Amelia’s Magazine | Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days at Fashion Scout: London Fashion Week A/W 2013 Catwalk Review

anna october - lfw - aw13 - jenny robins - amelias magazine

For this catwalk show I found myself sat one person apart from the infamous London Fashion Week performance artist Pandemonia. I’m not very good at spotting fashion celebrities (I can to my shame point out someone from Made in Chelsea, even if I cannot name them) but she does rather stand out from the crowd (literally, complete with blow up wig she’s immensely tall). I was playing it cool so I didn’t ask for a picture; as if it’s completely normal to sit next to a giant inflatable Barbie doll. An illusion I have now shattered by going on about it here. The four designers, along with another three contributing to a showcase Campari reception the next day, were over from the Ukraine, part of a growing trend for international designers to show their wares at London Fashion Week.

Kiev fashion days Anna Kolomoets AW 2013-0000
Kiev fashion days Anna Kolomoets AW 2013-0009
Kiev fashion days Anna Kolomoets AW 2013-0005
The first designer up was Anna Kolomoets (above), with a kitsch collection featuring plenty of shiny, glossy and fluffy textures. I quite enjoyed the playfulness of it, especially the love heart fake fur mini skirt and the curved flaps on a dress that resembled giant petals. The music cut out suddenly during the catwalk and no attempt was made to carry on, so everyone sat in stunned silence before we skipped straight on to the next designer.

Kiev fashion days Yasya Minochkina AW 2013-0003
Kiev fashion days Yasya Minochkina AW 2013-0005
Kiev fashion days Yasya Minochkina AW 2013-0009
Kiev fashion days Yasya Minochkina AW 2013-0012
Yasya Minochkina started out on a much more utilitarian vibe, with sculpted checks in muted colours and peasant-ish flared ra-ra skirts. There was only a hint of colour in shiny shoes until the arrival of a bizarre electric blue and maroon velvet dress. With zip pockets. Really. I liked the final black dress, with a show stopping ankle flare that made great shapes as it flowed down the catwalk. Thankfully not actually show stopping this time.

paskal - lfw - aw13 - jenny robins - amelias magazine
Kiev fashion days Paskal AW 2013-0007
Kiev fashion days Paskal AW 2013-0019
Kiev fashion days Paskal AW 2013-0009
Kiev fashion days Paskal AW 2013-0018
Ooh look, there’s me on the right – and Pandemonia on the left.

With Iulila Paskal we were back on slightly more familiar territory, with the use of laser cut metallic leather of the kind that has been popular in recent seasons. I liked the combination of sharp tailoring and cut out designs in geometric and organic shapes. The models wore padded headbands in matching shimmery colours, giving them a bit of a Statue of Liberty look. This was matched with the slightly wispy bed-head hair that was the rule for the whole show.

Kiev fashion days Anna October AW 2013-0024
Kiev fashion days Anna October AW 2013-0029
Kiev fashion days Anna October AW 2013-0004
Kiev fashion days Anna October AW 2013-0018
Kiev fashion days Anna October AW 2013-0010
Anna October was the real star of the show though, featured in the Fashion Scout exhibition and highlighted in various publications over the weekend. You can see why too: the full skirted dresses constructed from tinsel-y slimline chevron patterns were especially memorable, and the use of silver a genuine marriage of classic and futuristic references that worked. The combination of ‘tradition’ and ‘modern tailoring’ is an overstated fashion cliché, but I think some of these pieces walked that line elegantly. I wasn’t entirely sure about the oversized jumper of layered glitter, but I guess you can’t please everyone all of the time.

Categories ,Anna Kolomoets, ,anna october, ,Barbie, ,Campari, ,David Bowie, ,fashion, ,Fashion Scout, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Iulila Paskal, ,Kiev, ,mercedes-benz, ,paskal, ,Statue of Liberty, ,Ukraine, ,yasya minochkina

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Preview: Ada Zanditon

Susan Hiller-Tate-Britain
Ada Zanditon A/W 2011 sneak preview by Andrea Peterson. I asked a variety of illustrators to interpret one piece from the new collection… so read on to see what they did!

Ada Zanditon looks somewhat confused as I pile into her live/workspace at the same time as the morning influx of interns – maybe I’m a new, about it rather overgrown one? She is still in her pyjamas, recipe having recently emerged from the space beneath a cutting table that currently serves as her bed.

