Interview with Lucia Russo
*Lucia Russo SS14
*above photo - Model Maud Claessens in LROUSSEAU collection by Lucia Russo. Photographer: Giusy de Ceglia
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A DESIGNER?
LR: I always wanted to create something that I could not find anywhere. Once I realized that my style consciousness could work out for the commercial field and for real targets, I knew it was time to turn my creative dream into a real job! I love researching volume and shape, planning the textile design of my concepts combined with this burning desire to bring my total personal vision to life brought me to construct one by one every element of my collection from an architectural perspective.
For this reason Urban architecture is one of my recurring patterns, together with the Optical Philosophy of Victor Vasarely. Also my daily motto is:” If it doesn’t exist, I’ll invent it”. It’s very important for me to share my total idea of style, from textile design to the total look of each outfit.
WHAT WAS THE FIRST PIECE YOU DESIGNED?
The first piece I ever designed and sewed was a dress for my Barbie doll when I was a child. I wanted my doll to get her own cool look and not a common one!
Then in my adult life the first pieces I designed that were actually shown to the world happened towards the end of my time at Istituto Marangoni Milano Campus in 2010. I was one of the finalists for the ROBERTO CAVALLI 40th Anniversary Menswear contest. The Roberto Cavalli Group decided to post my outfits on their Facebook business profile.
This was the biggest chance I ever had to share my fashion design skills with the digital world and through social media.
HOW HAVE YOU GROWN SINCE YOUR FIRST COLLECTION?
Thanks to the National Chamber of Italian Fashion and the Mercedes Benz Partnership with Milano Fashion week, my CV really grew: between 2012 and 2013 I got to contribute to the creative direction of Maliparmi - an Italian world wide selling brand – and I got to do a work experience in Alexander McQueen as well as other significant collaborations.
From these experiences I got some amazing International press and got to show at Mercedes Benz fashion week in the main “International Catwalk Platform” at Milan Fashion Week. After my live show in Milan 2012 (I was given the chance to export my collection to Poland thanks to Warsaw Fashion Weekend . Now I am one of the fashion designers selected by Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Amsterdam for the Fashion Lab platform.
It is not only a reward for my work and efforts but also an amazing chance to pitch and sell my collection to a wider international public - and to gain valuable experience for the fashion seasons to come.
WHAT IS THE MOST EXCITING PART OF BEING A DESIGNER?
Living my true passion every day in my work… This is the job that I always dreamt of as a child and it has come true! I could never get bored when I work with my tailor! I just get very excited because we are creating something. Work makes very happy but I never forget it’s very important to dedicate time to my boyfriend, friends and family because they give me the strength to make my dreams happen.
WHAT DO YOU FIND THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
My biggest challenge is conquering hurdles through my creative spirit! At times my plans get interrupted by unexpected issues - and that’s when I tune to my creative side to change things for the best. A perfect example would be when I run out of fabrics and have to think out of the box to turn a problem in a beautiful creation!
WHO ARE SOME DESIGNERS YOU LOOK UP TO?
I deeply respect Nicolas Ghesquière as a contemporary and futuristic couturier. The new print concept of Mary Katrantzou. The funny architectural mood of Holly Fulton and my producer Gianni Serra. He is one of the most talented upcoming designers in Italy, has more experience than me and supports my talent.
I learn so much from him every day.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?
My first work experience was as fashion designer assistant in the Aquilano Rimondi Studio. I remember those days as one of the most beautiful periods in my life. I also worked as a Showroom Assistant for the Aquilano Rimondi atelier. This was a remarkable experience which paved the way for me to become an independent designer.
The fashion industry is not only what’s on display during the shows but also a mix between craftsmanship and ready-to-go production.
Creativity must always come first, when it comes down to buyers and customer relations.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PIECE THAT YOU HAVE DESIGNED?
Yes, I do! It’s the very first print I designed for my first collection and I advertised it through a campaign because through it I realized the global kind of idea that I would like to show through my collections. It is a vision of the dark side of nature mixed with urban and experimental heritage. You can check it out here.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF SO FAR?
That would definitely be when Mr. Mario Boselli, President of the National Chamber of Italian Fashion, told me: “You are a pillar of the upcoming Fashion generation in Italy”.
