Lara Vrkic is a curator, social media consultant and founder of The Ladies Network. The idea for the art collective – known for incubating the careers of emerging female artists worldwide – began as an epiphany at one of the first shows she curated back in 2015. There was an estimated 500–600 people crammed into a space with a capacity of 200. There was a police-ordered shutdown. The atmosphere was electric.
The next day, Vrkic received an influx of Facebook messages from female artists asking where they could sign up to such a supportive community. And so, The Ladies Network was born.
It’s a huge deal that she’s achieved all of this before the age of twenty-five. To top it all off, this high-functioning powerhouse maintains a minimalist living space (no easy feat with a two-year-old), and balks at the idea of working from home in her pyjamas.
Broadsheet: What has been the most rewarding aspect of launching TLN so far?
Lara Vrkic: We constantly get emails from girls saying that they feel inspired and encouraged and as though there is a place for them in the art world. We aren’t trying to be your classic gallery space or art collective. TLN is much more about creating a network of women who enjoy art and the conversation around it. You don’t need to come from an art background or a particular social scene to be involved, which was something very important to me.
BS: TLN sells cute, very wearable art-fashion merchandise. What do you think about the crossover between the fashion and art worlds?
LV: I think it’s really cool that fashion has become a way you can subscribe to art collectives without dishing out serious cash for a work. You can wear a Ladies t-shirt and feel as though you are apart of the story. It makes it much more inclusive and it’s super encouraging when you see a girl wearing one of our t-shirts; I feel like I can go up to them and start talking and know that they have similar values and interests.
BS: Describe your style: are you a minimalist or maximalist?
LV: I’m definitely a minimalist. I dream of a bedroom with just a bed, mirror, desk and a laptop. I get really anxious when things are cluttered so I try to keep things as bare as possible. Restraint is a really interesting thing with design. I love minimalist art and design because you can see the artists’ choices and imagine for yourself what was left out.
BS: Be honest – do you ever wear your PJs when working from the home office?
LV: Never. I really make an effort to keep to a routine, even when I’m working from home. I also love clothes and live for the morning when I get to decide what to wear. I've been known to sit at my computer in a full look and have not left the house all day. It’s an important way for me to tell my brain to be productive!
BS: Where do you shop and what are your favourite labels right now?
LV: I'm obsessed with Vestiaire at the moment. I just bought some fury Celine slippers that I check the tracking on multiple times throughout the day and will forever be obsessed with Ellery, Lonely, Acne, Le Kilt, Daisy, Saks Potts ... I also love Tempe tip, I just bought a pair of retro outdoor chairs that are amazing for $20 – good for a bargain!
BS: What is your go-to outfit for an exhibition launch?
LV: When I think about a perfect launch outfit though it’s always something dressy and a little bit sexy because our art is often a little sexy. It's really fun because our exhibitions have a very even split of men and women but it’s definitely the ladies in the room who are having their moment. Everyone always looks so beautiful like its something special, which is cool. Lots of silky slips. Confident sexy lady is definitely the vibe.
BS: Artworks and artists that you have your eye on right now?
LV: I'm obsessed with Luke Ryan's pots, Kitty Callaghan's collages, Holly Greenwood’s paintings, Rosemarie Auberson's works are incredible and Holly Fewson's paintings.