LESSLESS is more

Some of us may still spend the days in tracksuits but after my conversation with Alya Gonta, the founder of LESSLESS, a sustainable fashion label inspired by the dressing gown aesthetics of the golden era of Hollywood and classic minimalism of the 90s, the only option to wear everywhere loungewear is by wearing it chic and with only natural noble fabrics which are biodegradable and long-lasting: linen, silk and eco-cashmere.

IRMA: Your brand is strongly based on artist inspiration; how do you go about finding talent that fits your brand and idea of design?
ALYA GONTA: Since university, fashion for me comes always side by side with art, especially painting. It’s my big passion and endless source of inspiration. Every artist appears in my life at the right time, and I just feel that I need to work with this talented woman for this specific season or project. And then, it’s all about a mix of magic and hard work.

IRMA: You started your collection with a robe, tell us about your personal association to robes, especially the Hollywood vintage ones?
ALYA GONTA: I discovered the incredible styling potential of a robe at the times of our wedding and honeymoon in California. One day we went to the beach, and I threw a freshly bought vintage kimono over my swimsuit, and ended up spending the whole day wearing it: heading to a cocktail at the rooftop bar, shopping, meeting friends… It was so comfy that I wanted to find something similar in stores, but they offered either vintage stuff or just plain home wear robes. To have an effortless luxe dressing gown in the closet, LESSLESS had to be invented. This is how my husband Timofey and I got the idea to found our own brand of robes of the highest quality and natural materials, a kind of ‘every wear’ loungewear.

Alya Gonta, founder of LESSLESS

IRMA: Which movie or book comes into your mind when you design your collection?
ALYA GONTA: For me it’s more about fantasies about diva’s life at the Golden era of Hollywood. I adore the icons of that period: Lauren Bacall in ‘The Big Sleep’, Grace Kelly in ‘High Society’ or ‘To Catch a Thief’, Jane Russel and Marilyn Monroe in ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’, James Bond movies with Sean Connery, the photos of Slim Aarons and the scenes from Francis Scott Fitzgerald’s books. The quintessence of this romantic and nostalgic atmosphere of joie de vivre is described in Diana Vreeland’s phrase: ‘I’ve never worked. I’ve never been in an office in my life. I’m never dressed until lunch’. As I’m a child of the 90s, American movies of those times also influenced me a lot, like ‘Pretty woman’, ‘The bodyguard’, ‘Death becomes her’, ‘Revenge’, ‘Meet Joe Black’, ‘Heartbreakers’. From this aesthetics my designs acquired some minimalist touch.

Picture courtesy of LESSLESS

IRMA: Does the place you live (between Kiev and L.A.) influence your design?
ALYA GONTA: The first time I visited Los Angeles was when I was a student through the ‘Work and travel’ program. Three months there were really insane! Since that moment I’m in love with LA and Californian lifestyle, and LESSLESS is a kind of homage to my favourite city and its soul full of joy and freedom. Kiev is my native city, and we tailor our garments there to support local production.

Jasmin Khezri from Irmasworld wearing LESSLESS

IRMA: Loungewear is the word most associated to fashion during the pandemic, what can we do, so we are not getting tired of it?
ALYA GONTA: We should lounge not only at home but try to be comfortable with ourselves everywhere and anytime. I believe that a perfectly tailored robe or a good silk pyjama could encourage you to be so.

IRMA: Your favourite way of seeing your robes being worn.
ALYA GONTA: From bedroom to boardroom.

Picture courtesy of LESSLESS

IRMA: What is your personal styling tip for wearing a robe to the office?
ALYA GONTA: I love the very idea of wearing a robe to the office! It’s a bit provocative and intricate. When still frequenting the office (which seemed to be another life right now), I used to wear my linen robe with a pair of fine tailored pants from Celine, a Joseph silk top which I did not iron after laundry to reach more matte effect, and pair of my very old mary-janes from Marni.

IRMA: Where do you see your brand after the pandemic?
ALYA GONTA: Hopefully, outside the homes!

Picture courtesy of LESSLESS