This season Ada will not be putting on a catwalk show; instead she will show a film presentation alongside the collection on mannequins. “What you can do on a catwalk is dictated by how big your budget is, ailment ” she explains. “Lagerfield puts on amazing shows but the cost of production is huge. One reason why everyone loved McQueen was because he put on an event; a moment that could be referenced from then on.” Ada feels that a film or presentation can offer a much more immersive experience on a tight budget.

Ada Zanditon LFW Preview by Danielle Shepherd
Ada Zanditon A/W 2011 LFW Preview by Danielle Shepherd.

Last season’s show at Victoria House was intended to be interactive, with people circulating around the models. In fact it became more like a salon show as soon as the pesky photographers formed a bank across the room that guests were afraid to cross. “But the fact that it wasn’t a normal catwalk set was exciting – now it’s time to go to the next stage.” This season movement will be shown on a screen and the audience will be able to feel the details up close without fear of interaction with any live humans. “I’ve learnt that people won’t walk up to a model when they are in full hair and make up because it is too daunting.”

The night before our interview Ada was filming the A/W 2011 presentation at Netil House just off Broadway Market. On the wall above the table where the interns are busy cutting out invitations there is a model – I correctly deduce that Georgiana from Bulgaria is in fact the star of her new film. “It’s much better to fit a narrative around one person,” she says. Ada was able to exactly fit the garments to Georgiana, chosen because of an active interest in her concept and aesthetic. “She also has ability to act and move elegantly and gracefully. I feel she embodies the aspirations of my customers.”

Ada Zanditon A/W 2011 by Yelena Bryksenkova.

Ada’s great grandparents were from Ukraine and Lithuania, but her mother was born and grew up in America, with the result that Ada has dual nationality and got to spend holidays in fashionable Martha’s Vineyard, where her parents bought a house before it became popular. “Of course now it’s full of rich yuppies… which in a way is good because they look after the beautiful landscape.” Ada herself was born in Crouch End in north London before the family moved south of the river. Secondary school was by all accounts not a fun experience – even though she knew she wanted to be a fashion designer from the age of 5 her school pushed her in an academic direction that she felt uneasy with. As a result she didn’t do art A-level but instead took photography GCSE and attended life drawing classes.

With the encouragement of an art teacher who spotted her potential she went to Morley College to produce a self generated portfolio which she took to her Art Foundation interview at Kingston University. She was promptly offered an unconditional offer. “They were so warm and impressed that I cried in the interview – I was just so happy that someone finally understood my work.” Afterwards she did a degree at London College of Fashion and then embarked an internship with McQueen where she learnt “a hell of a lot”. She was there for a total of four seasons, working almost all of the time. “It’s a tough industry – you can work 9-5 and achieve something mediocre or you can put 100% in and achieve something beautiful.”

Ada Zanditon A/W 2011 by Dee Andrews
Ada Zanditon A/W 2011 by Dee Andrews.

The new A/W 2011 collection is called The Cryoflux, embodying in its name frozen landscapes and the idea of change. It was inspired by the polar regions, mainly Antarctica, but also the climatic changes experienced by people living in the Arctic. Ada became fascinated by the ice cores that are pulled up to show our climate history in intimate detail, and extremophiles, mostly microscopic organisms which exist in extreme conditions such as the polar regions. “But I didn’t want to be too literal in my translation – after all we’re experiencing extreme conditions both politically and economically as well.”

For further inspiration she looked at the doomed Robert Scott expedition of the early 1900s, for which the explorers were clothed in heritage clothing from great British brands like Mulberry. “I combined the romantic world of beautiful tailoring with an icy modern aesthetic. For instance I looked at broken ice floes in a constant state of flux.”

Ada Zanditon
Ada Zanditon in her studio in Whitechapel.

I wonder if Ada will model a bit of clothing from the collection so that I can get it illustrated but she baulks at the suggestion because she doesn’t design for herself. “I’m quite scruffy… but my designs always come out elegant and polished,” she says. “I want to create wearable stuff for my customer and not myself because I am quite a specific market of one.” Her collections are instead inspired by an interest in architectural design and illustration. She likens it to the work of Monet. “He doesn’t look like a waterlily. And lots of male designers don’t wear the frocks that they design.” As part of the designing process she loves meeting and learning more about her customers although she’s eager to assure me she’s not a slave to them, and concepts will always be important.

Ada Zanditon by Donya Todd
Ada Zanditon in her studio by Donya Todd, who chose to put her in one of her S/S 2011 designs anyway.

The collection features lots of British wool but the silk is not organic because it is much harder to source than good quality organic fair-trade cotton. “Most silk is Chinese even though it often claims to be Indian. I’ve looked into using Peace Silk [which doesn’t kill the silk worms in the process of manufacture] but the trouble is that you only get a smooth continuous unbroken fibre if the worm is killed. My customers want quality and I don’t want to compromise that.” At present Ada feels it is more important to focus on the bigger picture when it comes to sustainability.

