photography by marcus dawes
interview by brooke rutherford
LFW The Daily proudly presents a back-of-the-Mercedes interview with Tamara and Natasha Surguladze of Tata Naka on the eve of their presentation.
BR: What was your starting point for the A/W ’11 collection?
T&N: We were inspired by the Fifties: by the decade’s contrasting glamour of Jackie Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe. Our presentation will be set like Elvis Presley’s Blue Hawaii. Models will be arranged in the style of Irving Penn. So it’s a mix of feelings from the Fifties.
BR: Favourite pieces from this collection?
T: It has to be the black, scalloped, off-the-shoulder, chiffon dress.
BR: So what are you wearing right now?
T: I’m wearing a Topshop silk blouse and a tiered-ruffle skirt with black-leather, pearl embellished wedges – both Tata Naka.
N: I’m wearing this midi-length dress from our Spring collection. The print is a collage of ripped and worn denim that’s been digitally printed onto silk. It’s a juxtaposition of destroyed, cowboy-style denim and silk, an optical illusion.
BR: With two of you designing, who wears the trousers?
T&N: We’re both very dominant personalities. We both wear the trousers.
BR: When did you decide to start designing together?
T: When we were attending Central Saint Martins we each did our own collections. But we also worked closely together. For our graduate show we presented separately. Hillary Alexander was in the audience and spoke highly of the two of us. She put two-and-two together and realised we had the same last name. After that, buyers bought both of our collections together.
N: At that point we had to set up business fast. We became Tata Naka.
BR: Being twins, do you ever experience telepathic moments?
T&N: All the time. People can get quite disturbed when we both say the exact same things at the exact same time and completely out of context. We brainstorm really well together. When one of us is having a breakdown the other one is calm so we complement each other.
BR: Do you ever find it difficult being twins?
T&N: Never. We wouldn’t have it any other way. We know what each other is thinking and feeling. You’re never alone when you’re a twin. Someone always understands you.
BR: What about when you’re designing?
T: It’s great because we both have different strengths that complement each other. For instance, Natasha’s into digital printing and I love painting. I’ll paint giant floral motifs onto fabrics and Natasha will scan them on.
BR: Any fashion predictions for A/W ’11?
N: The midi length skirt. I think the body-con look has seen its day.
BR: Last but not least…what’s the cheekiest thing you’ve ever done in the back of a car?
T: Cheekiest thing? That’s tough…
Mercedes-Benz, whose fashionable fleet of cars ensure London Fashion Weekers get around in style, is celebrating its LFW affiliation with the launch of Voices of Fashion, a daily blog with exclusive LFW updates and interviews with the designers who are the voices who define fashion. See voicesoffashion.co.uk