Lavender’s Jungle……… Known For Creating One Of A Kind Designs For Full Figured Women
It’s no secret that plus size fashion designer LaKrisha Joseph-Baker of Lavender’s Jungle has a gift. If you’re lucky enough to follow the talented designer on social media or have had the pleasure of attending a fashion show where her designs were featured, then you’ve witnessed her appreciation for the art of creating quality full figured clothing first hand.
Next year, Lavender’s Jungle, LLC will produce its first show in Atlanta, GA. This isn’t just any show. Dubbed as The Fashion Playhouse, it’s a magical night featuring exaggerated characters and exciting events that will provide the audience an interactive experience.
After hearing about the upcoming fashion show, DailyVenusDiva.com reached out to Joseph-Baker to get the inside scoop and to find out what those in attendance can expect from the upcoming event.
DailyVenusDiva.com: Most designers stick to producing typical fashion shows, but you’re in the process of producing a production. What made you decide to produce, The Fashion Playhouse?
LaKrisha Joseph-Baker: I’ve always had a love for the arts, theatre, music, and fashion. I can’t imagine one existing without the other. Often times when I create a collection my imagination goes to theatre and good music. When I decided to produce my own show, it really was like Dorothy traveling to Emerald city on the yellow brick road. I kept meeting these artistic and amazingly talented characters along the way that I wanted to incorporate into the show. Thus The Fashion Playhouse was born.
DailyVenusDiva.com: Describe The Fashion Playhouse to us. What can those attending expect?
LaKrisha Joseph-Baker: A “Playhouse” by definition is a place where plays are held or a place where children play. This is very true for The Fashion Playhouse. It’s a fun, whimsical, experience in a theatrical form surrounded around fashion. Imagine stepping into a fun house and for two hours you don’t have to worry about the kids, dishes, or any troubles. You experience live instruments, singing, acting, a little ooh la la, of course, great fashion, and just an overall night of fun.
DailyVenusDiva.com: To fully understand how impressive this concept is, I think people should get to know the fashion designer behind Lavender’s Jungle. When did you start designing clothing? Before launching Lavender’s Jungle, did you have a background in design?
LaKrisha Joseph-Baker: I’ve always felt that if I had a strong foundation I could do whatever I wanted. That foundation for me was putting myself through college, obtaining a strong understanding of business, marketing, and management. I have been fortunate to work for some great companies that helped to sharpen my skills as a business owner.
I’ve never been formally trained in fashion. My teachings came from my Great Grandmother who was a seamstress and would teach me as a child, hand sewing, using the sewing machine, and really the love for working with raw materials to create wearable art. After my Great Grandmother passed away, I was sort of on my own.
One day I was walking pass this house in my hometown of Wichita, KS and it looked like a small castle. I noticed the house had a sign that read “Leticia’s Dress Designs.” I knocked on the door and a little old lady came to answer with a heavy Italian accent. I asked her if she could teach me to make patterns that day. She laughed and said “You can’t learn in one day!” She invited me in and I was amazed at her creations. We talked for hours about her life as a dressmaker and the importance of respecting the art of being a clothier. It was there that I learned what the term “couture” really meant, basically a lot of hand sewing and precise detailing of a garment. Throughout the years I made garments for family and friends, but there was a period in my life that I didn’t sew at all. Wichita, KS isn’t exactly known for fashion.
Fast forward 10 years, I moved to Georgia and I was talking with someone, telling them I wanted to pursue my own happiness. They said “find what made you happy as a child, it’s probably the same thing.” That day, I started to pray for courage and stability because I was planning to leave my cushion job and jump into this starving artist field. January 2012 I lost my corporate job, but because I had mentally been preparing myself to transition in a new direction it never phased me. By February I had 15 dresses made, by April of that same year I met Gwen DeVoe with FFFWeek and that summer, I showcased my very first collection in New York and I’ve never looked back.
DailyVenusDiva.com: Who and/or what inspires you and how do you incorporate those inspirations in each collection?
LaKrisha Joseph-Baker: I am inspired mostly by water. I love the sound of it, the smell of the ocean and sand, the breeze as it hits the shore. I like clothing that’s also free to move as water does. My zodiac sign is a Pisces so I think I am very true to my sign.
I am also inspired by music. I enjoy listening to all genres, from classical to hardcore rap. Some of my favorite designers are Christian Dior, Madam Gres, Carolina Herrera and Iris Van Herpen to name a few. I try to study the techniques of each of them and what makes then individually special. Madam Gres could not sew, so the beautiful pleated designs she was famous for, was her way of using what she did understand, structure and architecture. Christian Dior was a master at manipulating hemlines and using all sorts of tools to so do. Carolina Herrera understands how to make a woman look feminine, not overly done, and practical while Iris Van Herpen on the other hand is all imagination and fun. I tend to study those designers that are classical artist. They are the ones who garments will last for a lifetime.
DailyVenusDiva.com: Describe your design process. Do you plan far ahead or do you just wake up and say, “I feel like creating something new!”
LaKrisha Joseph-Baker: I have tried to do what mainstream designers do and plan the theme of a collection, pick out swatches, and all that jazz but it never works that way for me. I am letting you in on my secret now (smile). Water is my creative life source when it comes to fashion and my work. I have tried to make myself create and it just doesn’t happen, however the moment I am near water, ideas pour out of me faster than I can sketch them out. Even listening to music that is water themed sparks my creativity. Justin Timberlake has a song called “Blue Ocean” that every time I listen to it, I just want to grab a few yards of silk and make flowy dresses. I guess a desert would be my Kryptonite.
DailyVenusDiva.com: After The Fashion Playhouse, what’s next for Lavender’s Jungle?
LaKrisha Joseph-Baker: I really want to get into designing for characters in plays and movies. I had the opportunity to style a character during a mini web series for a friend and I really enjoyed the experience. I don’t like making copies of my own work so that is a great outlet for my creativity. Also, I am looking to start my own nonprofit which assist with getting art programs back into our schools. So many schools cut their artistic programs when they are trying to save funds and it really has a negative impact on our community and children.
To learn more about Lavender’s Jungle, LaKrisha Joseph-Baker and The Fashion Playhouse, visit www.lavendersjungle.com!