There are only a few print designs in the new collection, which were printed locally in Bermondsey. “I feel that winter is usually more about sculptural details, so I tend to explore the cut. Print tends to be for S/S. But you can get sick of tailoring!” Ada can’t imagine living somewhere where the climate doesn’t change on a regular basis and she is looking forward to designing for the next S/S season: think big and loose, “like a million layers of air”.

Ada-Zanditon-S/S 2011 by-Maria-del-Carmen-Smith
Ada Zanditon S/S 2011 by Maria del Carmen Smith.

This season Ada had her choice of slot at LFW, so naturally she chose to show on the first day. The main theme of her presentation remains firmly under wraps but expect a narrative inspired by the solar system and in particular by Europa, which is a moon of Jupiter that experiences particularly extreme conditions. “I like the outside perspective; seeing things from the viewpoint of the other. So I imagined a superwoman extremophile who evolved under the surface of Europa and goes on an exploration of Antarctica.” The film is directed by twins Andrew and William Ho, who had lots of passion and enthusiasm for her subject. “I love their elegant aesthetic.” As well as an “interesting” soundtrack guests can expect a surprise immediately as they enter the venue between 1-2pm on Friday 18th February. I can’t wait… and I shall report back on my findings.

Ada Zanditon features in my new book: Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration. Part two of this interview will go online tomorrow and digs deeper into Ada’s theories on sustainable practice.

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,ACOFI, ,Ada Zanditon, ,Alexander McQueen, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Andrea Peterson, ,Andrew and William Ho, ,Antarctica, ,British Wool, ,Broadway Market, ,Bulgaria, ,Danielle Shepherd, ,Dee Andrews, ,Donya Todd, ,Europa, ,extremophile, ,Georgiana, ,Ice Core, ,Jupiter, ,Kingston University, ,Lagerfield, ,lfw, ,Lithuania, ,London College of Fashion, ,Maria del Carmen Smith, ,McQueen, ,Morley College, ,Mulberry, ,Netil House, ,peace silk, ,Robert Scott, ,The Cryoflux, ,Ukraine, ,Victoria House, ,whitechapel, ,Yelena Bryksenkova

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Amelia’s Magazine | Meet Daria Hlazatova: Featured Artist from That Which We Do Not Understand

Daria Hlazatova is a Ukraine based artist who has contributed to Amelia’s Magazine for many years. Her wonderful hand drawn pen and ink artworks are full of beautiful detail, creating a dream like world that the viewer can get lost in. Daria is inspired by music and folk tales because she believes that music and stories create paths to the deepest realms of the imagination and self-cognition. She hopes that her vision of The Empress will have a meditative, calming effect on the viewer, helping to untie the knots of anxiety as easily as she disentangles the red ribbon in her hands. Daria is also showing with Atomica Gallery as part of a group exhibition this December.

of the oceans blue by daria hlazatova
of the oceans blue by daria hlazatova

Your piece The Empress was inspired by many different ideas. How did you piece them all together and how long did it take to draw?
The Empress took me a week to draw (what with my 3 jobs and other interruptions), adding details as I went along. It’s pretty much a nocturnal drawing – that’s when I had time to complete it.

team by daria hlazatova
team by daria hlazatova

Much of your artwork is inspired by your love of music, what are you listening to at the moment and how is it influencing your drawing?
I have been listening to Radiohead and Atoms for Peace a lot – it was an epic return to my teenage love of Thom Yorke’s music. I think he knows a little more about emotions than the others. Also, a lot of medieval chant and polyphony. 

serafina by daria hlazatova
serafina by daria hlazatova

What new zines have you got in the pipeline?
I’m accumulating illustrations based on Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. If I get a chance and have funds to get them printed, I’ll be very happy.

