‘Fashion is one big, interrelated, living organism’
Ekaterina Spirova, a fashion design graduate from Ivanovo State Polytechnic University, is 22 years old from Vladimir, Russia. Inspired by her heritage, Ekaterina draws on the women of the Russian Revolution. She incorporates Russian dress and tradition within her designs. You can contact Ekaterina Spirova at email@example.com or visit her instagram at @ekaterinaspirova.
What is the background of the work you submitted?
These images are from my graduate collection. It’s devoted to Russian women during the February Revolution, drawing on their beauty and grim fate. This revolution occurred in 1917, after which the majority of the upper class had to leave the country. Their lives were in danger as the Bolsheviks were executing the aristocracy.
Russian women often left the country with their children, whilst the men stayed to fight in the Civil War. The poorer women were left alone and penniless, trying to save Russian traditions and culture. They confronted all misery with dignity. They were outstanding figures. The nine models for this collection also wear leather accessories and headdresses reflective of that era.
What inspires you creatively?
Inspiration can be found everywhere. Whilst watching a film, I am inspired by its plot, costumes and scenes. If I read a book, the plot, the scenic descriptions and the characters’ temperaments inspire me. During art history classes, artists and sculptors of antiquity to the present day inspire me. Travel is my main source of inspiration. I visit other countries as often as possible because their cultures, food and arts are a fertile source of inspiration. Of course, designers’ Instagram accounts also inspire me!
What is your favourite film of all time?
My taste is constantly changing so I don’t have any particular favourite film! However I was impressed by Tim Burton’s ‘Big Fish’. It’s a beautiful piece of work that reminded me of Ernest Hemingway’s ‘The Old Man and the Sea’. I would recommend this film to everyone.
What is your favourite music track or album right now?
I have been listening to Maxim Fadeev’s music for a long time. He is a great composer and author of musical texts. I admire his music because it is ageless; his pieces written in the late 90s remain modern. Fadeev has a great reputation too – those who work with him are always complimentary.
What is your favourite on-line Video?
I love to watch videos about the creation of couture dresses. The creative process inspires me. Short video fragments are enough to fill me with energy and inspiration for the whole day!
What is your favourite website for inspiration?
It would have to be Russian Vogue, the fashion magazine.
What is new in the world and/or where you live?
The current situation in Ukraine is prevalent in Russian news, as well as the economic recession, the sanctions against Russia and its political structures. The financial situation of Greece is another key topic. I hope this will all end soon.
What does Fashion mean to you?
Fashion is one big, interrelated, living organism. It is everywhere: in clothes, resorts, life-style, your behaviour and even your attitude to the world. Fashion is a philosophy. I believe everything new in society is fashionable. For example, in Russia it’s currently popular amongst young people to have an active lifestyle. Smoking is also gradually decreasing worldwide. It’s fashion in a way because it contrasts the trend created by Marlene Dietrich, that aligns smoking with sex appeal. Her image suggested long cigarettes were an important accessory for women.
What would be your ideal Fashion Project?
I would like to partake in a big fashion project, working with interesting fashion designers, photographers and makeup artists. I appreciate professionalism and devotion to the work. This will ensure a professional, high-level outcome, interesting to the public and fully appreciated by everyone.
How did you become interested in fashion design?
My elder sisters have an atelier so I have watched their work process from an early age. As a child I learnt to sew, which helps me now. I sew all my own clothes.
How have college and university prepared you for a future in fashion?
I specialised in theatre and decoration art at college. The university I attended, Ivanovo State Polytechnic, also provides the students with the opportunity to partake in fashion design and fashion art contests in Russia and abroad. I’m currently preparing a large collection of 25-30 items to present in a showroom in London.
How do you imagine your future?
My goal is to have a successful career as a fashion designer, hopefully in commercial fashion design. I’m interested in developing two aspects: prêt-à-porter and mass market like Zara or H&M. I would also like to work as a costume designer for a theatre production; I already have experience in this area. I also hope to organise fashion events with other fashion designers.
What would be your ideal internship?
There are two different traineeship programs I would be interested in. The first is connected to creativity. I would like to see how fashion designers work; to see their sources of inspiration, their drafts, fabric selection, sewing process and photo sessions. The second is more commercial. I would like to learn how everything is sold: managerial work, promotion and the selling process.
My main questions are about different selling techniques and promotion. How and where can one promote oneself to become a popular fashion designer? Where can one find funds and sponsorship to fund projects in design and fashion?
What do you think? Why not tell us in the comment section below.
Ekaterina Spirova is a finalist for Modeconnect’s #YourView15 fashion competition sponsored by Bloomsbury Publishing. The support of our sponsor extends to all our readers: until the end of July 2015 they can benefit from 20% off ALL Bloomsbury’s fashion and design books! Just use the code YOURVIEW2015 at the checkout on www.bloomsbury.com.
Voting open 11th – 19th July 2015.