«Eventually tango-fashion will go beyond vents on dresses and fringe»
Hi! Tell me, when did your story as a dancer and as a designer begin?
When I was 18, my dad bought a sewing machine. Out of the four women in the house only I liked it. And I learned how to sew intuitively, myself. When I discovered tango world, I was working as a teacher in physical education and a coach in rhythmic gymnastics. Then I went into the world of professional tango dancers, and then I moved to Italy, where I began attending classes in the making of theater costumes. There I got acquainted with a seamstress from Germany, who created costumes for the ballet of Tuscany. She became my first teacher and The inspirer.
In Italy, I took a course of modeling clothes and sewed my first dance costumes, which I later used for my shows. In Buenos Aires, I sold outfits to my colleagues in the dressing rooms. While working in the theater, I got acquainted with the costume fund of the San Martin Theater, as well as with masters in theater costumes, designers and other experts from the fashion world. So there a need to develop as a designer and create my own style started.
So what is your style?
The style of Lucila Segura was developed during quite some period of time. But one could always find elegance in it. The characteristic silhouettes of my brand are dresses with a high waistline and skirts below the knee. I like to emphasize the sensuality of a woman, but do it delicately, for example, leave back and shoulders open. I like to create images that make a hint and make you think. But comfort always remains in priority.
I know that you pay a lot of attention to the quality of tailoring. How did you learn these subtleties and what do you do to deepen this knowledge?
As I already mentioned, professionally I started sewing in Italy thanks to my German teacher. Before I sat down at the sewing machine and started working on orders, she had taught me basic modeling of clothes and more than 20 types of needle stitches by hand. Until now, I keep a notebook with notes on the technique of their implementation. After returning to Buenos Aires, during free days, I took courses in clothing design, modeling, textile printing. As soon as I have free time, I try to learn something new. I like to study, because learning always contributes to the overall development of the individual. Creativity motivates me, inspires and brings interaction with colleagues from the world of art and fashion.
In the slide-show: Magdalena Gutierrez, Vanesa Villalba in Lucila Seguras’ dresses
You have two lines of clothes — one for the escenario, and one for the milonga. It is very interesting to know what characteristics you give to these things and how they differ.
Yes it is. The first line is a nice looking and comfortable tango clothes, in which you can go to practice and to milongas. These clothes can also be used in everyday life, for example, to go to work or drink coffee in a cafe. The fabrics of this line are monochrome or patterned, but, as a rule, are not shiny.
But my colleagues-dancers often asked to create dresses for performances, and so my second line appeared — «Tango de Luxe» and «Champions». In the outfits of this line the influence of the theatrical costume is clearly traced. Materials are more dramatic. I use a lot of velvet, paillettes, lace and tulle with embroidery. All the costumes are made with a sewed-in elastic body that captures the outfit during the execution of fast movements, tricks, jumps, swings with legs.
Sewing clothes for tango escenario is always a challenge, because you do not know what will happen until the dancer comes on stage and starts dancing. I admit that now I’m still in the creative search for better solutions, but the brand is already sold very well.
The collection «Champions» was presented by famous tangeras — Roxana Suarez, Manuela Rossi, Agostina Tarchini, Cami Alegre. What is the idea of the collection and what inspired you?
I wanted to create more outfits for tango escenario, to work with new materials and textures, and so the idea of this collection was born. In addition, there was a great demand for this product.
As models I invited Cami Alegre and Manuel Rossi — dancers, with whom I had worked and whom I know well, respect and admire as artists. This experience pushed me to the idea of calling in the project champions of tango escenario and tango salon. So, the models of my collection «Champions» («Campeonas») were Jimena Hoffener, Clarisa Aragon and Roxana Suarez. Despite the fact that Roxana has not won the mundial, tango is in her blood, and today she is a star of tango dancefloors all around the world. I would like to highlight the fact, that all the photosessions of «Champions» and with participation of Vanessa Villalba were made by Federico Paleo. Three photosessions defiinetly helped my collection to get to a new level.
