Written by Kate Kelsall
22 Sunday 22nd April 2012

How was (IN)DECOROUS TASTE born and how would you describe your aesthetic?

(IN)DECOROUS TASTE was born as an outlet for my creative endeavors after I graduated college, in what was honestly a moment of real uncertainty!  I haven't really given any thought to retroactively describing the aesthetic.  It's about humor, whimsy, and excitement  - I care less about getting the aesthetic "right" and more about capturing a sense of delight.  

Your brand spans work in interiors, accessories and clothing. Tell us about your background and how you got into design?

Design was always part of my life. I come from a family that constantly indulges wacky aesthetic experiments.  Both my mother and grandfather were classically trained painters, and so it's something that happened very naturally for me, even if my focus in college was seemingly on a different track (Cognitive Science). 

(IN)DECOROUS TASTE is unashamedly opulent and overtly decadent in it’s sensibilities. Do you feel this indulgence is something people need during a recession?

While yes, I do think that people crave opulence in times of economic hardship, I also think that (IN)DECOROUS TASTE as a philosophy supports a different kind of opulence. It's about looking in unconventional places and using your own preferences as a guide to create your own decadence, not about spending lots of money to purchase the "whole designer look"  from top to bottom. Opulence is found, not purchased. Celebrating the beautiful and delightful is opulent.  

Your accessories are elegantly feminine as well as fetishistic, and trangressive. The ambiguity of the name suggests this balancing act is at the heart of the brand. So what makes ‘good’ and ‘bad’ taste nowadays?

I would say that the balancing act is at the heart of it all,  but it's more about the idea of "good taste"  versus "bad", choosing the right thing versus choosing the wrong thing.  When that's the focus, there can be no space for art, creativity, spontaneity, fun, or humor!  It becomes a contest to demonstrate class and status, and that is a dreadful game that no one can win.

The darker, wilder side of your pieces emanate from the radical materials you work with. Tell me about  what appears to be an infatuation with perplex, studs, spikes, chains,  leather and even human hair.

Yes, I do have a love affair with all of those materials, and I think it's because they come with their own baggage. Plastic, for example, was once the glitzy material of glamour girls like Helena Rubenstein. It was cutting edge! Now people think of it as cheap and disposable. Studs are associated with particular subcultures. Human hair is peculiar because it's somehow unsettling, despite our use of animal fur. I like the idea that not everything is as you think it is and that what we think of as awful can be beautiful or at least amusing.

Your blog has been praised for the DIY projects you divulge in for your readers. Tell me more about this home based creativity and the creativity involved in being a blogger?

All creativity is home-based and "DIY" in the sense that action is necessary to materialize an idea.  I think that blogs have played a role in shining a light on that process and exposing parts of it in a way that it hasn't before.  It makes the creative process accessible, and there's a real sense of "Wow, I could do that too!" that's inspiring.  The danger in removing the curtain, though, is that I suppose it takes away some of the magic.  There are some really very talented artists blogging and sometimes I think it becomes too easy to undervalue craft and creativity once artists become labelled "bloggers."

Finally, what projects are you at work on right now and what can we expect from (IN)DECOROUS TASTE in the future?

Lately I've been really interested in plastic - playing around with the medium and all it can do in its various forms.  I've got lots planned but I'm not sure how much I can divulge here.  Good things come to those who wait?

Worth waiting for? For more of Lauren's opulence check out her blog and portfolio.

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