House of Liza is a collection of colour poppin’ 80s and 90s clobber lovingly archived by die-hard fashion fan Goncalo Velosa.
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These clothes are from a gaudy fantasy world where Supermodels rule, Gaultier and Versace gladly share rails with Van Beirendonck and Comme des Garçons, and retina-searing colours are the norm. The House of Liza showroom in East London has been a secret weapon of stylists for over a year and now as the HOL online store launches we all have easy access to the perfect high-end antidote to the bleak midwinter. i-D online caught up with Goncalo Velosa at his showroom.
Why did you choose the name House of Liza? I had been trying to come up with a name, working through the concept of Fashion House or ‘Maison’. Then one day, I was sort of day dreaming and found myself staring at the wall when I realised I was staring at one of my album covers and the face of Liza Minnelli, immortalised by Andy Warhol. That was perfect! The allure of her style, the glamour mixed with her (at times) tragic life story, seemed to encapsulate not only my collection but where the store is located too!
When did you first start collecting this archive and why? During my design studies at London College of Fashion, I realised that I was more interested in the visual and social context of fashion and that I preferred working with other designers’ creations. In fact I have always been drawn to the most visionary designers, or the more obscure. I am interested in the story behind the clothes, the life of their creators, the circumstances. So I started collecting for research and over the years I have been fine-tuning my selection process. For me personally owning some of the pieces has almost become an obsession. It came to the point that I had to start selling some of my pieces in order to buy others.
Why is this time period so appealing to you? During the latter part of the 80’s I met the most incredible duo of artists, sisters Volpina and Targus de Castilho, who studied fashion in Paris and hung out with the Mugler and Gaultier entourage. They don’t have aesthetic boundaries and really became my visual gurus. They gave me, as a present, some early i-D issues, still in the fanzine format! I got involved in the whole clubbing and music scene, and fashion. During that time there was a sense of excitement and economic explosion, which led to what can be described as either depraved lavishness or decadent abundance. The fashion, art and music of the period, reflected these descriptions.
What are your future plans for HOL and what do you hope to achieve with it? The boutique can’t store all my archive at once, so I would love to open a new space. My vision is that HOL becomes a space of celebration and inspiration for designers and image-makers. HOL has just started a partnership with FarFetch.com where for the first time you can buy our pieces online.
Can you recommend a Liza Minnelli song for us to listen to? ‘Mein Herr’. When my ex broke up with me I just got up and sang this loud and proud!
Photography: Justin Borbely
Styling and Text: Aaron Walker
Hair Stylist: Hiroshi Matsushita using Bumble and bumble
Makeup Artist: Ken Nakano using MAC
Styling Assistants: Sophia Probett and Farah Lakoues
Model: Raniely Linhares at Storm
Clockwise from left. Look 1: Raniely wears Jeans and Jacket Versace. Shoes Pringle. Look 2: Top Issey Miyake. Dress Jean Paul Gaultier. Look 3: Dress Junior Gaultier. Tights Missoni. Cuffs Fleet Ilya.