Young fashion designer Masha Reva was born in Odessa, Ukraine in 1987 and is currently in her final year at the University of Technology and Design in Kiyv.
Reva recently launched a collection for both men and women for Pure; a fashion concept store in Kiyv.
M.E. wanted to find out more, so we got in touch to ask her a few questions about the collection, her inspirations and her plans for the future...
Lets start off by talking about your latest collection which was specially designed for PURE concept-store. Can you tell us a little about PURE and how you came to do a collection for them?
Most of my acquaintances have occurred over the Internet. It was on my webpage that the owners of the PURE concept-store saw photos of my clothes which were taken by my friend Kate Underwood, who I met on the web as well. So they contacted me and explained that they were about to open their shop, the stock of which would be based on British designers, but as long as my works coincided – in their opinion – with their concept, they offered me the opportunity to create a collection exclusively for their shop.
As a result a capsule collection was created, being based on basic shapes of the clothes that had attracted their attention. One month after the opening of PURE, the capsule collection was presented to the public.
What were your references, or starting points for designing these pieces?
First came the idea of colour concept. From the very start I knew that the colour palette would be a bit grungy. I made sketches in which the key mood of the collection were young people – self-confident, very purposeful, even with some impudence in their eyes. I wanted the pieces be full of expression, no matter whether they were simple in details or not. And it appeared to be a sort of experiment for me and a very interesting experience - it was like creating a contact with people through watching what clothes they were choosing.
You've created clothing for both men and women in this collection. Was one gender easier to create for than the other? Did you approach them from the same angle or from different viewpoints with different references?
To make female clothes is a bit easier, because I know what girls might want. With boys the situation is different, it`s always about observing from outside what they’d like to have and why - what kind of individuals they’d like to feel themselves. But actually it is not too difficult to guess - they want mostly practical pieces, something easy to wear; and girls… in that point they want just to look beautiful. Of course it`s not a rule...
How long have you been designing? What caused you to pursue a career in fashion?
My father is a sculptor, mother is a fashion designer, though not working for now. So from my childhood I’ve been surrounded by creative atmosphere; had a sample of what I can do. But when I turned 16 , as any teenager I didn`t know what exactly to choose; I thought my paintings were awful. It lasted of course only till I became older and forgot how to do things with a light mind. Anyway, I`ve chosen this profession maybe because I was always fond of remaking garments. But the main person whom I have to thank for this decision of mine, was my father - he made me feel self-reliant.
Do you think that your location is important in terms of what kind of work you create? Does your heritage or your cultural surroundings influence you greatly or do you think globally when it comes to fashion?
Everything that is going on around, people that surround me, cultural traditions and all that my family has given to me - all this has built my character, taste, values of life and made me what I am. Culture is a platform for progress. Of course if I were born in different surroundings, my inner world would be different. But one should think globally when it goes about fashion, local fashion can be a pitiful sight...
As a young designer, who, or maybe what, inspires you in the fashion industry?
I loved McQueen a lot, Henrik Vibskov and the last collection of Meadham Kirchhoff seemed fantastic to me. I love it when clothes are not just pieces of garment, but when they are a constituent part of a mood condition, and I find this approach in the works of above mentioned designers.
If you had to choose to become a piece of clothing, what would you be and why?
Well… most probably I would be a spring dress for riding a bicycle - because I love cycling so much!
With this collection now complete, what are you working on at the moment?
Right now I`m working on my graduate collection and thinking about taking part in competitions for young designers.
And finally what do you think the future holds? Do you have a long term plan or goal?
Looking forward! I want to establish my own experimental studio, to create not only clothes, but – maybe - furniture or shoes, textile design and…something else.
But the ultimate idea of all this is to communicate with people, in my case - through pieces of design created by me.
Lookbook photographed by Cate Underwood.