From Harry Potter to the Hulk, Laurent Guinci is an expert with creative character design. Not only that, but he is the founder of Lolo Creative, which offers bespoke design for a wide variety of industries– making him an expert in the field.
We have been lucky enough to speak to Laurent to find out what he loves about costume design and what’s up next for him in the next year.
What led you to start designing costumes?
I wanted to do something creative despite the fact that I studied Maths, Physics and Astronomy. Some say that I had it in me, but all I know is that it was a strong will of mine. Since I was a young boy, I was always drawing costumes, well doodling might be more accurate. Sometimes swimsuits during summer holidays in Spain and fur coats in the winter (how controversial). I vividly remember when I was 10, one of my classmates, Caroline, was so good at drawing fashion figures, her pencil skill intrigued and inspired me.
But the real inspiration came years later in the late 80s/90s, with JEAN PAUL GAULTIER. I have always been fascinated by him and admired his style, the fun he puts in his collections and the wit. This is probably truly where it started for me… A very blurry route at the time, but I followed my path later on and focused on my goals.
Do you find you’re drawn to horror or Halloween inspired work?
Although I have been involved with a lot of ‘darker’ projects, which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, my designs are quite diverse and I don’t limit myself to any one category. My work ranges from film to theme parks to drawing and designing concepts for the Harry Potter Tour and more.
That said, earlier on this year we designed a series of Monsters. We created almost photo real illustrations and the results were amazing. I was so grateful that the company we worked with was willing to push boundaries and allow us to explore a more modern twist on these characters.
What has been your favourite costume to design so far?
That’s a hard one indeed, it’s like asking someone with a sweet tooth: “what’s your favourite dessert? “I’d say it depends on the mood, I guess.
I love the work we do with Universal Creative in Orlando, Beijing and Japan. After years of relationship with them we have a bit more “free will” and some of the designs we did lately for their operational wardrobe are really fun and different from anything they’ve or anyone else has had before within this sector – we absolutely love revolutionising this space.
But to answer your question, if I had but to choose just one design, I’d say one of my favourite to date is the costume for the HULK ride for Universal in Orlando. Probably because I love the character and the roller coaster and I was so keen to design for it. The set is mainly grey and metallic and the only touches of green are with the lighting. I wanted to reflect that in the costume by creating a grey overall with outlines of green only: rubber printed strips, zippers, popper buttons, decorative stitching, but no major flash of green fabrics! I believe that it’s all in the details, whether you’re designing a collection, for a film or even more for a Theme Park as the customers will be under a meter away from the Staff Uniforms and will be able to appreciate the details.
You have worked on numerous HP costume projects, what has been the best part of this process?
A few things to be honest. First of all, the filming of Harry Potter was not like any other films, there was real family-like bond with the crew – we still refer it as the “Potter family”. And even years later there is still that Potter camaraderie. I have also met the essence of the British filming industry, with incredible talents, from set designer Stuart Craig, to Props maker Pierre Bohanna, and Film Director Peter McDonald.
Secondly,I learnt a lot during my years on Potter. In terms of designs, I started with designer Jany Temime and illustrated for her on HP3, then being involved in the costume side, paying attention to the team of makers, pattern cutters, the amount of details we go through, the breakdown, but also the filming side as I became in charge of the 2nd Unit, dealing mainly with the more technical and stunt orientated part of the film, having to transform costumes accordingly.
And finally, the entire evolution: I am really grateful the transition that I made after the films with Potter. From the films to becoming the Creative Director on theCostume side for the WB Studio Tour, the designs for Potter lands at Universal theme Parks, leading onto more Theme parks with Universal worldwide and the expansion of my company, LOLO creative with now an incredible team of talents. And it won’t stop there!
We know you love details, and these are such an important element of design, so what is a hidden detail that some might miss in your costumes?
It could be from the tiniest cupcake button for Bake My Day on MINIONS, a skull tie pin detail to embellish a Dracula attire, the subtle camouflage dinosaur print for Jurassic World, a “wizarding twist” in the sleeve cut for Potter, an inverted seam detail to add a futuristic touch to a garment, a brand logo disguised in a pattern that you discover by only paying attention to the garment, or a repeated braid detail throughout a whole wardrobe to give it a brand identity. Working with my team, we truly believe the attention is in the details and we work at it. We also love ‘easter eggs’, there have been instances where our whole teams’ initials have been hidden in clothing and I’ll let you in on a little secret… my initials are included on one of Hagrid’s motorbike plates at the ride in Orlando.
What’s coming up for you, any exciting projects we should be on the lookout for?
A lot of exciting things to look out for. We have been working really hard on the collection we are designing at the moment at LOLO CREATIVE – it is different from what we usually do, and we can’t wait to finally share this with everyone. Also, in 2021 we will release about 325 garments we designed last year, so keep an eye out!
And finally, at the beginning of 2021, we will be launching our new “in-House collection” for the men attributes: LX… To be conti-nude!
Laurent’s upcoming work at LOLOCreative can be found here.