Startup Fashion Week celebrates an emerging growth of retail-tech, fashion-tech and wearable-tech startups globally. It also helps entrepreneurs to get a sense of direction, confidence and understand where to access the right resources for their success. The event itself promotes many local and global businesses and startups.
Here are my favourite designers from the runway show:
Lama El Hajj
Lama El Hajj is a fashion designer inspired by the Victorian era and the raven – the symbol of freedom, spirituality, strength, and good luck in the mortal world. She showcased her first evening-wear collection called “Aphotic,” which relates to the idea of the dark zone where too little of the sunlight is allowed. In her designs, she played a lot not only with the internal beauty of dark colours, but also with cloaks and majestic silhouettes.
Lana Kuidir is an evening-wear fashion designer, graduated with a Bachelor in Fine Arts (New Media program) in June 2014 from Ryerson University. Her curiosities for fashion design, the process of creating materials and their transformations to full garments are rooted in her family, where textile is a common interest. Her eye for details drove her passion to find the conflict in everything around her and to turn it into an architectural art form. Kuidir doesn’t design clothes, she sculptures emotions while offering women pieces that inspire confidence and strength.
Q&A WITH DIANA IVANOVA
Designer: Diana Ivanova
Brand: Casa Como
Amanda Skrabucha: How did you get into fashion design?
Diana Ivanova: I was fascinated by the fact that how a simple square of fabric can be magically transferred into a powerful statement. Like the caterpillar emerging from the cocoon and morphing into a glorious butterfly. It all started growing around my grandma’s studio. Instead of playing with other children, I eagerly wanted to learn all about the magical world of design. When I realized my full potential, there was nothing else I wanted to do.
Being able to design reminds me of how a simple movement of butterfly wings can create a powerful storm on the other side of the world. I have so much to offer… how can I refuse.
Can you describe Casa Como? What is your brand’s ethos?
Style and elegance. In another word, simplicity is the closest state of perfection.
Can you describe your collection for Startup Fashion Week?
The idea of this collection represents the transformation from a teenager into a self-sufficient young adult. It starts with playful urban tone and then turns into elegance and classy. A style that can give young people a strong sense of self-esteem and the power of knowing what they can achieve in the world.
What was your inspiration when you designed?
I get inspired literally by touching a new fabric. It gives me a sense of warmth, and soon an idea will be created. Being able to turn my visual ideas into real forms is like giving a part of my soul to others. It involves them with that same perception I initially have. Each piece I create has its own spirit, and it influences those who wear it.
What was the process of designing? What were your favourite and the most challenging parts of it?
I always know how my final designs look like. I have a strong image in front of me, and the process of making is like solving a puzzle.
My favourite challenges are choosing the right fabrics and combining them with the right cut. That way you get a beautifully fine piece ready to wear. The most meaningful moment for me is to see people’s reaction, to see that final symbiosis of my creation and a human body. This is like one of these moments when the magic happens.
How do your designs reflect your personal style?
I wear what I created most of the time. And I don’t like setting up too many boundaries either for myself or the brand. Keep it bold, less is more.
For this runway show, Casa Como collaborated with wearable-tech companies like Tap2Tag and Ashley Chloe.