Lyra by daria hlazatova
Lyra by daria hlazatova

I know the economic situation is quite bad in Ukraine at the moment (not to mention everything else that is going on) – how has this changed the way you are able to live and work at the present time?
The situation has always been like that. We have always had a huge gap between the poor and the very rich. It’s only recently that Ukraine has come up in the news due to the revolutionary movement. I’d rather not talk about the economic situation, as it will only look like complaining. Still, Ukrainian people are known to be able to adapt to even the strictest conditions and that’s what we are doing now – everyone’s trying to carry on. After all, it depends on how you look at it. For some, our situation will appear dystopian, for those with the sense of humour and optimistic nature it will look like another challenge. It could be worse, right? And anyway, everybody’s more concerned now about the war rather than money or food or art, unfortunately.

dream energy by daria hlazatova
dream energy by daria hlazatova

How did you get involved with the Prisma collective and what will you be exhibiting at the upcoming group show?
I was with PRISMA from the very beginning, when Kaspian Shore had this wonderful idea to create an artist collective. PRISMA is a great company to be in, a diverse and uber-talented bunch of people; I am very proud to be part of it. I have one artwork for our upcoming group show Wonder Winterland at the Atomica gallery.

get it on by daria hlazatova
get it on by daria hlazatova

You recently visited the UK to talk with Atomica Gallery about your show, what was the highlight of your visit?
The whole visit was a highlight. Working part-time in a travel agency, I have this priceless opportunity to travel on business once in a while. It’s a wonderful chance to see the world. As I didn’t have much free time, I only sneaked up to meet the lovely girls at the Atomica Gallery and leave my artwork there – I’m very excited about taking part in PRISMA group show this December.  

Read more about The Empress on Daria’s blog here and secure your copy of The Empress featuring real gold leaf now, it’s selling fast… with 50% of profits going to the artist.

Categories ,Atomica Gallery, ,Atoms for Peace, ,Daria Hlazatova, ,his dark materials, ,Kaspian Shore, ,PRISMA, ,radiohead, ,That Which We Do Not Understand, ,The Empress, ,TTWDNU, ,Ukraine, ,Wonder Winterland

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Amelia’s Magazine | An Interview with Ukrainian Illustrator Daria Hlazatova

Daria Hlazatova - Oceania
Daria Hlazatova – Oceania.

Ukrainian illustrator Daria Hlazatova has been creating stunning illustrations for Amelia’s Magazine for several years now. I caught up with her to find out about her latest projects and how important social media has been to building her career. She’s an inspiration!

Daria Hlazatova - tom riddle
Tom Riddle.

Tell us about your home town near the Carpathian mountains in Ukraine. Where would you take a visitor from the UK?
I’d give them a tour of our town, Chernivtsi, which is, in fact quite nice and boasts a mix of European architectural styles, historically having been under the rule of different countries. A trip to the restaurant serving our national cuisine will be a good idea, too, as it is a somewhat unusual experience for tourists, but nevertheless delicious: everyone enjoys our pancakes with red caviar! We’d also take a trip to the mountains to pick up some berries and enjoy the views.

Canterville ghost
Canterville ghost.

What kind of art do your relatives make and how has it inspired your own creations?
There are artists both on my mother’s and my father’s side, so I think it was natural for me to become interested in drawing in my early years. My mother’s uncle Volodya used to be a rather well-known book illustrator in St Petersburg and I still have some of his signed books, one of which is called Dashenka, which is a diminutive of my name. And although the story wasn’t about me, I took it as a sign that I, too, must try myself at illustrating books. My father’s relatives are mostly landscape artists, living and working in Russia.

Daria Hlazatova - Dog Days are Over
Dog Days are Over.

You are an active part of the creative social media community – when did you discover the online world and how has it affected your art making over the years?
I think the same time as I was lucky enough to have discovered Amelia’s Magazine which was in the autumn of 2010. Being based so far away from all the exciting  art events and virtually having no connection with other creatives, I decided to use the Internet resources to mend this injustice. Since then I have found it extremely helpful, with online blogs and networks serving me as a magic portal into the art world.

Daria Hlazatova -Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter.

Why is your blog titled All Pencils of Mine are Sugarplums?
It has to do with my love for Lewis Carroll. The title is based on one of his syllogisms (which are logic arguments). I will say no more, because whenever I start talking about Carroll or syllogisms, I confuse everyone… rather like I do with the title of my blog!

Daria Hlazatova Ravel

What can people find on your blog?
Lots of drawings, random thoughts, news about shows and interesting projects. I sometimes share art and music that inspire me. I sincerely hope that upon visiting my blog, readers have a sudden urge to create something, read  a fairy-tale, dream,  bake cakes, or just dance,  in short do something fun and artistic.

Daria Hlazatova robert smith by daria h
Robert Smith.

You are a self taught artist – where have you picked up your style and techniques from?
I don’t know. I think my style has been developing of its own accord and I only mildly control it. I do have an obsession with some elements, like eyes, stars and moons that I include in almost every work of mine, but then again, I do that subconsciously most of the time. I can only guess why I intertwine eyes into the patterns and use them as central objects and it’s perhaps because the Russian word “eye” is the root of my surname.

