The Garnette Report had a chat with the design duo about their roots, collaboration and expansion:
Having developed their brand DNA over the past few seasons, LA-based Founder / CEO Danita Short and Creative Director Christian Juul Nielsen return to NYFW, showing at The Dominic in Tribeca. A chic lounge with plush seating, vinyl records on the wall and a mix of blues and rock music set an intimate scene for the unveiling of LAND of distraction Collection Four. Their line introduces new silhouettes and fits inspired by the adventure of traveling and a never-ending quest for inspiration.
GR: Land Of Distraction has a cool, easy vibe. Tell us about the concept, who is your Muse?
So this trip the girl is in LA… in Laurel Canyon in the late 70s and she’s hanging out with a lot of rock stars. So, she’s becoming a little bit of a groupie.
(Danita) When thinking about Her we thought to ourselves ‘Where is this girl going?’ Then we were like – ‘OMG we’re working out of LA and we’re in such an inspiring place – driving by the Hollywood sign every day on our way to work’ – and it goes with our 70s inspired DNA that remains underlying. It was right in front of us!”
(Christian) It also kind of goes with Danita’s personality because she drives around on Harley Davidsons! Whenever I can, I go with her on a trip and we go to vintage stores, museums and wherever we can that seems inspiring.
GR: Wow! talk about proof that inspiration lies around every turn! So, what was the defining moment?
(Danita) The start of the brand began with a trip home to my farm in Canada. Christian was very inspired by my farm and where I grew up. LAND of distraction started with a lot of workwear details; like rivets and topstitching – which we carried out for the brands DNA as this [pseudo] workwear, no fussy lining, nothing’s really contrived… everything’s functional and utilitarian.
GR: Land Of Distraction has a vintage feel with a luxe appeal. What are some of the new silhouettes for SS19?
(Christian) We do a lot of this oversized jacket worked from menswear, which is just like a little shell. Always piped on the inside, super light.
(Danita) It’s unlined and easy… perfect for layering.
(Danita) Each collection has a statement graphic tee or sweater. The new “El Lay” knit sweater has velvet color blocking.
(Christian) Lots of shorts in this collection as well, which are supposed to look like mens shorts – just chopped off!
Christian) We spend a lot of time on the knitwear development…. we try to work really detailed and beautifully fashioned. We have a Knitwear Designer, who is super good at detailing everything really laically for us.
(Christian) Lots of [the line] is quite practical. These pants we put a slit in the back. Worn with flats they look like bell bottoms but with heels, she gets long skinny cigarette legs. We’re very versatile.”
(Christian) This is our way of doing blouses. We call this the ‘Wallpaper print’. We custom-made the ribs with chenille detail.
(Christian) Normally it’s very daywear, everything we’ve done but this time we’ve opened up to cocktail.
(Danita) It’s nice that we have this little bit of sparkle that we haven’t had in the past!
GR: You design with the ‘full look’ in mind. What are some of your reinvented essentials?
(Christian) A style we’ve been doing for a couple seasons is our cropped jean with a tiny bit of flare,,, and a tiny bit of stretch for comfort. We always put it together as a suit. We like to finish it nicely on the inside so you get your denim jacket but you have your vintage-inspired color, mini cuffs and waistband.
(Danita) Think Mick Jagger; we do a lot of vintage research, a lot of our outerwear especially is worked mens silhouettes.
(Christian) We always do these simple suits, this time with [snakeskin laminate] crop pants – to feel like a ‘rock star running from a night club.
GR: One last question… how did you come up with the name: LAND of distraction?
(Danita) The brand started as a distraction, I was ‘distracted’. They were talking about fashion houses. like all these brands have houses. So I thought ‘why have a house when you can have a whole land!’ And thus became a LAND of distraction. We like to leave it up for interpretation, everyone takes it so differently.