What inspires a London based print and fashion designer?

Livia Henne studied print design at Central St. Martins, a renowned school for fashion and design. We wanted to know who and what influences her work.

AubreyBeardsley_Inspiration_Komana_TheMinks_2The Peacock Skirt (1892) illustration by Aubrey Beardsley for Oscar Wilde’s play Salomé   –  Komana top from the “Aubrey’s Garden  Collection 2014/2015 “ 

If you would have to pick a couple artists that influenced the way you look at art and design today who would that be?
I very much like the work of Aubrey Beardsley he has for example illustrated works of Oscar Wilde. He had a very short artistic life and even a rather short life. But his work is incredibly interesting and his paintings are quite sinister and dark. He really is one of my favorites. Another movement I like is Bauhaus with their nice shapes and philosophy of art that became life and then of course Surrealism with its icons. I believe that this is a reoccurring theme in design as well, the unconscious, as well as the way to regard the human body as a playful object.

Is there enough emphasise placed on the importance of art in today’s society?
Living in London it is all around you. Even having a young child I can see that she is encouraged and inspired by the art around her. There are possibilities to see art of all kinds and for all age groups. So yes in London there seems to be enough emphasise on the topic of art and design.

Who or what inspires you to do what you do? What do you strive for?
My mom probably in a way that she was the one that first made me appreciate beautiful things.

AubreyBeardsley_Inspiration_Komana_TheMinksLa Dame aux Camelias (1894) by Aubrey Beardsley  – Kimono from the “Aubrey’s Garden Collection 2014/2015 “ by Komana

Where do you see the line between creativity and insanity?
Many of the big influencers were probably close to insanity. I mean if the norm of what’s insane is defined by society then people who think out of the box might be regarded as insane.

Have you ever broken this line?
Probably more in Switzerland when I was young. When I moved away to London I really felt more accepted. It’s also rather hard to stick out in London and everyone is welcomed.

Check out more designs by Komana here.


© Komana images by photographer Stella Asia Consonni
Aubrey Beardsley Illustrations © Tate, Victorianweb


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