— Why did you decide to study at the BHSAD? What did you do before?
— I found out about the School when I accidentally came to one of the Open Days. At the time I was in the 7th grade, but immediately realized that I wanted to study at the BHSAD, because this is the only higher education institution in Russia, where they not only teach the canons of drawing, but first of all instill non-standard thinking, the ability to think independently, and, of course, this is an opportunity to get a British degree without going abroad. And I have been drawing since I was 4 years old, so I could not even imagine myself in any other field.
I started the Foundation Art & Design programme right after school. Prior to that, I studied in a studio on Ostozhenka, graduated from an art school, then for 2 years studied painting, drawing and composition with a teacher from the Stroganov University. The basics of drawing, a sense of colour and composition were extremely important for me, because in order to break the rules, you need to know them well. But I didn't want to go to Stroganovka or some other traditional institution, where they teach the same things as 20 years ago.
— Are you working at the moment? If so, in what area and what do you do?
— I am currently preparing to enter the MA Fashion programme at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, and I have just returned from a three month internship in London where I worked for Gareth Pugh. Also now I help with drawing a lineup for one young brand and sew things from my past collections to order.
— Tell us about your journey after graduating from the BHSAD.
— Immediately after the MBFW show, I went to Antwerp for an internship at the Capara brand and worked there for two months as an assistant designer. Then I returned to Moscow and worked as a stylist. Then I decided to get some work experience in London, with a brand run by the Fashion East platform called Art School, where I helped with the development of the collection, searching for colours and fabrics, and working on the main silhouettes. In addition to that, I took part in the preparations for the Richard Quinn show, where I gained tremendous experience in organizing, selecting models and finalizing the collection. Then I was invited for an internship at Gareth Pugh as the designer's assistant, gained invaluable experience in organizing the brand as a whole, developing a collection from the very beginning, from reference images to the final items, designing patterns, learned many new techniques, working with unusual materials and methods of creating fabrics, textures and forms. I worked on the pieces for British and American stars such as Daphne Guinness, Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé.
— Do you like what you do now? Does this match up with the career plans you made during your studies? Maybe there is something that you are especially proud of?
— I definitely like it. Of course, working in the real world is different from studying, when you are in a creative bubble, you are allowed to do anything and the way you want. In practice, everything happens differently, for example, not much time is devoted to research and concept creation, everything happens extremely fast. So far, my career is going according to plan, because while studying at the BHSAD I wanted to first gain experience working with brands and only after a few years, when I learned how everything works from the inside, to do something of my own.
— What skills have you acquired at the BHSAD that are important for your current job?
— The most important thing that I gained at the BHSAD is the ability to think outside the box, as well as the ability to clearly visualize my design. In addition, I have strong skills in creating innovative concepts and translating my ideas — from creating mood boards and first sketches to designing final garments. I also learned how to plan my time, which is very helpful in my work.
— What advice would you give to those who are just starting their career in your field?
— For a start, I would advise you to set clear goals for yourself and explore all possible options for developing your creative path. The fashion industry is a very stressful and highly competitive environment, so it is important to be passionate about your idea and defend your point of view till the end, as well as to understand from the very beginning who you are and where you see yourself.