passion for both fashion and art and makes beautiful creations for our eyes to dwell over.
Women’s Mafia: I see you are a designer by trade and have done work with Polo, Pelle Pelle, Nautica, and Todd Oldham. Those are some big names. How was it working with these companies?
Lars Klingstedt: It was a tremendous opportunity to work and grow with such established brands. I was pleased that my contributions to each label helped to elevate the status and sales of the collections for which I’ve worked. I’ve also lent my talents to smaller companies and that was equally rewarding. Ultimately working for myself, I’ve enjoyed my career and life much more.
WM: How did you get into fashion? Was this your calling?
LK: I always loved sketching and painting and have been designing things from housing to clothing from a young age. I applied to FIDM in LA and FIT in NYC and was accepted into both Fashion Design programs, but thought FIDM had more to offer me.
WM: Who is your favorite fashion designer or company?
LK: I’d have to say my favorite company is Dolce and Gabbana. They’ve achieved a delicate balance between over-the-top glamour and understated elegance. Their broad range of style is also another component of their business that I admire.
WM: You are also an artist. I had the pleasure of seeing some of your work in person at the GLAAD Out Auction 2009. What inspired the career shift, or rather dual career?
LK: While I have always loved painting and photography, it wasn’t until a friend introduced me to someone at Christie’s that I seriously considered showcasing my work. The positive feedback from such a prestigious art expert inspired me to seek representation and participate in shows. I still consult and freelance from time to time, so I keep myself involved in both worlds. In a short time the response to my artwork has been overwhelmingly positive and I’m thrilled.
WM: What is the primary form of art that you use? Can you tell us a little about the process and why you favor this over others?
LK: My work is in many forms from painting to photography to digital art. I have a wide style range but I’m most recognized for my digital portraits and collector car series. My work is usually computer generated, but I’m planning a series of paintings in the New Year. These will probably be done in acrylics, oils, and perhaps some watercolors, we’ll see.
WM: What can the Women’s Mafia make happen for you?
LK: I am hoping to attract lovers of fashion and art. Being on a site like yours will undoubtedly raise my profile. Many of the sales I’ve received, including an acquisition from Jay Leno, have come from word of mouth. My website (www.larsfineart.com) also attracts commissions and gives people a chance to see the various styles of my work. It’s all about networking these days and Women’s Mafia will connect me with the caliber of clients that I want to reach.
WM: If you could feature your art work anywhere, where would it be? Would it be in one of the worlds’ most famous museums like the Louvre or MOMA?
LK: That’s an easy one, MOMA of course. But seriously I just want to enjoy what I do and let people see something of themselves through my art.
Check out Lars Klingstedt today at www.larsfineart.com Tell him The Women’s Mafia sent you!