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ONES TO WATCH: KRASIMIRA IVANOVA-STOYNENA

It’s never a bad hair day when Krasimira Ivanova-Stoyneva and her ‘Future Queens’ collection are around

Krasimira Ivanova-Stoyneva

Future queens arise. Krasimira Ivanova-Stoyneva is designing for bold, brave people who aren’t afraid of a little colour. Or hair. The Bulgarian designer’s debut collection transformed hair into vibrant prints that swished with attitude. Taking inspiration from a wide variety of cultures, it’s hard to place exactly where around the globe each shade and pattern originates from. Krasimira’s textural talent hasn’t gone unnoticed. She recently won the MUUSE x VOGUE Talents – Young Vision Award 2014 where she will get to design a capsule collection that will be sold under her own name.

We spoke to Krasimira and got some insight into her graduate collection and what she’s up to next.

Tell us about your journey into fashion design.

My family have deep roots in tailoring. I was surrounded by expert craftsmen and women and learnt how to sew at a young age. I remember waiting for everyone to fall asleep and then getting my mum’s machine and sewing during the night, so I could make a new outfit for the next day. I was studying fine art at the time but I think the excitement of doing something I wasn’t allowed to and getting away with it moved my focus to fashion. The pace of creating garments and the thrill of wearing what I made really excited me! Fine art felt too slow so I opted to pursue a degree in fashion design. I studied at the University of East London where I learnt how to research and develop ideas. It really opened my eyes to what I could achieve in the industry.

Describe your ‘Future Queens’ collection.

Bold, fun, empowering, creative, free. It’s a mixture of all my experiences and emotions. The inspiration for the collection came from exploring London. All the madness and creativity that comes with it; all the boundaries it holds; all the mixture of cultures. It’s so colourful and varied – you never feel like things are stagnant here. I researched a lot of different cultures for print and silhouette ideas and focused on layer development in textiles to reflect my observations.

Krasimira Ivanova-Stoyneva

So why hair?

It’s a long story. I studied on a course called creative make up and wigs for stage design and managed to attend some haircutting lessons. I didn’t really consider it as a technique that I might use in my design process, but I researched Peter Gray – an amazing hairdresser who works on garments. The work was so expressive and inspired me to put my own take on it. There’s a lot of interesting hair dressing cultures in London.  I wanted to capture the complexity and pride that goes into the craft.

There must have been some challenges in working with hair?

Engineering the placement of the hair to correspond with the digital prints that I had developed was very difficult. The appliqué and cutting was a laborious task as I had to be sure I could make the pieces dynamic. Also, working with A LOT of hair is pretty messy! Some of my pieces became very heavy due to the amount of hair I needed to perfect the look. I’d probably limit the amount of hair I used for production. I wouldn’t want to give all my customers shoulder ache!

Your designs move beautifully. Was movement an important factor in your collection?

Yes, it was. My research included images of dancers and monuments. From my previous experience with hair, I found that my understanding of cutting techniques to work with body movement helped me achieve the look I wanted.  People don’t stand still all day so I never wanted to design with a static outcome in mind.

The entire collection is lively and empowering especially the name: ‘Future Queens’. Who would you like to see wearing your designs?

Anyone who is confident, fun and not afraid to dress as boldly and brightly as their personality tells them to.

Krasimira Ivanova-Stoyneva

 What feelings did you want to evoke from your designs?  

Positivity.  I know that sounds a little corny but I do believe that it’s important to dream, have fun and be confident in your own skin.  I didn’t want to make restricted or reserved clothes because they don’t represent positive aspects to me.

Congratulations on winning the MUUSE x VOGUE Talents – Young Vision Award 2014! How does it feel to be noticed?

Such an amazing experience! It made all the hard work worth it and I was so happy to have such a variety of people recognising and understanding my work. I’m so thankful to have an opportunity to develop a capsule collection with industry experts surrounding me. All the team from MUUSE are incredibly inspiring, helpful and supportive.  We’re currently going into production and I have learnt so much already!

What would you like to do with your brand next?

I want to build my brand so preparation and strategy is really important to me at the moment. I’m currently collaborating a lot and working on developing the brand presence. I’ve had a lot of interest with regards to developing my brand into a successful business which is super exciting. So watch this space, I suppose!

Krasimira Ivanova-Stoyneva

Words: Lauren Sharkey

Photography: Natalie Reading

ONES TO WATCH: KRASIMIRA IVANOVA-STOYNENA

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