Lego has been the building block of creativity for generations, so it’s only fitting that in the age of social media the toy would receive a contemporary twist. In walks “Legolize Fashion,” an art-meets-fashion Instagram account developed by artist Maria Sheila Miani, aimed at idolizing her heroes in Lego form. We spoke with Miani about her career aspirations, being born into the age of social media, and of course, Legos.
Your Instagram bio says you’re an art student. What school do you attend and what are you studying?
“I was born in Ireland, but I have been living in Rome since I was small. I am in my last year of college at [European Institute of Design] in Rome. My [major] is called, ‘Fashion Editor.’ I have recently come back from a three-month exchange program in Los Angeles at [Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising]; it was the greatest experience of my life. I dressed models for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Show at the Chateau Marmont, [had] an internship as a web assistant and went to a movie premiere in Hollywood where I met Franca Sozzani.”
Talk a bit about your background. Did you choose the Lego life or did the Lego life choose you?
“The Lego fashion magazine project began in 2013. As an exam project, my professor asked us to create a mock collaboration between two realities and one had to be the fashion world. I created five spreads of Legolized covers of i-D Magazine. On one side I recreated the covers and on the other I chose five famous people from the fashion world: Anna Wintour, Anna dello Russo, Franca Sozzani, Andre Leon Talley, Alber Elbaz and created Lego versions of them.”
What drives and inspires your creations?
“I often choose to recreate the magazines covers of people that I admire. For example, Lena Dunham, for i-D, Gigi Hadid for Schon! Magazine and Kirsten Dunst for Bullett. Other times I choose covers because they stand out from the previous one, such as Schon! number 20 ‘The Future is Now’ issue, which not only has two models, but also has a background full of detail. It was an interesting challenge to recreate.
I try to be as faithful as possible to the originals. I begin with the face and continue with the body, which is the part that takes the most time. If the model is wearing a striped top, I need to remake each stripe. But sometimes some of the clothes or the backgrounds are extremely full of detail. For instance the jewels and the fur on Brooke Flores’ top for the Schon! Magazine cover—it took me time to decide how I could recreate the shapes.”
Is “Legolize Fashion” a parody of the fashion world?
“I don’t think Legolize Fashion is a parody of the fashion world simply because I am recreating the covers. I am making a more minimal and stylized version of them.”
What is your dream collaboration?
“My dream collaboration would be with some fashion brands that are leaders in the use of their social media, such as Valentino, Chanel or Burberry. I could recreate their fashions shows, advertising campaigns, or simply Legolize the people who are part of that universe.”
How do you see “Legolize Fashion” progressing as you gain more clout?
“I am focusing on creating illustrated digital content representing my personality in various forms. I began with the collages, I added the Lego characters and in the future I will do something with GIFs. What I like about GIFs is that you have more freedom for your creativity, because the image can move. One of my favorite GIF artists is Vahram Muratyan, the artist who recently created 3 amazing GIFs for Prada’s Instagram account.”