2011 February 8

La Vie en Ruffian: Lunch Avec Irina Lazareanu

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The Ruffians are showing their collection at the Studio at the Tents on Friday morning, but haven't forgotten about you Chicsters! They recently sat down with model Irina Lazareanu.

"Irina Lazareanu is a Renaissance woman. In addition to her divine physical beauty, she is a poet, chanteuse, creative consultant, and muse to many designers, artists and musicians. In the Deco elegance of  Le Caprice at the Pierre Hotel (brilliantly redesigned under the thoughtful eye of  Martin Brudnizki), we were honored with her presence for lunch.  The meal and service was nothing less than Epicurean perfection. Here's an abbreviated transcript."


Brian: Irina, what’s new?  Your agent just called and told us you were 5 minutes away, 10 minutes ago. Brilliant!


Irina: I'm performing this weekend at Don Hills. We just did four shows in Paris.  But wait—I can't say anything before I put my headband on.


Brian: “s that headband part of your new Japanese collection?


Irina: No, my new Japanese is collection is mostly little 3-piece suits…for girls.


Claude: I love your headband. It’s very Tamara de Lempicka!


Brian: I think it’s more All about Eve.


Irina: My favorite musical is A Chorus Line and my favorite documentary about it is called Every Little Step.


Claude: For sure, it’s better than Black Swan.


Brian: I don’t want to see anything that makes me sad.


Irina: The ship is burning around us. Let’s just pretend it is a big cabaret, darling.  I’m Liza Minnelli!


Brian: That reminds of my favorite short story, “The Masque of the Red Death" by Edgar Allan Poe. I guess it’s better to be naïve sometimes, like Marie Antoinette.


Irina: As long as we don’t lose our heads in the end.  The world is crazy now, and I fear there often needs to be bloodshed for change. The world is dying. My grandfather used to say, “History doesn’t repeat itself. Men repeat their mistakes."


Brian: I often feel guilty about working in fashion, but at least we are not hurting anyone by creating fashion, fantasy and beauty.


Irina: To be different, unique or yourself scares people.  The criticism part of the industry is often the hardest when you are out of the box. It’s the same with music.  We are about to play for South by Southwest in Austin.


Claude: We love Texas!


Irina: Did you guys ever see Best Little Whorehouse in Texas with Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds? I


Brian: Did you know Dolly is friends with lots of fashion people, like Calvin Klein?


Claude: Ok, back to your band.  Tell us about it!


Irina: It's called Operation Juliette, and it's a collaboration of other bands that come together. Adam Green, Sean Lennon, Albert from The Strokes, Mark Ronson, Lady Hawk, etc…different people from different levels of experience and from different cities. The band changes and metamorphosizes depending on the city we are in.  We have a set list and we send it in advance, so everyone learns each other’s songs. Then we have one practice, one sound check and then the gig!! It’s an improvisation. It’s like a huge jam in my living room, but in different cities.. It was named after the biggest acid bust in London. The new single is coming out in three weeks! I am so happy right now. I feel like a little kid. I tried hard to be everything everyone wanted me to be because I had no idea of who I was anymore. Now is my time to take my wings and do what satisfies me. My spoken word and poetry is so personal, like my music.  Some people are clever and some people are wise. I prefer wise people. When you’re innocent you can’t be arrogant. I am extremely happy.


Brian: Where have you been traveling?


Irina: I was in Paris and I walked in to the men’s Victor and Rolf show. I’m really into this hotel in the 7th arrondissement called Hotel Thoumieux. It’s very small and private, only 10 rooms, and the restaurant is great. 


Claude: Oh, we are totally obsessed with this restaurant Derriere in Paris. You need to try it.


Brian: What’s the theme song that captures your life right now?


Irina: “Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide!"


Claude: OMG. Stevie Nicks and Rod Stewart are touring together.  We need to go. It’s a strange mix, but what the hell?


Brian: So in terms of your Japanese line, has your experience as a model informed your process as designer?


Irina: I am not going to call myself a designer.  I have ideas and I know what I like. I come up with concepts and I am learning, which has been a wonderful process. I think it’s fairer to call myself a consultant or a stylist. You need to know your strengths, like in music. I like to write, poetry and lyrics. When you model, you are often a part of a canvas, which I love, but I really love to create.


Claude: Do you have to go to Japan a lot? Where are your favorite hotspots there?


 Irina: I love this place called Casba. It’s a little living room in a basement somewhere.


Brian: And what’s your next fun personal trip?


Irina: I am really excited to go to Peru.  My friend is really good friends with the shaman of Machu Picchu. I can’t wait to go in March.


Claude: What can you not leave home without in your bag?


Irina: My keys!


Brian: And since you and Claude are both Quebecois, where are your favorite things to do in your hometown?


Irina: I love Montreal, it will be home for me forever! It’s so cool and relaxed! For poutine (the national dish of Quebec), La Belle Province! Yum!"


Claude: Ok, in honor of your new Japanese line, “Rini by Irina”, we have a few questions about your favorite Japanese things!


Favorite sushi roll? "Salmon"

Fave Japanese dish? "Udon noodles."

Favorite Japanese restaurant? "Rue Saint Anne."

Favorite Japanese designer? "Yohji Yamamoto."

Japanese artist or director? "Kurosawa."

Favorite Japanese performance? "Kabuki theatre in Ginza. Sadly, it's closing." 

Don't miss our Gallery for pictures from lunch!





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