As you have said, creating clothes means coupling craft and design. You paint textile by hand. Your collection of clothes, made from painted fabric, has won the first place in the contest of young designers at the fashion festival ArtPodium and has been awarded at a fashion festival in Ukraine. How did you come up with an idea to create your first collection and how firm was your belief that you would be able to push forward this concept?
I have always been self-confident, since my childhood, and this is the feature that helped me to find my vocation and to choose the fashion design as a field of specialization. My first success came unexpectedly. When I was a four-year student of the Academy of Music, Theatre and Fine Arts, I dreamed of creating a fashion collection inspired by Venice, the favourite city of mine. I knew for sure that I would fail to find appropriate fabric for my collection. That was why I decided to create the fabric by myself to let my dream come true. I discovered a technique of textile painting which, to a large degree, is different from what is meant by the word “painting techniques”. This might have become a starting point of my work, which I love so much.
Does the study at the Academy that spurred your wish to become a fashion designer or was that idea spontaneous?
The idea was spontaneous. Painting was the most difficult subject for me. My drawings were much better than my paintings and I even said I would quit painting when my third year in the academy was over. I received failing grades for painting, but, to be true, I got just my deserts. Towards the end of my studies I decided to create an original collection of clothes. So said, so done! My first collection gained success and recognition.
What can you tell us about your collections?
My first collection, called BURANO, included 5 items of clothing and was occasioned to my graduation from the Academy of Music, Theatre and Fine Arts. It was inspired by such picturesque places as Venice, Burano, an island of Venice, Jodhpur (India), Murano, Manarola (Italy). The second collection, ethno-style LELITA, was created for competition IA Mania 2014. This time I sought to highlight authenticity of our national values.
At present, I am working on the next collection, or, to be more precise, I am developing its concept. In two weeks I am going to proceed to the clothes proper. I can not tell you more details, but it will undoubtedly be something different. This time it will be a collection of coats. And you will see something absolutely different from what I have done before.
What are main sources for the inspiration?
I stick to the principle that an artist can not be a plagiarist and copy other designers’ works. I draw inspiration from everything colourful, flamboyant, be it the nature or cities or something else. I can draw inspiration from just a colourfully and vividly painted door. Or from my inner feelings…
What kinds of textile do you prefer to make clothes?
White cotton and knitted fabric. They are the most preferable. Actually, the material must be of high quality and suitable for processing. Up to date, I have bought it in Moldova, but in future I will buy fabric from abroad, I suppose.
Do you co-work with a studio?
Instead of partnering with someone else’s studio, I would like to open that on my own. I dream of opening a studio to bring together several persons for the work. I would develop an idea and deal with the textile painting only. This job can not be done by anyone else since a final result evolves from a long creative process. The people to work with me will deal with sewing, or even with drawing or marketing. To maintain a workshop requires a lot of money, but I think my dream will come true in a few years!
What plans do you have? Are you going to enhance your talent of a fashion designer or are there any other latent talents in you to develop?
I can promise I will go on doing what I have done. The patterns I am working on will become designer prints. So, I am going to evolve in this direction. I doubt if I would cope with some other task.
What are your fondest memories from your designer activities?
The experience I have gained at ArtPodium 2013 and the victory in the contest were the most motivating. I realized I had achieved more than expected. My participation in the contest has given me confidence for my further work. The work in Strasburg, France, has also been imprinted in my memory. The models and the guests to the event highly appreciated my works.
How much time does it take to make an item of clothing and how much do your garments cost?
The clothes I make vary in size and in print. The more complicated the job is the more time it takes. Generally speaking, it takes three to seven days to create a unit of clothing. Sometimes, I take a pause, because I need to have a rest to come back to my job, inspired to create something special. The price for my clothes varies from EUR 90 to EUR 190.
Who supports you in your designer’s activities?
My parents and friends support me in every way. Like me, they have been sure that I will reach my goal.
What countries do you sell your works to?
My clothes are sold to Romania, Germany, the USA, France, the Netherlands and Russia. Most of the customers are Moldovans, but foreigners also happen to wear the garments made by me. Now, for example, I am working on clothes ordered by an Austrian.
What are your plans for the beginning of the year 2015?
2015 will certainly be a nice one! A new collection of "paintings dressed" will be presented at the event in London for premiere at the Flight of Fancy Project - Art & Fashion, 15 February 2015. The event aims to promote Romanian artists abroad. At the event will participate nine designers and five artists from Romania, I am the only one from Moldova. I will present 14 outfits, all inspired by Romanian culture; several are from the old collections and there will be some outfits that I'm working on now. For the new collection we chose birds inspiration from Moldova and Romania. I want to present this collection in premiere at the event in London.