Louise Farnay: The Artist, Designer, Yoga teacher, traveller and Creative. Her designs have appeared on “The O.C.” in the hands of celebrity actress, Mischa Barton. Maybe you’ve seen her “Love Bud” bag design in “Vogue.” Or maybe you’ve met her at an upscale society event in Hong Kong or Singapore, surrounded by the glitterati and getting papped at every turn. Who is she? She’s Louise Farnay, designer, artist and inspiration to fashionistas and environmentalists alike, whose style is informed by her having visited over fifty countries around the world and having lived in Tokyo, Copenhagen, Perth, Sydney, London, Singapore, Hong Kong and of course, Australia's fashion newest fashion hotspot and home of model Gemma Ward, Perth!
We are lucky enough to catch up with Louise Farnay (spotted above in Hong Kong) to find out about her latest creative endeavours.
Christina Morrison: Who or what is your greatest inspiration, creatively?
Louise Farnay: mmm…tough question. I would have to say my environment and social issues are my greatest inspiration. These matters affect my senses, thoughts, emotions, feelings and hence how I express myself through my creativity.
(above: The "Flag Bag" by Louise Farnay has caught the eye of designers such as Vivienne Westwood.)
CM: Which era has had the greatest impact on your creative choices over the years?
(For me, it’s the Renaissance, the Belle Epoque, Art Deco and also Helmut Newton’s era).
LF: It would probably go right back to the Japanese wood block era on printing, around 1600-1850. Their ukiyo-e (floating world) is truly elegant and sophisticated. I love the cut off framing and the use of space.
CM: Since the Global Financial Crisis, the world-economy has seen some ups and downs and this has affected people’s fashion-budgets…but what are you noticing are some key-trends in fashion-wear on Hong Kong streets these days as you view them? What would you say is “trending”? Are people still spending on fashion during these times or is it a ‘case by case’ thing?
LF: I would say since the Global Financial Crisis it’s an individual case-by-case observation. Generally we have all been affected. Fashion has become far more eclectic in its style; more mish-mash in style so to speak. The fashion trend now is sort of like absolutely anything goes.
CM: Who are your favourite kinds of clients to design for? Anything memorable you’d like to share?
LF: Easy clients with not too many specifications are the best. Collaborating my eye-catching zipper collections with Lane Crawford for two seasons was a highlight for me. The bags went all over Asia to their many other stores outside of Hong Kong, as far as Jakarta and Singapore.
Also being a sponsored contender for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Singapore in my first year was good for my confidence and belief that my product concept is good. Having my bag designs being snapped up by three very prestigious art gallery/museums globally for their stores is a great form of design-flattery too.
I would also have to say that having my bags featured on the USA tv programme, “The O.C.,” over many episodes a few years ago on the shoulders of Mischa Barton was cool news too…
CM: Do you have any upcoming design gigs or events you’d like to mention?
LF: I have a small event this week in HK at a friend’s home whose business I sponsor. I am always doing events here and there. I also have two events coinciding with International Women’s Day, with one event in Hong Kong and another in Singapore (at a boutique called ‘Simpliciti,’ to also launch my bags).
The annual Boutiques Fair is on in April in Singapore. It’s always quite good business for me.
In Hong Kong we are organizing a small fashion parade for April time. Date TBC.
I am looking to join ‘Blueprint in Singapore: Open to Trade.’ It’s a trade fair held in May up and features up-and-coming designers.
In September, I am also planning an event at a gallery in central London to coincide with London Fashion Week.
CM: What can we expect from Louise’s design-desk in the next five-to-ten years? Are you thinking of any big plans you’d like to let us in on?
LF: mmm…another tough question… I have started to design my first t-shirt collection, finally. I have been wanting to do this for many years. I am dabbling in jewelry too. I plan to at least add new fashion pages on my website on accessories and items I love, be they mine or other designers’. I am still thinking about a flagship store. I am also getting back to my other great love, as of this year, which is my painting. Through it, I plan to raise awareness on issues concerning the dwindling marine life in the ocean through a collaboration with ocean activists and support groups in the UK, HK and Singapore…watch this space!
CM: If you had to describe yourself in ten words, what would they be?
LF: Honest, spontaneous, loyal, energetic, practical, sensitive, caring, kooky, fun and creative.
C. E. Myers says:
Nov 7, 2017 at 3:19 pm
Hi there! Thanks to Miss Louise Farnay! She’s an inspiration to me.
There is something personal which not everyone in my life is aware of which is that I have been in and out of hospital several times with acute anorexia. When I was extremely thin I just told people I had had pneumonia and that I was travelling to another city for treatment. Actually, I was going in to an eating disorder clinic. But I felt so ashamed. I actually tried to take my own life several times too; by cutting my wrists and overdosing on my mother’s sleeping pills. I had been abused by
No one believed me. He was a “nice guy.” Everyone liked him.
I know some people will get what I mean.
Well, I was reading your magazine in hospital and read about Louise’s art. She says that one of her “great loves” is painting. I have now noticed that by expressing myself with various art forms such as painting, drawing, sewing and all kind of craft, I can release feelings that I can’t always name. I tried it and I’m still painting! I feel like I have a reason to continue now not only with my art work (which is not really that good but I am willing to try) and, with my life in general. In the morning when I wake up I feel like I have a reason to get up and so something…because I get up and paint! I love going over to my easel and just sitting down and letting colours flow. Things start to make sense. So I want to say thank you. Thanks Louise Farnay for your honesty and thanks for sharing about your art and inspiring me to try it. Yours sincerely, C. E. Myers (via email)