90’s Russia was an exciting time and place to grow up, Lotta recalls. “I feel I grew up in a really exciting time in Russia – a time of a lot of change, curiosity, enthusiasm, adventure and naivety. There was a crucial moment in politics where we didn’t really have a government for a while and it felt very free and almost anarchist. You had this feeling of pure energy, like you could do anything. People were discovering modern lifestyles, new music, art, nightclubbing, subcultures and drugs. I was pretty young but I remember being interested a lot in art, fashion, pop culture and pretty aware of what was going on through reading magazines like OM, Ptutch, and through the Internet and pirate television. I think it’s a trait of Russian character: you want to know, you have a thirst for knowledge and passion for change and everything that’s new. So for me looking back on my childhood, it was a very inspiring period. So much was happening. Performance art and costumes of Andrey Bartenev, pirate TV of Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe, listening to Zemfira and my native Mumiy Trol, and watching Eurotrash, the TV series by Jean Paul Gaultier and Antoine de Caunes, were my first impressions of fashion and style.”
“I THINK IT’S A TRAIT OF THE RUSSIAN CHARACTER: YOU WANT TO KNOW, YOU HAVE A PASSION FOR REVOLUTION, CHANGE, EVERYTHING THAT’S NEW.”
Even if she never really thought of becoming a fashion designer, she ended up creating a menswear label Lotta Skeletrix while still at Saint Martins. “My mum was the one who got me interested in art. I was always drawing and painting a bit when I was a child, and she pushed me to study Fine Art, which I actually did before fashion. I come from a family of doctors: my grandmother was a surgeon, my mum taught medicine at the university, my aunts and uncles are all doctors. I would have loved to become a surgeon, but it’s too late!” she jokes.