Mayya Frid, designer from Russia, whom I met during my studies in Istituto Europeo di Design, now lives in Moscow and continue to study fashion design in Moscow Institute of Art and Industry. Some years ago she started to collaborate with her friend and classmate Alice and they together fulfill the orders for individual clients. I asked her some questions in order to find out the current situation of Russian designers and their ambitions in the world of fashion.
Maria Estegneeva: What is style of your collections?
Mayya Frid: Well, we just create our first collection at the fourth year of studying. We had specific tasks before as making historical costumes or using untraditional materials. So I can say I did not have a complete collection making. But I know that I will not create trivial but simple clothes where beauty, comfort and uniqueness will be mixed. Everyone is tired of mainstream and fast fashion. Individuality is the trend. I would like to prolong the life of an item by people`s careful treatment to it and by the quality of the clothes itself. A customer should be in love with each detail of its clothing and to contribute him/her with it is my purpose.
ME: What is the inspiration in your collection this year?
MF: This year we create women collection including outer garments. That was the starting point for me. I was inspired by Gustav Klimt`s art: femininity, sophistication, sexuality, colours, gold. I began to think about my collection in the middle of autumn and Klimt`s inspiration matched a lot with the seasonal mood in the air.
(Klimt “Mona Lisa of Austria”, Levitan “Golden autumn”)
ME:What your course generally consist of?
MF: Our institute is one of the minority that allow students to come with no basic knowledge in painting or designing but at the end of 5 years you will learn
- how to paint, use illustrator and phtotshop, create effective sketches, using different techniques;
- to sew any types of the clothes range: from underwear to fur coats;
- how to construct male and female clothing including all sizes;
- history of fashion, art and design;
- the art of makeup;
ME: How you will estimate the level of education for designers in Russia?
MF: Everything depends on designer here. I think that the basis that is given to us is not that bad. And my education it is very practical, which is good. I know that many institutes remain very soviet. I mean they do not have modern contests among designers. MIIA is ing with a great speed and it organizes different projects for students. We take part in Russian Fashion Week. Different designers, stylists visit our shows and the best students are promoted then. I guess we have fascinated prospects.
ME: What are the main differences between educational system in Istituto Europeo di Design and Moscow Institute of Art and Industry?
MF: I think the main difference is the timing. Here I have two semesters and two main periods for tests. That means that during 4-5 months I am free to do whatever I like, while in Spain I had small tests and tasks permanently. I had much more projects at different disciplines at the same time. Here my aim is just to pass the exams so all my creative energy activates just before the sessions. As a result Russian students suffer from the lack of self-discipline in such system.
ME: Do you already have any potential offers not just from individual clients but other fashion houses or support organizations for young designers as Sunday Up Market to buy your clothes?
MF: Personally I did not have any offers like this, because I just create my first complete collection. But for example my friend and colleague Alice has already been offered to develop a collection in collaboration with one brand. She and other students also are invited by Sunday Up Market. Students take part in Night of Design and some other urban events and, of course, Russian Fashion Week.
ME: How do you see your future after graduation?
MF: Of course, my aim is creating my own brand. The company, I want to develop and work, could be a big Russian retailer of fashion or sport clothing. And I want my brand to extend abroad. But that is a long term object.
ME: What are the main problems which Russian designers face to?
MF: To my mind many Russian designers are just looking for their self-expression omitting the fact that the fashion industry is the one – it is united in general trends, colours. And of course to make a sort of promotion as taking part in shows and contests is very expensive.