Ideas of new collections are always born in my head, and inspiration comes from various sources. For example, it could be a historical film, a play, a visit to a museum, a phrase from a book, a favorite tango or a new choreographic production. Sometimes I find inspiration looking through fashion magazines during my travels in Europe or fashion shows of famous designers.
Now for me it is not important to release every year a new collection. For a long time I have been experimenting with shapes, fabrics, models to find my style, which today is the basis of my collections.
Not only dancers, but also singers appear on stage in your dresses. Tell about this experience.
Yes, several times I created stage costumes for performances and video clips, for example, for the orchestra Romantica Milonguera. Working with them is fun, it’s like a game. Marisol Martinez, the soloist of the orchestra, came to my showroom and we chose several dresses with dots, which, as it seemed to us, corresponded to the style of the orchestra. After that, there was a real dot-dresses boom. They ordered several more outfits with dot pattern, which received a great public response. It coincided that it was at this time that the orchestra became more popular, and their music began to sound everywhere.
What do you think, is there such a phenomenon as «tango-fashion»? Do celebrities influence the trends or the desire of the public still dominates?
I believe that the phenomenon of tango-fashion has not yet formed, although recently some changes in this sphere can be seen. There are people who sell clothes for tango, because it brings income, but they themselves do not have a special education or a lot of experience in tango. But at the same time I want to note that recently I visited with my stands of clothes many festivals, I got the experience of the organization of the defile of new models and got acquainted with colleagues who achieved success in this sphere and whom I respect very much.
I think that eventually we will come to a different understanding of the ideas of tango fashion. Very good, if it will be possible to bring into it more identity, femininity, creativity, go beyond vents on dresses and fringe.
I do not want to say that they will not remain, but the designers of tango clothes need to be more original, try not to copy and repeat each other, to offer something new. And in this diversity each of us will show his or her best.
Let’s return to everyday tango clothes. For you personally, are there any rules of dress code on ordinary milongas?
Today people dance in any clothes at milongas. Young people can dance in jeans and sneakers, women in trousers, which is no longer considered ill. I personally like to see men dancing in suits, and women in dresses. It reminds me of those times of tango that can not be returned.
But respecting past times, it is important to understand modern needs. But you shall not lose this romantics, when your imagination takes you out of reality while you are dancing in the embrace of a nice man, in your favourite dress and perfume.
This feeling doesn’t depend on what you put on to go dancing. The mood depends on everyone of us. And the superficial that is outside, sooner or later disappears.
What do you feel when you see that women are dancing in your dresses?
When I see somebody dancing in my dress, I’m full of emotions!!! It feels like a part of me remains with each of those who choose my outfits. As if every time I live thousands of lives on the dance floor with them. It’s a special feeling.
And when professional dancers perform in my outfits, I am very exited and nervous. After all, I want the performance to be successful and without unpleasant incidents. So, I was lucky to attend the last festival of tango in Torino — one of the most important festivals in Europe. At this festival, Vanessa Villalba, the muse and beloved model, used several of my dresses for her shows. I want to say, she did not just dance, but seemed to flutter over the dance floor. The performance was amazing, this evening the applause in the hall did not stop.
How do you manage to combine so much activities — you are a mother, and a bride, you teach tango and design clothes?
Hahaha! I’m asking myselfhe the same question. When you are passionate about something, invest in it and believe in what you want to achieve, then there are no barriers or limits for growth and development.
In my case, there is always great support from Lautaro Cancela, a wonderful dancer, my life partner, a tango partner, a friend and a person who inspires me. He makes me move forward and warns in certain situations, gives advice and helps in everything.
Nevertheless, sometimes I understand that I need to rest, slow down the rhythm of life, walk in nature in my bare feet, sleep 12 hours, close my eyes, take off my shoes and dance tango to recover and regain inspiration.
What would you like to tell to our readers in the end?
Never stop believing that the best is inside of us. Never stop believing in yourself. Let’s continue to love tango, respect each other and learn from each other. Let’s listen to music, sing in the shower, play with our children, take care of friends… and continue to dance.
Website of Lucila Segura: www.lucilasegura.com