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Ones to Watch: Paloma Lanna talks Paloma Wool

Paloma Lanna is the Barcelona-based artist that brings the online project, Paloma Wool, to life. To most, the brand is known for its pastel-colored clothes and accessories that make you feel like you’re living in an eternal European summer dream, but PW exists outside of the fashion sphere and is translated across many artistic platforms. From photography and film to other experimental works, the company is heavily based on collaboration; Lanna often involves her close-knit group of friends like photographer, Carlota Guerrero, and lawyer-turned-poet/writer, Leticia Sala. Most recently, Guerrero directed Creación Caos, a short film and photo series, that captured 22 women silently dancing under the summer sun. Dressed in Lanna’s designs, the women achieved a spiritual trance and embodied what Paloma Wool is at the core; a collaborative placeholder that focuses on the spaces and ideas around getting dressed and the value of friendship, working together, and art. 

Last month, we caught up with Lanna during her first NYC pop-up. Just off of Grand, in the heart of Soho, the artist’s team created a space where global supporters were excited to finally get their hands on her creations. The shop was turned into a flea market of sorts, complete with clothes, their newest book 16-17, and the fruits and vegetables you might snag a few blocks away in Chinatown. We spoke to Lanna about upcoming pieces, her design process, and how she gets dressed in the morning.

You collaborate with an open team – are there any new artists/photographers/designers that you’re interested in working with?

We’re about to start a very special collaboration with María Prats, an artist I admire very much.

In your words, Paloma Wool is more than a fashion brand, it’s a platform. What are some unlikely collaborations you’d like to get into? (Outside of design + photo.) 

I’d like to make an ice sculpture with my friend Alexandre Guay from Quebec.

 Tell us about your Paloma Wool World tour – and specifically your NYC pop-up. 

Being an online project, it’s been wonderful to be able to meet the people that dress in Paloma Wool. Being able to put a face on them, talk to them, see how it fits them…We’ve met some truly special people. The pop-up in NY was designed alongside Sociedad 0, a group of young artists based in Barcelona. The idea was to be able to go to any city in the world and set up a shop with basic resources and whatever we could carry in our suitcases. We turned the shop into a flea market, where the clothes blended in with fruits and vegetables and laid out in a very simple way.

What’s your design process like? (Describe the production of your favorite item past or present.)

The process is always different and unique. Sometimes it starts with a piece of fabric, or with a color, or with a piece by an artist I admire. For example, this winter we’re releasing a pair of pants that are called “the friendship pants” where you’ll see a collection of photographs, texts, and illustrations made by my friends. It’s been fun to create, patching all of our work together, so different but so influenced and inspired by one another.

How have you seen your artistry develop since starting PW?

It’s developed in the same way I have. Paloma Wool is a very personal project closely linked to myself, my interests, my friends. My artistry is in constant movement and expansion towards new projects and collaborations.

“Paloma Wool is my name and the name of this project, which is about getting dressed and about space or ideas that are created around the act of getting dressed.” Describe your own process of getting dressed in the morning. 

After taking a shower I head towards the room I have all my clothes in. I have to cross the whole house to get to it, normally in a wet towel. I take my time with choosing what to wear. I have to feel comfortable and identify with whatever I’m wearing. I like to combine different, bright colors and mix them with delicate fabrics, like silk, with old t-shirts or sweaters. I always wear Paloma Wool and mix it with vintage pieces.

Your projects encourage the importance of friendship/love/kindness – how have you seen these values reach a physical manifestation in the community you’ve created?

For instance, the way in which the women contact us is so personal, so full of love that it differs a lot from how one would contact a clothing brand. They approach us with so many warm-hearted messages. At the NYC pop-up, they couldn’t believe it was the whole team there, they could see what close friends we are and how well we get along.

I can also see a reflection of this when we start a collaborative project. Because from these collaborations new friendships are built. We always get together with other artists similar values to ours. Bright, respectful, warm people.

A list of favorites of the moment:

  • Movie: Toy Story 4

  • Book: 16-17 (our third book)

  • Accessory: Ear cuffs

  • Subject to Shoot: My cats

  • Color: Turquoise

Stay tuned to Milk for more Ones to Watch

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