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Lara-Naissance: Artist, Illustrator, Prop Maker, Lara Jensen

Lara Jensen is a true Renaissance woman, but she hails from Hull, rather than Florence. Publicly exhibiting artworks from the age of 12, there’s very little she won’t turn her talented hands to (yep, she’s even ambidextrous, like a modern female Leonardo), from drawing and pattern cutting to welding and making armour, electronics to sewing.

Her work experience reflects this eclectic approach. Having been awarded Harold Tillman’s Jaeger scholarship to study costume at London College of Fashion after finishing her Fine Art degree, she created props for the film Atonement, constructed Fonejacker’s infamous Balaclava and collaborated with Notion favourites Gemma Slack and Charlie Le Mindu to create some of the magic for their 2010 collections. Of late she’s been working with the fashion royalty that is Karl Lagerfeld, producing a metal headdress which will be featured in the 2011 Pirelli Calendar. Most impressively of course, she drew all the illustration for Notion’s most recent Goth fashion shoot.

Beyond Retro for Charlie Le Mindu

Considered to be a problem solver for the construction of weird and wonderful garments, it’s not just ol’ Karl who’s impressed with Lara’s talents. Lady GaGa, Peaches and Ebony Bones have all worn her designs; Peaches even commissioned her to design and construct the costumes for her global tour last year. She’s got that enviable knack for attracting a weird and wonderful array of followers. Guy Ritchie’s commissioned her to do illustration work. Her first undergraduate exhibition was with Terry Atkinson, the founding father of the Art and Language movement. And her work has just been snapped by Photographer of the Year winner Rebecca Litchfield.

Crow by Lara Jensen, photographed by Rebecca Litchfield

Now though, she’s forging ahead on her own with an installation in the window of cult Soho gallery-cum-store Machine-A in June and is working on a the Clockwork Quarter, a series of illustrations for a book which is to be published later this year. “Karl Lagerfeld also has complimented me on my fashion illustration. He’s a big drawer himself.” Oh, and when she was 14, she played chess for England. Take that, Michaelangelo.

–Seb Law

This article originally appeared in Notion 44. Read online here.

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