I hope I can honor his compliment through my work in the long run but also that young designers get the support they need from the fashion industry to help realize their collections.
We are in a global new era of fast fashion, a period when customers expect new ideas in style.
“The new pillars” Mr. Boselli spoke about need the support of quality professional techniques and hand made alternatives to develop their projects.
WHAT IS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR NEXT COLLECTION?
It’s my urban imaginary world. The name of my FW 14.15 collection is URBAN CUT UP: this is a reference and concept that comes from urban architectures and the natural world - optical visions, aesthetics inspired by the digital word and the video game Tetris.
This collection blends different volumes and patterns by using “The Cut-Up”, a celebrated literary technique by William Burroughs which is now placed in a new context in fashion. To explain further - an idea - “The Cut-Up”- cuts and mixes elements and images to create a new idea of femininity and new visions enhancing the urban element. This is brought to life by a smashing play of cuts and mix of shapes which balance each other while revealing the idea of “over sensuality”. It’s a dialogue between tradition and innovation, emphasizing an assertive and contemporary femininity.
Optical patterns are a key element in my work and embody geometries celebrating the art of Vaserely which are expressed through fun, colorful prints. Sporty chic elements, skirts, trousers and highly technical coats, combined with light, silk shirts all make up this collection.
HOW DO YOU PLAN TO KEEP YOURSELF ENERGIZED DURING FASHION WEEK WITH YOUR BIG SHOW COMING UP?
My energy comes from my daily review of what is essential to set up a great fashion show.
I would like to thank specifically my team: Giusy de Ceglia (director of photography), Gianni Serra (producer), Juan Velazquez Caceres (Pr planner and stylist), Nunzia Garoffolo (Pr manager), Mariana Verkerk, (choreographer), France de Griessen and Andy Fluon for the soundtrack of the show. A fashion house has to be a team where everyone complements each other to create the best work ever. My designs and my team are my energy for my show.
WHO WOULD BE YOUR DREAM WOMAN TO DRESS?
So far I have already dressed a famous showgirl in Italy and Cat Smits, a young and incredibly talented Dutch actress. My dream now is to see Zooey Deschanel wearing my outfits someday. She is so funny and embodies the kind of fresh and girlish woman I have in mind when I think of the ideal type of customer I would like to reach out to in the USA.
Rusk curl freak used by marcus caillet part of rusk creative team @ Nolcha Genius new way to curl your hair
Loris Diran finale @ New York Fashion Week Ss14
Custo Barcelona finale New York fashion week ss14
IFA Paris Graduate Sabine Ducasse
*Article courtesy of the IFA Paris Blog
After a gorgeous Graduate Collection “The Melting Pot” at her graduate fashion school IFA Paris, Sabine Ducasse is Featured in Vogue Italia, debuts a collection in Shanghai, and lands gigs in London, Paris and NYC.
“I found out on Facebook!” There are many things you simply don’t want to first find out about in your newsfeed: an old flame’s perfect proposal, good friends splitting up, or maybe discovering your new BFF has completely crazy political views.
Being named one of Vogue Italia’s “Emerging Designers to Watch” is not one of them.
For 2012 graduate Sabine Ducasse, finding out about that the Milan-based edition of the international fashion bible had anointed her as one to watch was the good kind of social-network surprise.
“I’m very happy about it,” says Ducasse from Shanghai. “It’s amazing.”
That’s not to say she hadn’t already received accolades and attention for her graduate collection. For the “East Meets West” show, Ducasse debuted bold and beautiful patterns by melting pliable Perler beads into the most stylish armor one could hope for to face the modern world. Titled “The Melting Pot,” the result was not only an IFA win by the French-born, Shanghai-based designer, but resulted in features on top tech blog Wired for her innovative use of materials, and love from bloggers around the world. The collection was featured across the globe, and fashion blogger MilaLouLou called her collection: “An incredible mix of retro computer gaming, pixels, super heroes and stage costume. She takes fashion to a new level.”
Ducasse was slightly shocked by that attention as well. “It made a big impact,” she says. “A lot of blogs have posted about it, or asked if it can be in their magazines, or ‘liked’ the images.” Indeed the stunning collection is a fan favorite on Pinterest.
