N: Hi Ilona, you are so glamorous, I just had to know more about you. Tell me a bit about your life. Where are you from and how did you end up in Paris? Have you always been into fashion?
I: I was actually born in Paris, but I grew up in Los Angeles. I’ve always been attracted to clothes as I grew up in a family of designers. When COVID19 hit, I moved to Paris and decided to finally start making garments myself.
N: Not too long ago, you presented your debut collection ILONA. How has your life been since?
I: It’s been good, but it gets really stressful. I’m lucky that I now have two people helping me out.
We are working on a new collection.
N: Your collection appears to blend elements of "sex appeal" and "femininity" from various time periods, combining the exaggerated hips and silhouettes of Victorian and Edwardian gowns with modern symbols of sexuality like latex, BDSM, and daring cut-outs. Would you say this is an accurate interpretation of your work?
I: Yes, the collection was inspired by industrial sounds, psychology and the color palette from Romeo Castelluci’s “Parsifal.”
The garments were designed to merge with the shape of a woman’s body, being a psychological protective armour for the wearer.
N: There also appears to be a recurring theme of "darkness" in your work as well as your presence on social media. You seem to like mixing Parisian glamour with that edgy darkness typical of cities like Berlin. What attracts you to this dark aesthetic?
I: I actually spend a lot of time in Berlin, funny that it translates. I honestly don’t like the word aesthetic very much, because I did not really choose to look “dark,” it’s not an “aesthetic” that I copied.
I’ve just struggled with my mental health forever, and I would say that’s why I’m drawn to “dark” rather than light, I create what comes out of me.
N: Thanks Ilona. Next time we go to Paris, where can we find you? Any favorite spots you would like to recommend?
I: To be honest I’m always in the studio, but when it’s nice out I love to grab an iced matcha latte and walk around Place des Vosges; and also go look through new books at Yvon Lambert in the 3rd arrondissement. Thank you for having me!