The Istituto Marangoni London is one of the capital’s leading and most innovative fashion schools. Born and raised in Mexico City Mexico now living in London; Marangoni London Graduate Natalia Esteve, who is also the founder and creative director of Unfettered Howl, dedicates her work to the exploration of our deepest selves, our essences. Working with self portraiture has allowed her to create a tangible voice for all those intangible feelings and voices that live within us all; “a voice for those feelings and moments that allow us to hear a rhythm behind the unbearable, scratching, nauseating sound of constant obsessive thinking patterns. A true pulse behind the loud beats of the ego”, as she says. Here, she interviews succesful Istituto Marangoni alumnus, Fyodor Golan, about creative processes and more.
Natalia Esteve, Istituto Marangoni London Graduate and Founder and Creative Director at Unfettered Howl talks with alumnus Fyodor Golan.
Behind all the colours, shape, form, and beautiful embellishments lays the truth of what the brand stands for, who is Fyodor Golan?
FYODOR GOLAN is positive full of energy in its essence, we always try to explore new concepts through colour schemes and shapes. Our seasons tend to vary in style but always under the same message; Positive Intellectualism. We love to combine contradictions and therefore complimenting textures and fabrications. Bold colours always have been in our DNA. We see our brand as a part of pop culture and we love to collaborate with iconic brands like Trolls, Coca Cola and My Little Pony to name a few. We love to explore the ideas of trash being turned into treasure and started a line of upscaled items in our collections addressing environmental issues of production within fashion.
Could you talk about the importance of using modern tech fabrications in your work?
With recent seasons we have incorporated recycled and organic materials and we keep on expanding on these categories, but we also feel that we have such wealth of materials already existing that can be reworked and reinterpreted into a new look. We always have been fascinated by a DIY approach. The craft is coming back into the forefront. People use to be very concessions of presentation and packaging and today the consumers are actually interested in ideas and the concepts that the brands propose. And that allows us to create a unique visual language.
The real aspect to clothes is important and finding the balance between aspiration and reality is the trick that as designers we are working with. We always found the idea of specialisation or niche focusing is boring and restricting, it was always about unexpected combinations of materials shapes and colours that fascinated us in the creation process. Freedom of design is in our DNA Anything can go through our world view. We are both makers and like to be a part of the various stages of development. so everything goes through our hands from Print and textile developments to pattern cutting and construction. We are very interested in the flow between the various elements and that is what creates the magic for us.
How is it that you approach the creative process? Is it that everything flourishes from the insatiable wish to tell a story or create a voice, or is it the passion for fabrics and material and the never-ending world of possibilities that lay behind them ?
There is always story and feeling that we explore and put across in each collections. We reference and communicate with what is happening around us on social, cultural or geopolitical scale. ITs important to us to always ask what is making our brand different from others. I think with us the clothes always tell story, story of oceans, story of heatwave or of a nostalgic feeling that we have picked up from your own childhoods. Clothes are very personal and its important they encourage the wearer. Its also important to us to make mistakes on the way and to be curios to find and search for right shape or material. We are more and more interested in how to present something as its opposite for example we explore denim as a materials through different means, such as creating a denim look and feel through silk. Play on the illusions and perceptions. Lately our clothes have become more fluid and soft. Draping across the body.
I know that you have altered your production in order to eliminate the usage of plastic and start incorporating the use of recycled materials, can you please talk a little bit about what does it mean to be responsible in this industry, and what responsibilities do you think you have as contemporary designers?
We think its important to view our environmental impact as a brand and a business beyond the end product, in the hype to making recycled cloths most people ignore the environmental cost of everyday business running such as shipping, wrapping, packaging etc. We have made a shift about a year ago turning all our Ecom packaging to recycled, we have eliminated plastic wrapping, garments bags and packaging and are taking steps within our microcosms of the studio to recycle, promote zero waste and think creatively about up-cycling and reusing of old wasted stock and fabrics.
As creatives its important to us that our commitment to environmental footprint does not cost us our creative vision or our support of local craft and skill so it is not necessarily to bulk cancelation of one synthetic fibre or another but the creative approach to one, trying to support and reinvent existing product and textile and to create an end product that would feel personal to the consumer. One they will not discard with easily but cherish, protect and enjoy for long. This of course means we have a commitment to the exploration of textile and its endurance and prefer to use materials that will keep form colour and shape for longer or work into the early design the purpose of materials that would change, fade and shift with time.
We struggle with the ide of activists who are calling to cancel fashion week. we feel that it is an unfair call detached form the reality of what fashion week is. We view it as a stage for creativity in fact there is no deference between a fashion show at 180 strand or an art installation at Tate or a theatre show or a concert. Its an expression of creative production giving life to new ideas and stage to millions of people’s work and livelihood. there is no doubt that the Fashion industry has a long way to go but we believe in the power of positivity, our best achievements as society where made through positive thinking, ambition, and innovation and we believe this is the best way forward to bring real change. We have seen the industry changing from one side to another and we have done ourselves as a business and individuals, cutting all animal skin and fur from our collection a few years ago and this year focusing on plastic waste, recycling and up-cycling. Its important that we all understand our power of change, and start from our privet consumption habits focusing on the positive.