The modern man is liberated and ready for a change
Sasha Kolodina’s final collection, “Salt of the Earth” aims to find universality in clothes, so that they can be worn by both sexes. She has discarded the idea of commerciality to transform classic menswear and introduces a sports style to her collection.
The pastel colours are calming, and the curves and shape of the fabrics are modern, almost futuristic. The outfits look comfortable and loose, yet sporty and sleek. It is clear that Sasha is looking to play with our rigid ideas of what is suitable for men and what is suitable for women.
There is a strong contrast in her collection, the blurred lines between gender ideas of fashion, intertwined with religious imagery and modern day pop culture references. Together they give the feeling that this collection stretches across time and space, from the past to the present as well as across traditional gender divides.
We talked with Sasha, a graduate of Omsk Fashion Design School, to find out more about this collection.
Sasha, can you give us an overview of your collection?
My collection presents a range of men’s clothing synthesising two trends: the introduction of urbanized ready-to-wear sports clothing, and the elimination of gender conventions in the context of a man’s suit.
Composite connections in the collection are based on a delicate proportioning of the oval-shaped form, as a decorative detail, and silhouettes in general. The development of structural elements is enhanced by the increasing size of details and freedom of joining fabrics. This results in oversized clothes. Using organza and silk allowed me to reach a dynamic motion creating an additional illusory surface.
How would you describe the purpose of your collection?
The purpose of my work is the search for new forms and combinations in menswear, to experiment with gender characteristics. To evoke questions: does a woman look sexy in a man’s suit? Which emotions do the sight of a man in pink silk produce? I did not want the clothes to look ridiculous. I wanted to find a particular type of masculinity with the vulnerability of the human soul. That was the aim, but also the risk.
My love for Christian art is also reflected in my work, I tried to convey a sense of the fundamental integrity and eternity of the religion. However, I’d like the clothes to give a feeling of lightness and originality, without being a burden for everyday wear. I think this goal was reached. The basic design is the core of the collection. I think it is possible to implement an everyday wardrobe for young people of both sexes.
How has your collection turned out? Would you say it’s complete or is there anything you would like to change?
While creating this collection, I tried very hard to capture the present.
As a result, I think it would be impossible to ever present this as “complete”. The nature and fashion of the present means there is always something new that you want to include.
If I had the chance, I would have expanded the product range of the collection. However, I do not like to look back from a negative point of view, everything went as it should be.
How did the development process work for you?
The materials I used are comparable with the surfaces of the unreal world; but at the same time represent the modern industrial world. Perceived symbols of the past are complemented with symbols of pop culture, illustrating a sense of multiculturalism.
The first step was to find a new image for man, an apostle of modernity. The image does not require a full understanding adopted by the feelings or emotions. The clothes that create the image represent the basis of the Gnostic doctrine: “God in each of us” or “everyone has his own god.”
What made you choose these fabrics?
Usually I work with natural materials. However, I faced the problem of printing on natural raw materials: in Russia there is no appropriate equipment for that.
For this collection I used artificial materials like foil or plastic, which are quite difficult to find in the city where I live. They also require special treatments, equipment and accessories. I emphasised the glowing effect through the application of artificial silk, as well as embroidery, beads and Lurex thread. Through this I managed to make them into consumer friendly clothes.
You obviously have a strong interest in Men’s fashion. Where do you see this area going in the industry?
I believe that the potential of men’s fashion has not been reached; only now is society mature enough to consider a gender revolution. A constant effort to be on trend and yet not resemble anyone else, has resulted in an androgynous race, unburdened by gender. The modern man is liberated and ready for a change.
What advice would you give to someone who is about to start studying fashion?
Forget any illusions or preconceptions you might have of the fashion industry . Its beautiful shell hides the hard work of many people, and an attitude that does not tolerate formalities. Watch as much as you can, seek new trends, see what designers are doing and finally practice as much as possible.
If you were not designing fashion what do you think you would be doing?
I think a good alternative would be looking at fashion theory. I think young designers do not know enough technical terminology to be able to appreciate the entire fashion industry. I love looking at the fashion system, so I think writing books or journals to analyse the industry would be very interesting.
What’s next for you then?
Now I’m starting to work on a new project, I’m preparing for the “Formula of Fashion” in 2015.