After her collection appeared at the IFA Shanghai student show, she was approached by a Netherlands-based production company to work with them as a freelance designer on a new evening gown line. Though the company works with top brands internationally, this will be their first in-house label. It’s still officially under wraps, but the brand will debut with a stand-alone store on Shanghai’s famous Nanking Road – the most popular shopping destination in the city – late next month.
Designing independently for a client taught Ducasse the importance of taking others’ input under advisement whilst staying true to her own vision. “At first I tried too much to please the client, but eventually I realized that they had asked me to design for them, that they wanted something creative, something I could offer, and wanted to see my approach,” she says. “My vision was important and that is why they wanted me, so after about a month it was easy to find a balance.” In her designs, Ducasse was able to bring a European contemporary sensibility to the gowns, making them appropriate for elegant evening wear but avoiding the bling bling and bedazzling Shanghai fashion can often succumb to. Overall the experience taught her about the production process as well, as she was able to choose fabrics and work with the production houses in China.
After years at IFA and in Shanghai, Sabine’s off on a global aesthetic excursion, interning and immersing herself in the great design houses of the world. First on the itinerary: an internship at Alexander McQueen in London.
Ducasse discovered the position while searching online, and answered without hoping she’d ever hear back. “I was thinking, ‘I will never be chosen anyway, but if I don’t try I will never find out.’” She hit send, and the very next day she received a reply from the head of the print department. They liked her portfolio and requested more examples of her printmaking skills. Instead of sending through retreads from school or other projects, Ducasse took the extra step of designing specialty prints for the company to show her interest in the position and devotion to uniqueness. “I decided to work through the weekend making prints especially for Alexander McQueen so they could really see if I would fit in their team or not. I also thought it would be better to do something especially for them with their logo on it to show my motivation and love for the brand rather than just sending some prints I already had.”
“I think the designers appreciated the attention because the next day, I got an email saying I was in and I should come as soon as possible!” Ducasse is now in the process of moving to London to begin at maison McQueen before December starts. “I’m packing as fast as I can. It happened very very fast and now the pressure is on!” The excitement and exposure is only beginning.
Because – as the saying goes – when it rains it pours. Ducasse has also lined up a spot at Jeremy Scott in New York next July and is in negotiations with Balmain in Paris to join their team in between turns in the fashion capitals. She’ll be house-hopping with the global greats through 2013.
About IFA Paris
International Fashion Academy, better known as IFA Paris, offers students undergraduate and postgraduate programs in design, business and luxury in an environment of multidisciplinary collaboration.
With almost 1,000 students located in Paris and Shanghai, IFA Paris is at the forefront of fashion and luxury education and offers programs that reflect the breadth of opportunity available in this vibrant industry.
Freya Roski talks to London based fashion designer Sarmite on her thoughts about the digital direction of fashion.
FREYA ROSKI: WHAT DOES THE DIGITALIZATION MEAN HOW YOUR BRAND CONNECTS WITH ITS CUSTOMERS AND RETAILERS?
Sarmite: Fashion is a very fast moving industry and brand digitalization is very important to share your vision and share brand awareness.
WHAT ARE THE METHODS / TOOLS YOUR BRAND USES TO REACH AND CONNECT WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS? WHAT ARE YOUR NEW SOLUTIONS TO CONNECT ON A MORE PERSONAL LEVEL WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS?
With my brand I organize events and exhibitions almost every season and my brand collaborates with lot of photographers and stylists. I do love the artistic side of my brand as mostly all collections are inspired of art and every cut and line has it’s meaning
On everyday basis- we do connect with our followers on facebook and twitter and enjoy every supporter such as yourself- Runway Passport.
DO YOU FEEL A CHANGE WHEN IT COMES TO LABELLING AND BRANDING ON DIGITAL REPRESENTATION OF YOUR BRAND?
I like that digitalization makes brand more accessible and more international.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT DIGITAL FASHION SHOWCASING AND LIVE STREAMING AT FASHION WEEK? WILL IT REPLACE THE REAL SHOWCASING AT FASHION WEEKS?
It is very exciting as gives opportunity for people to follow the loved brands across the world. As well the fact that fashion is so international digitalization is necessary.
WHAT ARE THE DESIRES, INTENTIONS AND NEEDS OF THE NEW FASHION GENERATION?
