Photography / Editorial / Print

Marria Roslova, an ambitious and talented emerging designer from Russia, takes time out from her studies at LCF to speak to us about her work and showcase a few
favourite pieces from her collections. 

Can you tell us a little about yourself? When did you start designing and what kind of person do you create clothing for?

I don’t even remember when I decided to become a designer. It came to me kind of naturally; I always loved style and stylish people. My mum’s a very sociable high life person, keen on fashion and looks, which influenced me a lot. 

How old were you when you created your first collection?

I created my first collection when I was 16 and it gained a lot of praise from the critics. It won the first prize in the Russian Graduate week, followed by the Grand Prize on the fashion contest at the Press festival. Then, it was published in Russian Vogue.

What triggered your move to London?

The fashion market in Russia is not very well developed and there is no fine creative higher education, so I moved to London, the innovative fashion megapolis. I am currently studying BA Womenswear at the London College of Fashion.

Where do you draw your inspiration from? 

I usually draw inspiration from the arts and artists. I admire such geniuses as Salvador Dali, Gustav Klimt, Pablo Picasso. My main interest lies in shape and texture. From the recent ones, like Raqib Shaw to past masters like Lucian Freud.

What is your favourite book? 

My favourite book is ‘The three stories of my chemical romance’ by Irwin Welsh; I love most of his books. I also like Palahniuk, Zamyatin and Dostoevsky.

What one item in your wardrobe could you not live without? 

I am absolutely addicted to blazers and jackets. Can not live without the classic black blazer, it matches any style and look.

What is your favourite way to spend time? 

I spend most of my time in the museums, galleries and clubs. Oh yeah, and university of course! I enjoy socializing and networking, love getting to know new exciting talents.

Who are your favourite designers?

My very beloved Gareth Pugh used to be an example for me, but he chose to make his brand more commercial, which doesn’t earn much of my admiration anymore. Ricardo Tisci and Phoebe Philo are great too. I am pretty much bored of the last two fashion weeks. It doesn’t arouse me as much as it used to. Perhaps that’s because of the crisis, but it upsets me a lot.

What fashion look on the street do you adore?

The east London look appeals to me. I wear high platforms and long dresses myself, but I haven’t seen anything WOW for a while. Now that it’s all bubbled up to the catwalks, I guess we just have to wait for something new to appear or, better, start creating it.

What makes you happy?

It makes me really happy when I can make a person experience a tiny bit of a cultural shock mixed with adoration and genuine thrill, through my work. When they just want to own it, but can’t even explain why. I relish that moment of unclassifiable wonderment.

Have you drawn from other cultures, places and experiences? 

I have been to a great amount of countries: Thailand, Egypt, Jordan, Dominican Republic, Italy, France, Czech Republic, etc. Each of them has genuinely inspired me. I have always made plenty of research, visiting the museums and theatres; I relish getting my inspiration from cultures.

Are your main pursuits based solely around fashion or do you have other interests? 

I would say I’m constantly on the border between fashion and art. I create various installations and paintings as well as fashion.

What is your favourite fruit and why?

My favourite fruit is feijoa; it’s got a very interesting intense flavour. I am not fond of sweets.

Growing up, in Russia, what were you in to?

During the teen age, I used to be an emokid, at least that’s what I called myself. To be honest, I wouldn’t say I had a right to, as I was pretty much only attracted by their fashion. I had a crazy pink haircut, wore ballet skirts and an obscene amount of metallic jewellery. I also owned a wide collection of kicks: Converse and Vans to go with my skateboarding and passion for punk music. My favourite film is “The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (Michael Gondry,2004). No wonder I am emotionally unstable and have a penchant for bad hair days, similar to the main character’s girlfriend!

How has your work and personality evolved over time? 

When I grew out of the teen age, I’ve learnt that I don’t have to be punkish or a rebellious badass to gain fame and attention. So my style calmed down a little, became more feminine in a way. Plus I moved to London, where punks don’t impress people that much. I still wear a crazy blend of styles sometimes, but now more and more I stick to black, paying more attention to the cut and texture.

What are you looking most forward to in 2011? 

I am currently working on my capsule collection for a Russian designer brand, so I am 
very much looking forward to see people wearing my garments on the streets.

Interview by Nardip Singh


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