For his high concept AW ’13 collection, Russian fashion student Egor Galizdra drew on the concept of the ‘Modern Nomad’. Entitling his collection ‘WE’, Galizdra explains: I have a very optimistic view on our future. Every day I try to discover something new to better understand how the world works. This thought moves my design process. In other words, I feel that my own story is strongly connected to world history. It’s a bit philosophical, but it’s the way I feel.
The result of this philosophy is a collection of menswear garments in which East meets West and the past meets the present in a visual melting pot of cultures, ideals, techniques and patterns. Undeniably unique, Galizdra gives us a glimpse at his vision of utopia – a place in which fashion is intertwined with politics, where freedom reigns and peace is finally given a chance.
It is almost impossible to look at your collection without seeing the ideals behind it, what were you trying to achieve with this?
The purpose of my collection was to reflect aspects of the modern world. Social media and gadgets have made us free and wireless; we can experience strong connections between ourselves. We can work where we want and when we want. We don’t need offices and tables. The borders between work and leisure time have gone, we have our own schedule and priorities; to a certain extent we are re-inventing our existence. We are the new nomads, returning to the beginning of humankind, when we roamed the world, hunting and gathering. As new nomads, we are a product of multicultural interaction. I found inspiration from all corners of the Earth, combined it and developed a collection full of optimistic views on the future.
Translating such an expansive vision into a physical collection must have been difficult, how did you go about this?
The most challenging and interesting part of the development was trying to balance the ethnic and modern costume. It’s like trying to live in the past, present and future simultaneously.
I started with prints, graphics and ornaments from all over the Earth. African leopard print, English hounds tooth check, oriental stripe-based ornaments. I would take two prints and combine them in different ways, by cutting, scaling or multiplying and carry on until finding that if I superimpose a vertical stripe on to leopard print for example, I would get a birch wood pattern! Moments like these were very precious.
I also looked at the way the Italian designers of the Memphis Group worked with graphics and colours in the 80’s using collage and patchwork techniques. Their work still looks very modern today.
My other inspiration was nomadic costume. I like the ways nomadic people tend to wear their costume – very relaxed and comfortable, oversized. At the same time, I also like classic menswear style – good tailoring, sharp shoulder lines and details.
Based on your experience what advice would you give to someone about to begin their final collection?
It’s very important to organise yourself. Be brave and honest with yourself. Find inspiration in contemporary culture and old traditions. And, for Russian students, believe that we can build a strong industry in our country.
Actually what is your experience of studying fashion in Omsk?
Omsk, Russian fashion industry is not fully mature. We don’t have a market to be led by. My city and its people seem very far away from fashion as it may be experience in a major European city. Here, almost nobody understands that fashion design is work, a business.Our teachers are great and really train us to be professionals. They organize a fashion competition in Omsk called “Fashion Formula: East – West”, which is covered by regional and national media.
It attracts major professionals from the fashion industry in Russia to judge the contest. They do a lot of work to help us.
How do you think this might change in the future?
I think the Internet will continue to change the ways we buy and sell fashion and design – this process will become more global and universal. In its turn, this will change the customer. The customer will not choose a brand name but authentic designs and their stories and so will buy unique products from young brands.
Do you think this is something that young designers as individuals can play a part in catalysing?
Yes I think so. At the moment I’m trying to track everything new in culture – art, fashion, science, design etc. I like to work with textile prints so I’m paying special attention to graphic design trend but I’m also interested in searching new ways of using the Internet as a tool for connecting designers with customers.
So if you were not a fashion designer what would you be?
If fashion was not my profession I would be a director in a theatre or in the film industry. For me the processes of designing fashion and directing movies are very similar – they both connect different parts into a single whole, expressed in a visual language.