Being original and simple
Desires- be more international with digitalization
Intentions- be unique and original
Needs- less high street as it is very difficult for young designers to compete with cheap mas production goods made abroad what are most of the time copies of designers
More understanding for customers to see value of designers work. Convince society to not see just a trend when it comes to clothes but see clothing as an art.
Interview with Tess Johnson
Nolcha Fashion Week: New York held the Fashion Lounge: London at Mania Mia on New Kings Road. Check out designer Tess Johnson, a young up and comer whose avant-garde feather dress made it into the Saks 5th Ave window when she was still in school. Here Tess shares her inspiration and experience being a designer with Runway Passport.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR MOST RECENT COLLECTION?
My A/W13 collection, “Submerged”, was inspired by the deep sea. I drew my inspiration from the colors, the shapes and the movement of the ocean. You can clearly see the inspiration in the custom prints I created which show seascapes, fish and barnacles. The dark colors are drawn from the darker feeling form deep down, with pops of color from the fish and the corals. The silhouettes and fabric choice all play on the movement and fluidity of the water in juxtaposition of the rigidity and hardness of the rocks and coral.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR YOU AS A DESIGNER?
The biggest challenge for me as a designer is creating a collection that people will like. I am always trying to find the right combinations of colors, materials and silhouettes that will appeal to the world while fulfilling my idea of the collection. I want to always create a collection that is true to my inspiration and style, while still making clothes that women love and are excited to wear.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT?
My biggest accomplishment thus far would definitely be seeing a few people wear Tess Johnson pieces. It gives me such pride to see someone wearing a jacket or dress that I created. I feel like I have accomplished something big when someone out there loves what I created that they want to wear it also.
WHO INSPIRES YOU THE MOST
I respect and admire so many other designers and I am constantly inspired by them. One, in particular, would absolutely be Alexander McQueen. Ever since I was little I would look to him for mind blowing creations. He helped me understand that prints, creativity, and imagination were very important in design and key components to setting yourself apart.
WHAT IS THE ONE PIECE YOU DESIGNED THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
In my very first collection, when I was still in university, I created a dress made entirely of 5’-6’ pheasant feathers. This dress was editorial, avant-guard, and the first piece to my Tess Johnson label. This particular dress was selected by Saks Fifth Avenue to be displayed in their store in May of 2011. I not only loved this pieces by itself, I loved what came from it, I love where it has taken me, and I love that when I look at it, I remember why I started doing what I am doing.
Meet Fashion Student Designer - Lina-Therese Brækkan
Student in Copenhagen, Denmark.
From: Trondheim, Norway.
Photographer: Erika Stanley, www.erikastanley.com
Makeup Artist: Patricia Baier
Model: Maria Amanda Schaub
NAME OF SCHOOL:
Fashion Design Akademiet
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU HAVE LEARNED SO FAR AT FASHION SCHOOL
It’s hard to pick out just one thing, because everything has been important in their own way. I’m learning about the whole process on design, from creating a mood board and develop an idea and how to make a design folder, to calculate the pattern and then learning to sew the clothes. So everything belongs together to get the finishing result. But one very important thing that I’ve learned, is that I have to think about how it’s possible to make that piece of clothing when I’m drawing it.
WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF SCHOOL AND THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
I would say that developing creativity is both the best part and the biggest challenge for me.
I have my personal style and often design on the basis of my own style. But now I have to learn to think outside it. It got me to thinking about clothes in a totally different way. Now I notice more details, type of pockets, incisions, seams etc. on the clothes.
But it is also a challenge to try to come up with something completely new and different.
But the very best part is every time I have a finished piece that I have made my self!
WHAT IS YOUR INSPIRATION FOR THIS COLLECTION?
The clothes I’ve made up to now don’t belong together as a collection, so they are all taken from different inspirations. And on the basis of the requirements my school had for each piece.
My pants are inspired by Balmain, with the tough / sexy look and many zippers.
The dress was inspired by a special folding technique, which I’ve used on the straps. Here I wanted to make an elegant party look, with that little extra.
But I will say that my clothes have a lot in common. Every piece I make is designed for a young woman. Its all in a feminine style, where I emphasize the female forms. The clothes have to have some nice details that give them the little extra.
I want to make everyday clothes with a twist of luxury. I think that every girl deserves a little sparkle, so a lot of the clothes I make will have some glitter.
