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Global Designer Spotlight: Toronto


 

Showcasing at Ottawa Fashion Week

Showcasing at Ottawa Fashion Week

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Designer Anastasiya Kuyevda energizes the alternative fashion scene of Toronto. 

 

By: Marina Radovanovic

Toronto, Canada

 

Anastasiya Kuyevda – a bright, young woman at 20, already has a few important fashion show presentations under her belt. A visual art, and fashion design student entering her third year at Ryerson University, explained to me what inspired her to pursue the fashion design industry: “I always loved art and design. I would flip through art books of my favourite painters, such as; Monet, Rubens and Durer, and simply enjoy and be mesmerized by their work. I love museums, and love photography as well. I like to capture what might seem unusual, surreal and uncommon and express my findings through fashion.”

 

Some of the notable fashion showcases Kuyevda participated in was the Ottawa Fashion Week, where she collaborated with Emily Woudenberg, and presented her collection for Fall 2011. Prior to that show they presented at Toronto’s Alternative Fashion Week, where she got to experiment with more conceptual garments. “That was one interesting and unique show where designers contributed all kinds of ‘creative and unusual’ items. It was a lot of fun!”

At Toronto's Alternative Fashion Week

At Toronto's Alternative Fashion Week

 

Kuyevda’s and Woudenberg’s collections were also presented at V Lounge in Toronto. She enjoyed the design competition she did for  “Crystal Light” as she enthusiastically said, “I love creating one of a kind pieces, and for that fashion show I created a purse that resembled two tea cups joined together to represent the peach iced tea product. She was flattered when Stacey McKenzie (Canada’s own fashion icon/model)  asked for two of her dresses at the event, and wore them on a few prominent occasions, including a Breakfast Television segment!” Her excitement was apparent when Kuyevda laughingly commented at some of the experiences she encountered, “I enjoyed creating a ‘gremlin’ costume for a Toronto Sun reporter that was later worn to Comic-Con in SanDiego. It was an amusing challenge!

 

Emily Woudenberg (left) and Anastasiya Kuyevda at Ottawa Fashion Week

Emily Woudenberg (left) and Anastasiya Kuyevda at Ottawa Fashion Week

 

 

Kuyevda embarked on the challenge to re-create donated bridal gowns for “The Bride’s Project” a charitable boutique in Toronto with all of the proceeds going towards cancer research. Kuyevda’s eyes sparkled when she described re-creating/re-vamping the bridal gowns, “I loved to work on those vintage dresses, and add flair and rejuvenation to them once again. I would disassemble them, and create a new piece that somebody would love to wear!”

 

A dress as part of the The Bride's Project

A dress as part of the The Bride's Project

 

Her previous internship at Fuel (an advertising agency) was only the beginning for Kuyevda, her path was already strewn with the entire art/fashion/design concepts that lead her to be a part of fashion shows, and opportunities to meet celebrities. I asked her what her own special style is, and what motivates her to create the pieces she did; she reflectively answered, “I like things that are different and unexpected. I combine colours, patterns and textures of various fabrics to create a one-of-a-kind  outfit. I browse through  thrift shops, and love the feel I get from 40’s vintage designs. In fact, Elsa Schiaparelli (the renown rival of Coco Chanel, and designer for Mae West) is one my favourites. She had surrealist inspirations, and was gutsy and original.”

 

 

Her swimwear line boasts old Hollywood glam

Her swimwear line boasts old Hollywood glam

 

A notable observation made while interviewing Anastasiya Kuyevda is the fact that she, as other young designers, are very influenced/concerned by Canada’s place in the fashion industry. Kuyevda feels that Canada leads the world by taking initiative towards the environment, and eco friendly  textiles and methods of upcycling.  This consciousness reflects on Kuyevda’s commitment towards the innovation of re-vamping vintage and worn out articles of clothing, and is just one example of how this strategy is becoming more utilized, as well as a formidable challenge, and inspiration to fashion designers!

 

I asked Kuyevda, “What defines Canadian authentic fashion?” As she thoughtfully remarked, stressing again “Canada’s role in the environment is something for all of us to be proud of. The fact that it is cold here emphasizes importance on our winter wear, and the multiculturalism provides us with diverse fashions that we can use for inspiration . Canada provides great opportunities for designersgiving us the privilege to incorporate many various themes and concepts to our collections, and showcase them proudly here, and around the world.” Kuyevda’s goals include an internship in California upon her graduation and currently she is focusing on her vintage swimwear line that is reminiscent of the 40’s/50’s , and very structured to complement women’s physique. She feels that Canada needs  more local designers and fashion producers to provide more local jobs and bring attention to the Canadian fashion industry. Her new line will soon be available on her website, as well as information regarding her upcoming fashion shows this spring 2012.

 

As Kuyevda devotedly noted, “I would like to inspire women to feel confident about themselves and use fashion as a method of expression, I think every woman should feel special and fashion is significant in making that happen ”

For more information on Anastasiya Kuyevda, and her collections please visit: http://www.kuyevda.com

 

Photos courtesy of Kuyevda.com 

 

Marina is a successful author, a history buff and adores classic literature. This Torontonian relishes in the  exploration of  unchartered fashion routes to discover talent that should be noted by everyone. 

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