What inspired you to create a zine and who do you hope will read it?
A long-awaited holiday! I have 2 part-time jobs (one of them is no longer part-time) besides being a full-time illustrator. I’ve been looking for this winter break since my last holiday in summer and wanted to make something special. Besides, I’ve often heard from people they’d like me to make a zine or a little book, so I thought I’d give it a try. It all happened unexpectedly quickly and in a blink the zine was ready. I had to look through the notebooks back from my university days, where I scribbled some nonsense poems and stories to pass the time during dull lectures and also had crazy ideas contributed by some lovely enthusiasts. I hope everybody who appreciates a little nonsense  now and then will enjoy Nosorog.

Pati Yang by Daria Hlazatova.
Pati Yang for Amelia’s Magazine.

What does Nosorog mean and what does the zine contain?
Nosorog from Russian means “rhinoceros”. There’s no point denying it: I chose the name for no reason at all. This was the first word that came to me. The zine contains several short-stories, some quotes, a horoscope, mock advertisements and an interview, accompanied by my old and new illustrations. The content has been inspired by the works of Mervyn Peake and Edward Gorey and by fairy-tales in general. I was very surprised but also happy to see that the first issues sold so quickly. I’m printing more and already working on the second one, which will have more stories, exclusively-created illustrations and will hopefully make you smile!

Where can people get hold of a copy?
I don’t have a proper shop elsewhere except for the one on my blog. And if anyone wants a freshly-printed Nosorog, the best thing to do is to email me.
Moth rah girl phoenix EP group Daria h
Daria Hlazatova -girl phoenix EP cover for Moth Rah
Girl phoenix EP cover for Moth Rah.

Can you tell us about your upcoming show in Kiev?
It will take place in a mysteriously beautiful place, which is the building of an old opera house. From the outside it looks like a gingerbread house, on the inside it’s a perfect setting for a Georges Melies film. I fell in love with this place at once. The space itself, called Kiev Loft,  is used for concerts, performances, and art events and run by a rather enthusiastic and professional young team who as far as I can see are eager to help the art life in our capital thrive and prosper, which is great. My drawings will be exhibited there along with the beautiful and very curious works by the Lithography studio “30” based in Kiev. It will be my first show in Ukraine, so wish me luck!  

Frankie Rose for Amelia’s Magazine.

You’ve been doing some personal work inspired by Johnny Flynn, how did you discover his music and what touches you about it?
I first heard of Johnny after seeing the play Jerusalem. I didn’t know he was also a songwriter and after hearing his music, something clicked. You know, there are some periods in life when a certain melody is needed to help you carry on and Johnny Flynn’s songs turned out exactly that thing. I felt the connection because his music is very poetic and not simply folk, it’s more than that. I can see the influence of theatre, nature, even Shakespeare, and all things I like in his songs and that’s why I thought I should explore a bit more both in the music and in myself by creating some illustrations to accompany his songs.

Daria Hlazatova tonight

Have you got anything else in the pipeline you can tell us about?
Lots! Mostly the plan is just to draw. And if that doesn’t work, plan B is to draw some more again.

What do you hope for your art in the coming years?
I’d love to have a show in Italy and before that I hope to work on larger scale drawings and do some music-related artwork. If you ask me, an art studio (preferably with a fitted kitchen, a helpful assistant and a husky dog)  is my pipe-dream.  Shall I use a quotation to appear exceptionally well-read? Shakespeare said and I completely agree with him, that expectation is the root of all heartache, that’s why I never expect,  but I’m ready for surprises. I’m very happy doing what I do at this very moment.

Find Daria Hlazatova online: read her blog, friend her on facebook and follow her on twitter.

Categories ,30, ,All Pencils of Mine are Sugarplums, ,Canterville ghost, ,Carpathian, ,Chernivtsi, ,Daria H, ,Daria Hlazatova, ,Dashenka, ,Dog Days are Over, ,Edward Gorey, ,Frankie Rose, ,Georges Melies, ,Harold Pinter, ,illustrator, ,interview, ,Jerusalem, ,Johnny Flynn, ,Kiev, ,Kiev Loft, ,Lewis Carroll, ,Mervyn Peake, ,Moth Rah, ,Nosorog, ,Oceania, ,Pati Yang, ,Ravel, ,Rhinoceros, ,Robert Smith, ,Shakespeare, ,St Petersburg, ,Syllogisms, ,Tom Riddle, ,Tonight, ,Ukraine, ,Ukrainian, ,Volodya

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