With my clothes you can look your best every day, feel good and just have fun!
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WANTED TO BECOME A DESIGNER?
I’ve been fortunate to been involved in a lot when it comes to fashion, which has gradually evolved to become a big dream of becoming a fashion designer.
I have always loved fashion and clothes. But I’ve missed clothes with that little extra. Often when I’ve seen clothes I’m thinking that they have been so much nicer if it had been made in a different way, so I started on the idea that I should have been able to made it myself.
I started to educate as fashion consultant / stylist. At the same time I started a blog (www.oustyle.org) with my friend Ann Karin, who is a makeup artist. Then we started to do styling for photoshoots and music videos together. That’s when I started two think how fun it would be if I could make my own clothes for styling projects.
I also started to work in a big dress shop in Norway, where I was selling Norwegian design. That made my eyes more open to the idea that it is possible two make it as an designer even if I’m a “normal” Norwegian girl.
Then I got the opportunity to go to fashion week with Runway Passport. That’s when I really knew what I wanted to do - I wanted to have my own clothes on that runway!!
Now that I have started studying for my dream, I know I have made the right choice. I’ve finally found what I love to do. Every day is an inspiration and motivation to get ahead!
Interview with JUNGWON by June Sohn
Nolcha Fashion Week: New York held the Fashion Lounge: London at Mania Mia on New Kings Road. June Sohn, the designer of JUNGWON shares her inspiration and experience being a designer with Runway Passport.
WHAT IS THE MOST EXCITING PART OF BEING A DESIGNER?
To make something that new and innovate product for real people.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION OF YOUR MOST RECENT COLLECTION?
Men’s over coat in Korean costume called “dooroomaki”
HOW HAVE YOU GROWN AS A DESIGNER SINCE YOUR FIRST COLLECTION?
I learned every time and every action, so i could find a way to do better for all.
WHAT DESIGNERS INSPIRE YOU THE MOST?
Used to all the high end designer brands inspired me, but not so much this day. However i get motivated by technology, fair trade, no child labor, no exploitation things that what’s doing right.
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO BECOME A DESIGNER?
When I was in elementary school, I use to go to boutique stores with my mother to get custom-made clothes (one piece). Since then, I wanted to be a designer. I guess I enjoyed wearing different clothes very much back then, and watching how the fabric was chosen, so I wanted to also enjoy this in creating my own clothes.
Fashion Editor: Molén Antolin
Photographer: Israel Esparza
Trista José Alfredo Silva and Giovanni Estrada the designer duo behind Trista showed "La Visión Fantástica del Territorio Perdido" during Mercedes-Benz Mexico City fashion week. This fashion collection was inspired by a mixture of the Wes Anderson film - Moonrise Kingdom, Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia and a short story titled The 9th of July of Onetti. Long skirts, leather pants, military style, little jackets, skirts with ruffles and strapless dresses all made up an exquisite and fashionable runway show during this fashion week.
Lengths: ankle lengths and maxi.
Colors: black, green and white.
Fabrics: cotton, wool and silks, crepes, cotton.
Accessories: necklace, bracelets and wood and ceramic rings inspired by the girls scouts.
*Photos Courtesy of Vogue Italia
Cecilie Arling. Fashion Editor, Paris.
Amaya Arzuaga presented their autumn /winter collection in the impressive background of the Spanish Embassy at the luxurious Avenue George V in Paris.
The collection was kept minimalist with geometric references. Most of the silhouettes were styled in one color - for example all shiny red, all black or all beige, aside from a few two colored pieces where the pattern was divided in two colors. These 2 color designs made the colors stand out even more.
Asymmetry was key in the collection, as many pieces were longer on one side than the other. These will definitely be must have winter pieces.
My favorite item was the beige dress with matching pants, so minimalist and at the same time when one took a closer look full of details there was an almost hidden asymmetry.
Son Jung Wan @ Concept Korea - New York Fashion Week AW13
Reporter - Erin Levi
SON JUNG WANby Son Jung Wan was a personal favorite. The neutrals were a refreshing change, bringing lightness to the show. The collection was feminine, sophisticated, and flirty for fall. The designer used beautiful fabrics and was playful with her use of fur on dresses and coats.
See full photos HERE
Sylvia Heisel AW13 Collection - New York
Bande des Quatres - A/W 2013