WHO IS KLARA?
Klara was a Holocaust survivor who came to the USA in the 1950's. Not speaking a word of English, she took a position in a sweatshop in Downtown Los Angeles, where she worked behind a sewing machine for the next 50 years. Economizing and using whatever tools she had handy, she would turn brown paper bags into homemade patterns and sew them on her vintage Singer sewing machine. Her designs were original, ageless, and timeless. She passed on her joy of creativity, knowledge of fabric, pattern-making and attention to detail to her granddaughter, Nissana. Following in her footsteps, she learned how to sew and design classic well-made garments. In homage to her grandmother’s legacy, Nissana started Klara Designs.
MEET THE DESIGNER
Nurtured at a young age by grandmothers who took pride in their appearance, Nissana was raised on beauty. Lipstick, nail polish and hairspray were the essential tools of the trade. Surpassed only by an elegant outfit that complimented mood and destination. Nissana was instructed on what it means to be feminine in the Decades of 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's. A time when men courted women. She learned that it takes time and lots of effort to radiate beauty, both inside and outside, that women worked at being beautiful. She was inducted into a bygone era. A time when women took great pride in appearance, whether in trousers or ball-gown. Nissana began designing her own clothing by the age of 9. Under the supervision of her seamstress grandmother Klara, Nissana began to envision outfits that she wanted to wear and thus create. She began to design and sew on an antique singer sewing machine and soon fell in love with the process. Today Nissana designs clothing that is a fusion of vintage and modern. A line inspired by art, movement and quality of craftsmanship. Each outfit is designed with a hint of romance. Her company is named after her grandmother Klara, who was and continues to be her inspiration.
INSPIRATION & DESIGN
Each collection is inspired by an artistic movement as well as an era in fashion history. The color palette is drawn from a designated period of art history - from the colors painted on the canvas, to the popular paints used in interior decorating. Each garment is reminiscent of one worn in a specific period or decade. Though inspired by a bygone era, it is made with the modern woman in mind, for comfort, convenience and ease, while still upholding the utmost femininity. Timeless fashion for timeless women like Audrey Hepburn or Elizabeth Taylor. They are the icons and symbols that Klara strives to emulate. Once the inspiration has been conceived, the sketching and designing commences. With a look at what is practical and desired in modern clothing, the designs are then adjusted and reinvented for the figure of the contemporary woman.
CREATION & MANUFACTURING
This is the part that is the most painstaking, time-consuming, yet creative and exciting part of the whole process. Once inspiration strikes, sketching begins. Like a great novel has rewrites, a fabulous collection has a series of evolving designs. These designs must incorporate or reflect the designer’s initial idea coupled with the type of fabric and the vision of how it will flow on the body. Often a designer will have a mood board that visually lays out the inspiration. Once the sketches are completed to satisfaction, pattern-making begins. Depending on the intricacy of the design, the pattern will either need to be draped and pinned on a mannequin or can easily be made as a flat pattern. Once these patterns are met with the designer’s satisfaction and tweaked to perfection they are ready to be made into a sample. What makes Klara unique? Unlike many other designers, Klara clothing offers a small specialized manufacturing. Paying close attention to every detail, our garments are in a limited quantity edition, so that we can control quality of craftsmanship. Interesting fact: Our garments are all proudly made in Downtown Los Angeles, just a few short blocks from where Klara herself once worked.