Meet Anastasia Ostrowsky, the designer behind the vamp-inspired clothing line.
Supporting homegrown brands and companies has become a focal point over the past year, with the pandemic forcing many to close their doors for months on end. With many springing up online, one fashion brand that caught our eye was Amuse Bouche. Founded by Vienna-raised designer Anastasia Ostrowsky, the brand takes influence from the gothic era and channels this into vamp-inspired corsets with lingerie silhouettes. Setting the tone for her brand with her graduate collection titled Sleep Walkers, the designer took apart regular stereotypical ways of women portrayed in Bram Stoker’s Dracula and reinvented them in six contemporary looks.
With people around the world catching wind of her designs, the young designer launched pop-ups in Switzerland and London before venturing into Annie’s Ibiza. All made at her London-hailed atelier, Bouche’s designs cater to all sizes and offer made to order pieces. With a new mini collection set to launch April this year, Bouche spoke to us about running a business during a pandemic, wanting women empower young women and who she would love to style.
Check out the interview below…
Hey, how are you? It’s been a challenging time for all creatives – in what ways has lockdown affected your work as a designer?
It has definitely been a challenge. I think the hardest part is not being able to interact with people and get creative energy from the outside world. I feel as though a lot of my motivation to create comes from human interactions and being able to wear my clothes out amongst others. Now I have to look more within myself for creative energy, which isn’t necessarily bad its just different. I feel like we are all so used to being stimulated from the outside that this is quite a big change for everyone. It has also been very difficult to change my work process to looking at fabrics online, communicating over the phone and for a starting brand to put myself out there has also been a challenge.
Did being raised in Vienna help shape your style, or inspire you creatively?
Being raised in Vienna definitely influenced my style. The lifestyle, the art, the people and the architecture influences my work even if its just on a subconscious level. On a more obvious level Austrian traditional clothes have also inspired some of my work. The Classic Amuse Bouche Blazers silhouette was inspired by a “Trachten” jacket for example.
Can you reveal the strangest or most unusual place you’ve drawn inspiration from?
I would say Lifeball. This was an event that took place once a year in Vienna. Its was a charity event that was designed to raise awareness for HIV and AIDS. Every year a different theme was given and people were encouraged to make their own outfits and interpret it in their own way. People go all out with their costumes!
A lot of your garments feel very vampiresque – do you have a thing for the gothic?
Yes! I always wanted to be a vampire when I was younger. I think it’s because my mom loved old vampire movies and I watched them with her. There’s something so elegant, sexy and mysterious about them. The whole gothic era and every form of art that’s derived from it is something I’ve always been drawn to.
In what ways do your pieces serve to disrupt the way in which women are conventionally portrayed?
I’ve always enjoyed feeling sexy and presenting myself in whichever way I wanted to. The idea behind my garments is to encourage women to feel empowered. I think there is an inequality between the relationship men and women have with their sexuality. At a young age, I always felt as though I was judged for being more confident and open-minded with my sexuality. With my garments I want women to feel confident in their own skin, and that doesn’t necessarily mean being risqué it’s more about wearing what makes you feel comfortable and empowered. I want women to have the opportunity to explore who they are without being judged or confined to stereotypes.
How do you hope women will feel when putting on Amuse Bouche?
I hope women feel powerful and confident when they wear my clothes. Like a costume, they can wear to explore who they want to be. Most importantly I want them to have fun when wearing Amuse Bouche.
Who would you love to see in your garments?
Everyone! But if I would have to name a few I would say, Dita Von Teese, Hunter Schafer and Rihanna.
Tell me about the creative process behind your upcoming mini collection. What can we expect from the new body of work?
I usually get inspired by a character I like to invent. For my last collection, it was a Vamp. This one will be a new character. This then helps my design process. During a new project, I really like to become the character and see the garments as costumes the character would wear. My new mini collection is inspired by 50s aesthetics. The aim of the collection is to withdrawal the beauty of the era and leave behind the stereotypical roles women were put in.
What’s next for Amuse Bouche? What is the brand most excited for?
I am excited to have some more pop-ups in new places as soon as the restrictions loosen up. I am also looking forward to launching my Website along with the new collection! In future, I look forward to collaborating with people and bringing fun into people wardrobes with my clothes.