Name: Thomas Lazar
Hometown: Sydney, Australia
How did you know you wanted to design wedding dresses for a living? I was kinda fascinated by wedding gowns.
Do you have another job besides designing wedding dresses? I wouldn't really call it a job, it's more a hobby that's turned into a career for me and I'm only committed to my career.
At what age did you learn how to sew? Who taught you? I started to learn how to sew when I was about 14, nobody really knew. It was sort of an undercover hobby I had. I was pretty much self taught. I've had a few professional lessons in the past couple years, but everyday technology becomes more advance so I must keep up with it.
Did you always know you wanted to be a designer? If so, how? I did, it was an instinct and a calling that was undying, immortal!
Are most of your clients in Australia? No actually, they are from abroad.
How long does it take to make a wedding dress? It really depends, from about three to 10 months I'd say.
Do you work solely on custom requests or do you also design dresses on your own to sell? I do both. I'm on a few projects at the moment that are big and exciting for me.
Do you have a boutique or is everything made at home? Home? If you mean the garage I turned into a studio? Yes, I did make it [in] there and then I got a little work room in town and had a few of my staff work there due to the small space I had. Since then I just bought a house that I've turned completely into a couture house and headquarter dedicated only to my label. It's a very intimate and exciting affair. We needed room for the large gowns I produce and we need fun rooms, each themed for its duty to be carried out exceptionally. Everyone's got a boutique or shop, that's not very fun to me personally. Our clients become our family, so the couture house is their house.
What are some of the materials you use when making dresses? Lots of tulle, bolts and lots of duchess silk!
What’s the most expensive material you work with? Duchess silk and a few delicate, imported laces.
Do you think you’ll expand your brand to design women’s everyday wear? How about menswear? Kidswear? Of course, it's definitely in the pipeline!
Have your dresses been showcased in fashion shows? If so, which ones? I have been and will be. I've done Fashion Pallet in Sydney and working on [another] one soon!
Where do you see yourself in five years? 10 years? I don't like to plan too in advance because you never know what will happen I guess, but for answering the question, I think maybe [expand] my international branch.
Where do you get your inspiration? I'm inspired by very weird things. I'm not going to say exactly what, but it's got nothing to do with fashion.
Are there any designers you admire? If so, why? I love Jeremy Scott, he's so bold and amazing!
You have quite a large following on Instagram. How do you think this began? To be honest, I'd be happy with just one follower. It doesn't make a difference to me, the likes, the whatever's. It's not a numbers game. It's just me doing my thing and some people think that's cool and admire it and I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. It's super cool, but I don't live for it. There are so many talented people out there that have 50 followers. [That] doesn't make them any less amazing than anyone else with a gift or talent.
As an Assyrian how do you feel about the crisis involving Assyrians in the Middle East, namely those in Iraq and Syria? It's sad you know. I feel helpless and try to do what I can to help like many others, but at the same time we also need to live and work to survive. What more can one do? There are superiors elected to solve these issues - they are poorly acting. Violence shouldn't be the answer. I see and hear some people wanting to go fight. I can't, I'm sorry, I can't fight. I'll be honest. I feel sad about it and I pray that peace will come upon them.
Besides designing, do you have any other talents? Talents ... a few!
If you weren’t designing what would you be doing? I wouldn't do anything else.
Do you have any words of advice for anyone that wants to design clothes? Be open-minded and fun and crazy. The sky's the limit and don't knock yourself. And if you make mistakes ... who hasn't? Oh and definitely be committed, never give up!
Portions of this interview have been edited.
Follow Thomas Lazar on Instagram @ThomasLazar.