The moment I discovered Fidan Novruzova on Instagram, I knew I wanted to do a collage with her works. Fantastically exaggerated. Intriguing. And “how in the world does this skirt float in the air” were my very first thoughts on Novruzova’s garments, which surprise with their distorted proportions and eclectic charm. Keep this label on your radar, as I’m sure we will hear about Fidan more than once in the future. Here, the Central Saint Martins graduate describes her first collection in her own words:
“My collection is inspired by my Azerbaijani family who came from a small town, moving to a big Soviet capital and it’s about their transition from being surrounded by the elements of South Caucasian domesticity to the pragmatism of big city everyday life, alongside being strongly influenced by 1980’s Soviet movies.”
“My starting point was a trip to Baku last Christmas where I rediscovered our family archive and sourced all kinds of memorabilia, collected various objects from thrift shops representing the era I was researching, that included an ill fitted 1980’s stripy office shirt and a skirt suit. After extensive draping I’ve developed all the silhouettes and the stripes on the shirt were transformed into something almost resembling animal prints.”
“The outerwear piece from look 7 was a mix of a cape traditionally worn by local shepherds and a trench coat which is considered a ‘metropolitan’ staple. The concrete buttons with the Azerbaijani motifs were my way of making something as classic as a trench coat more personal and special, portraying symbols such as pomegranate, Maiden Tower (a 12th-century monument in Baku), carpet motifs and so on.”
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Polish fashion is, honestly speaking, underrated. And I’m not saying that just because I live in Poland, and I want to support local creatives. This statement is true for anyone, who took their time to research talented, Polish fashion designers and forward-thinking brands. One of the labels that keeps appearing on my mind when I think of new-wave Poles in fashion industry is Kreist. After reading this post, the Made in Poland tag will appeal to you – that’s guaranteed.
After Krzysztof Stróżyna‘s international success at his previous brand, Krystof, the Central Saint Martins graduate and New Gen alumnus took a step further, founding Kreist – an off-kilter, city-cool wardrobe for intriguing women. Although Krzysztof humbly calls his one-of-a-kind pieces “basics”, his biker jackets with hand-cut denim fringes aren’t the typical definition of the word. “Basic” is frequently used by glossy, high-streets brands, and in result the term is associated with those plain, tasteless sweatpants and ‘lux-looking’ bags . Kreist’s philosophy is different, and not that average. This organic label with a small workshop and a showroom in Poznań focuses on delivering aesthetically aware essentials for women, who aren’t interested in filling their wardrobes with one-season trash. It’s more of a wearable fantasy, but on daily basis.
For autumn-winter 2016, Kreist presents classical jackets in bold colours, and recuts denim, making the pants look irresistibly desirable. But what stands behind the electric-blue midi-skirt, ruffled sleeves and dynamic, leather appliqué? 80s culture plays an important role in Kreist’s recent look-book – Blondie’s glam-rock attitude, Cher’s play with textures and colours, and David Bowie’s famous, gender-blurring silhouettes. A mood-board filled with this type of muse set can’t be a background for a minimal collection, and Krzysztof proves that.
Kreist oozes with creativity, and that makes this Polish brand already unique. With such potential, Stróżyna and his creative studio are ready for big, big plans and new, fashion challenges. Available at Concept 21 Store.
Helen Bullock (Central Saint Martins BA, MA) is a textiles-driven label, using strong silhouettes as a platform for bold prints of a visceral nature. Throughout the seasons, work has been featured in publications including Dazed Digital (Rise), i-D, and Vogue. And… She’s up on DESIGNANDCULTUREBYED exclusive interview!
EDWARD: Hi Helen. You are a young fashion designer from London, who graduated Central Saint Martins MA and BA, having your own label Helen Bullock and doing amazing illustrations during the fashion weeks. It’s all really impressive. Well, I hope you are doing fine?
HELEN: I AM!!!!
ED: What inspired you for this season’s collection? It’s so FULL of prints! And as I know, all textiles are designed by you.
H: Yes! all about the prints! As always a look across many different paths of imagery in an attempt to create my own visual story. At first I was driven by the bold honesty of graphic 60s prints, alongside a carefree image of Peggy Moffitt, combined with the intensity and composition of Keith Herrings work. Bit of a whirlwind really.
ED: Many designers usually find out they are going to be in fashion industry after sometime of studying different staff. But when you were choosing your college, did you feel from the beginning you will be a fashion designer?
H: As the cliche often goes it really was something I dreamt of as a kid – but no more so perhaps than other options that preoccupied me. I eventually started studying fashion a little later than normal, and was a little resistant as thought the fashion pathway was a little predictable, and was thinking of myself as a fine artist. That all stopped though when I came across the idea of print … something that I’d never considered before, but seemed to bridge the gap so well between art and faaaashion!
ED: If you could choose, who would you love to wear your pieces? This can be an alive or dead person…
H: Well … I absolutely love it when Julie (Vehoeven) wears them …. but on a wish list Peggy Moffit would be super … and Iris Von Apfel would surely rock it!
ED: Who is your biggest fashion idol?
H: Anyone really who is prepared to take a risk and walk down the street holding their head high. I’m sat next to a lady Linda right now wearing a wonderful explosion of a Diana Freis dress…and dolly curls in her hair – we work together every Monday, and she never fails to impress.
ED: hile you are a fashion designer, at the same time you’re contributing your fashion illustrations for A Magazine. How would describe your drawing style?
H: Intuitive, sparing and in equal measures intense, at times awkward.
ED: Looking at your print erupting clothes, it seems you have a very energetic personality. Does your everyday style reflect the collections?
H: I hope so. I feel at a low if I’m not wearing brightness.
ED: If it’s not a secret- what are your next future steps for your label?
H: I’m trying to work my label as a limited edition made to order product. So rather than stockists, I’m almost searching for a place to exhibit the garment. At present though I’m setting up an on line shop, and have various collaborations in the pipeline.
I’m also hoping to add a range of scarfs to my next collection.