Introducing our MUSE OF THE MONTH, International Art Maven, Lana Jolie Carlson! Join us while she gets up close & personal with HAUTE STREET's New York Contributer, Jessi Jones. Find out why this former pop star shifted her career from music to art. Make sure to have your pen and paper handy as she shares her global playlist and unleashes exclusive insight to up-and-coming artists that should be on your radar
Jessi Jones: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what it was like growing up in Moscow.
Lana Jolie Carlson: My Father was an engineer and we traveled quite a bit throughout my childhood. He came from a very poor family and worked very hard to succeed in business to provide us with a beautiful life. Eventually we moved to Saint-Petersburg where I studied many things, including: theatre, ballet, fashion and eventually earned my degree in music. I also loved making clothing so while I played in several musical groups I also made clothing for boutiques and my band mates. After touring for a few years throughout Europe, I developed a love for Paris and realized my calling was in the art world. I packed up my things and chased my crazy dream. There I attended the University of Paris - Sorbonne where I studied Art, Cultural History and Business Management. Years later I went back to Russia and saw that Moscow had great opportunities and a large contemporary art scene. I currently own and manage two businesses, one in Moscow and the other in Paris.
JJ: Can you share with us some things you are going to give us VIP Exclusive access to in your day-to-day life?
LJC: With pleasure! One thing I will share is my travels as I do it often and attend art fairs all over the world. I have had my finger on the pulse of the contemporary art world for many years now and am so excited to share that with the Haute Street readers. I love sharing my newfound discoveries as well as my thoughts and feelings on current art trends as well as their place in the world of economics.
JJ: How would you describe the fashion scene in Moscow compared to Paris and Los Angeles?
LJC: I would say that fashion, as well as life in general, has changed drastically in the last ten years in Moscow. A lot of talented designers are coming onto the scene, but still the circle of the fashion elite is quite small. The purchasing capacity is not great enough to develop sufficient business to make Moscow a fashion capital like Paris, New York, Milan or London. Of course there are independent fashion shows in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg but young designers who are trying to go global with their designs still must travel abroad to find notoriety.
In Moscow, most people want to dress chic but rely on price tags to tell them what is good. They feel that the more expensive the brand, the better the fashion… which is sometimes true but in order to be stylish you also have to know how to put the look together. Comparing a city like Paris to other young cities is difficult. It's a city that prides itself and focuses so much on fashion. Moscow is very "new" when it comes to its place in the global and cultural marketplace. Los Angeles is still new to me and so far it seems like everyone just dresses comfortably because of the weather and the proximity to the ocean. It's very different from all of Europe because it never gets that cold and the seasons rarely change. Its kind of like most people in LA dress like they are on vacation… maybe they are. :)
JJ: What has inspired you from each of these cities in your day-to-day style?
LJC: Paris has great fashion and beauty. Moscow has a very diverse and dynamic mentality. They are very business oriented. Los Angeles has a lot of cool and interesting people that I like to observe and learn from. I love the beach so I like the lifestyle that goes along with it. I just think a balance of appreciating and applying everything to your own life is important.
JJ: Greatest passions?
LJC: ART and the life of an artist… their creations and their work! I also love music, fashion, SHOES, history, language, and philosophy. Learning in general is something that is part of my everyday life.
JJ: Tell us about when you crossed over from the Music industry to the Art industry?
LJC: I graduated from musical college when I was nineteen, at that time I was already performing in musical bands. When I moved to Paris my dream and aspiration was be a part of a theatre group and be in a musical. I spent my first few months singing, dancing and auditioning for casting directors. Later my studies took over and music became my hobby. I became obsessed with art and made it my life.
JJ: Some of the upcoming exhibitions you are working on that you can tell us about?
LJC: There are events going on all the time that either my company or myself are involved with. I participate with a partner gallery from Japan in almost every art fair around the world: Miami Art Basel, Armory Show New York, Frieze London, Biennale, etc. We recently participated in the Hampton Art Fair "ArtHampton" where I represented two Russian artists named Serebryakova & Bleikh. I have an amazing project coming up in LA this fall. It's an exhibition and introduction of a young artist I met recently who I think is very interesting. I really like the Street Art scene in LA. Street art in general has a huge place in the art market. I know a lot of artists in Europe but am now making efforts to get to know some of the great American artists. I am starting with the west coast. I enjoy artists who collaborate with fashion, celebrities who find a way to make their art commercial.
JJ: Up-and-coming artists should we keep on our radar?
LJC: I like Gerard Radcinan a lot. He's a French photographer and his style reminds me of La Chapelle. His artwork is growing in price every year! I also like Fhilippe Pasqua, Serebryakova Elena & Bleikh Galina, Iván Navarro, Chris Ofili, Lui Bulin, Lora Zombie, Desire Obtain Cherish…
…There are more but then I'd be giving away all my secrets. ;)
JJ: Next place you want to travel to (and why):
LJC: I would love to go to Singapore. I think Asian art is developing right now in a great way and I'm really interested in collaborating with "new born" artists there.
JJ: Best advice someone has given you that kept you going and growing?
LJC: The best advice I ever received was that reputation is the most important in business. Whatever you do, remember that the world is small. First you work on your reputation and then your reputation works for you.
JJ: If you get a chance to create your own fashion collection, what would it look like?
LJC: I adore more classic fashion styles. I love Chanel - Classy and Chic is how I would want anything with my name on it to look.
JJ: Your next "must have" purchase?
LJC: An Andy Warhol Oil on canvas
JJ: What's on Lana’s Playlist right now?
LJC: Teen Daze, Daft Punk, Lana Del Rey, Edith Piaf, Joe Dassin, Serge Gainsberg, Simon & Garfunkel, Mozart, Pergolesi, Wagner and of course Steve Carlson
JJ: You cant live without?
LJC: My 2 iPhones (one is my American phone and the other is my European phone - I use them both constantly!)
JJ: What would you say to someone seeking fashion advice?
LJC: I would say to look around you and observe what you like and don't like. Go to Paris and London for inspiration. And always try to create something by being unique and individual. Choose outfits and clothes that make you feel good about yourself but that are also comfortable.
JJ: What should we ask the next Muse?
LJC: What is your favorite thing in your closet?