A CHAT WITH LINA OF WILDHORN


We are so excited to be stocking WILDHORN in our stores, unfortunately with what is going on in the world, we have temporarily closed our stores for the time being, but don't worry, you can still shop with our online store!
Accessories are available online here.
In the meantime we thought we would ask a few questions to the creative mind behind the brand, to remind us the importance of art and design and hopefully to inspire our clients in these challenging times.
Hi Lina, we hope you and your team are safe in these times. 
Hi guys! Yes we are safe, staying together in Saint Petersburg at home, thank you! Hope you guys are safe too! I’m very happy to be stocking at Et Al and although I haven’t been to Australia (yet) but I’m really glad to have an opportunity to reach art and fashion lovers on the other side of the world, so thank you.
We are so glad you are safe, and we are thankfully healthy here too.
So I thought to start with, can you tell us who is behind the brand and where you learnt your skills to make your jewelry?
The whole WILDHORN team which is represented by myself, my boyfriend Mike and my sister who is an occasional model for us (haha!) 
I have an education as a clothing designer and engineer, but most of my skills that I use for WILDHORN I have learnt by myself over the years experimenting with different techniques and materials. I’m a big fan of renovating, improving and decorating (so my home is probably going to look a lot different after this lockdown, haha!). I started my career designing garments, but then I realized that the accessories and jewelry that I make to complement my images bring me much more joy and satisfaction than the clothing itself, so I decided to focus on what I like the most.
We absolutely love the Double Belt, what inspired you when you created this piece?
I think it was one of the styles by Ann Demeulemeester that I really loved and wanted to complement. I admire her work a lot and especially like the way she uses layers, folds and drapery. So I decided to add some floral motives to emphasize the airiness of the look.
Double Belt available online here.
We know you hand-make everything in your studio. How do you balance working and living in your home studio?
I don’t treat my work as a job, so I don’t have any life/work balance problems!!
The creation is my lifestyle, when the inspirations comes I can spend days working on something new without getting tired, but if I’m out of ideas, I have no problem to let it go for a while and switch to something different.
Tell us a bit about the process that maybe our clients wouldn’t know.. eg how long does it take to make the double belt?
To be honest I never really calculated how long each piece takes to produce, but I guess double belt would take around a day. I’m a quality geek so I secure it by making every single detail by hand. The belt itself is hand cut, dyed and polished manually, every little leather leaf is hand cut and knitted, even staples for the loops are hand cut from a wire...you get the idea! I try to optimize the production of course by making more than one piece/detail at the time, but still it’s quite a process. 
We’re going to be getting the knitted necklace soon, How much did it develop from original concept to final design?
I like knitting unusual forms from leather, so it all started with a knitted base for the necklace. Then I complemented it with leather strings and silver details. Most of my ideas are born in the creating process, it’s not that often when I have a complete image in my head from the beginning.
What is your favourite Et Al Australia piece and what would you style it with?
It’s really difficult to pick one since I like many of the items and I see them matching well with my jewelry. There is a lot of layers, volume and asymmetric forms. But if I should choose a few, my favorites would be Talavera trench which I would complement with one of my knitted necklaces and Amour coat with my oxidized steel bracelets which in my opinion would fit well with many of Et Al styles. 
Can you describe your personal style?
I would describe it as “dramatic romantic”, haha! I appreciate black color, but I don’t see it as something tragic or dark but rather as something mysterious and intriguing. At the same time I enjoy other colors too, as long as they are not too plain. I appreciate details, subtlety and modesty in fashion. I also like the aesthetics of wabi sabi, so I introduce it in my jewelry as well experimenting with leather treatment and metal finishing creating this worn out look.
As a fellow creative we usually have a favourite playlist or favourite musician/artist we love to listen to when working in your studio space.. Who is yours?
We love different kinds, depending on the mood. When I create something new I like to listen to FKA Twigs, Sevdaliza, James Blake, but when I produce I prefer listening to some TV series, movies or podcasts. “Watched” half of Netflix like that!
What is your favourite material to work with. You mention it fits into the image as armor and protection, tell us your biggest fear that you need protection from?
I like working with leather a lot since it gives me broad opportunities for experimenting. It can be soft and tender, but it can also be rigid and serve as armor, as you say. It’s important for me to know that my products bring joy in other people’s lives and help them to manifest their vision, it’s a big motivation for me to move forward, so I guess my biggest fear would be to lose this motivation.
You mention a leather process using special ancient called "cuir boulli" technique. Can you tell us a bit about it?
Cuir Bouilli might sound fancy, but in fact it’s just boiled leather. Although requiring a lot of experience since it’s very easy to ruin leather by keeping it in the hot water a bit too long as well as not to reach the desired effected by taking it out too early. Warming up the leather makes it flexible and ready to be shaped. I use this technique for the bracelets where I need them to keep the shape and for some belts creating this wrinkled effect.
What is the best way to look after your beautiful pieces?
I don’t recommend any particular way to take care of my jewelry. I secure the quality, so they will last for many years aging beautifully. As I said, I appreciate the maturing of things, and leather, like wine, is only getting better with age. 
At Et Al, we love how our clothes can make our clients feel, or even us when we put the new samples on. In many ways, we find how we dress can make us confident. What is one piece of WILDHORN that always makes you feel confident and you never want to take off?
I'd have to say the flexible bracelets that are worn most often. They easily compliment almost any day-to-day look.
Can you tell us anything exciting about your new collection, and will we be seeing a WILDHORN X ET AL collab in the future? 
I try not to follow the seasons and don’t usually think collections. Instead I try to create timeless pieces that would be relevant for many years. I’m working on the collaboration with one blacksmith at the moment which I would be happy to share with the world as soon as it’s ready. And I would be really happy to work on some exclusive pieces with you guys! I hope to visit Australia and your store one day (when it’s allowed to travel farther than the nearest grocery store!!). Let us overcome these difficult times together and come back even stronger!
Stay safe and healthy!
We hope you enjoyed our little chat with Lina, if you have any questions that you would like us to ask, send us a DM in our social media accounts and we can ask for you!