If you think that a fashion designer is a must a person like Vyacheslav Zaitsev or Valentin Yudashkin, who sits in an empty office and comes up with elegant sketches with the stroke of a pen, are forced to disappoint - the work of a designer is much more complicated. However, it is probably not easy to find out about this: unfortunately, there are not so many places in Russia where you can get a good specialized education. What are the universities of the future fashion designers really preparing for? We inquired about the fashion of recent graduates from local schools.
GRADUATED Omsk State Technical University in 2018, Department of Costume Design
It seems to me that fashion is progressing. If until recently it was aimed at self-destruction, denial of values, now we see body positive, eco-clothes and actions in favor of saving endangered species on the catwalks - in other words, we are slowly improving what we have recently destroyed. I really like the creativity, brightness, boldness and limitless possibilities of fashion now. People are no longer afraid to stand out, because society itself has changed beyond recognition.
As for me personally, I have always wanted to be a designer or an artist. I applied to environmental design, but went to costume as a priority. Not to say that I was particularly fired up with the idea of becoming a designer - rather, for me it was a way to find myself. Now I would really like to go abroad. I have such an age when I want to discover the world more and more.
I am saddened by the quality of education now: many disciplines were simply removed, good teachers left. Plus, I don’t understand why we spent half of the training time on physical education, life safety, Russian history and the Russian language. Now I regret that instead of these objects we were not given plastic anatomy, for example, or more painting with a drawing. Fortunately, despite this, we were still given valuable knowledge, taught not to be afraid to look for something new. My 14th year stream did not really break through - maybe only a couple of girls flew abroad for practice. But many old students of our Omsk University became famous - but their teachers were different.
GRADUATED School of Design at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in 2017, direction "Fashion"
The fashion industry in Russia is now an unpaved field. I assess the state of any sphere by the number of people who are promoting an innovative approach and fresh views, and we have few such specialists. But the ice has already broken - I have no doubt that the Russian renaissance will soon break out.
Fashion is a curious indicator of the state of society as a whole. Previously, the appearance could tell about the profession, wealth, marital status, interests - now the boundaries have blurred. For example, if a person is wearing pajamas, this does not mean that he is getting ready for bed, and if the outfit contains details of work clothes, this does not mean that he is going to lay asphalt. The modern language of fashion is very free and interesting, and I, in turn, like to invent a new dialect for it. I am often thrown from one extreme to another, from the feeling that I am doing unnecessary nonsense to the feeling that with the help of this work I can change the way people think. It is important for me not to try to please public tastes, and to remain relevant to the modern spirit.
The educational system at our institute is generally built efficiently. There are, however, some nuances: for example, in the first year they give a huge amount of disciplines - as for me, unbearable for most children. Subjects of both theoretical and practical nature, which are sometimes difficult to master well, no matter how interesting they are. But I am very glad that I ended up at the HSE School of Design and right now. The main problems of Russian education are usually associated with the lack of competition, the inertness of the system and the lack of practical experience among theoretical teachers, but none of these things affected our School.
I think that if fashion is taken seriously at the state level, then first of all, to prove something to someone. This is normal. But, in my opinion, there are a bunch of other areas that need help, from ecology to secondary education.In vogue, this kind of support could be useful to research projects and educational programs - and only then to individual talented persons.
Graduated two-year course "Fashion Styling" at the British Higher School of Art and Design
I started stylizing filming in 2013, when I was living in St. Petersburg - and the next year I moved to Moscow, as I entered British. I felt that I lacked structured knowledge, and three months of courses is clearly not enough - and I just really love to learn. In Britain, I was able to try new things: for example, create my own magazine in a single copy at the end of the art direction semester.
I still think that it is almost impossible to teach a person how to stylize shooting - it's still about taste, about flair, about seeing proportions. But this is not the only thing that matters for the stylist. The ability to make a mood board that is understandable to the whole team, communication before and during shooting, understanding how all participants in the process work - this can be explained. The British gave me this knowledge.
Nowadays there is a place for almost everything in fashion, and it is both inspiring and frightening at the same time. I would like to see the fashion industry in Russia become less sluggish, so that freedom of expression takes precedence over the mossy notions of what "should" be worn. Clothes have always attracted me precisely by the opportunity to play, to transform, while remaining myself. I would like to help people enjoy clothes, their playful and ironic components. I hope one day I will succeed.
23 years old
Graduated Novosibirsk Technological Institute is a branch of the Russian State University named after V.I. A. N. Kosygina in 2017, department of technology and design of garments
Our university provides strong preparation, but only if the student is willing to put in the effort and perceive costume design as an integral part of his life. The study was inspiring: teachers willingly shared knowledge and personal experience, and sometimes learned something from scratch with students and, importantly, encouraged curiosity.
Not everything can be learned at the university, some of the nuances of the profession are learned only after. The training takes place in an inspiring atmosphere, it seems that everyone is already waiting for you at work. But at the very first production (I emphasize, it is at the mass production of clothing), a freshly baked specialist is faced with a different picture of the world: employers have their own requirements, a vision of the situation and the market. Simply put, students are not prepared for the fact that their fantasies and ideas may simply not be needed. The second point is that employers are looking for confident employees, and there are few of them, especially right after graduation. Not everyone knows for sure whether they will continue their professional path in the fashion industry - such students have a hard time already during their studies. Our work must be completely devoted.
Everything that we were taught at the institute regarding design came in handy at the first jobs. This is the basis, the skeleton, which afterwards becomes overgrown with many specialty features that you did not even know about. This includes the skill of working with people in a team, and market analysis aimed at a specific consumer, and narrowly focused tasks for which you need to come up with ideological solutions.
I also wanted to say about trends: the search for trends for the next season at the institute and at work is very different. In training, we focus on overseas fashion weeks, and in production, the employer needs an analysis of the local market. My colleagues and I often came across the fact that foreign trends do not suit Russia at all, moreover, each region has its own special relationship with clothing.
Graduated Theater Art and Technical College № 60, Moscow Institute of Art and Industry in 2018, Department of Costume Design
Both institutions gave me useful knowledge, but they are more related to the artistic component of the profession.Unlike the institute, the college gave me the opportunity to practice in several theaters, where I saw what the profession of a costume designer is from the inside. But if the theater as an industry has existed in our country for a long time, then this cannot be said about fashion. The fashion industry in Russia is very young, and we do not yet have a generation of professionals who could pass on their experience and knowledge to students.
The students learned to think creatively and sew well, but what to do with this next is unclear - we are not taught this. I remember how on the diploma course everyone asked each other with a frightened look: "What are you planning to do next?" Some go to young brands. According to my classmate, at work in one such brand, she spent three months looking for a suitable fabric for a piece of ribbon. How can you get professional growth in such a place?
Probably the best solution for me would be to start my own business right away, while learning from mistakes. All the information you need can be found on the Internet - now there are a lot of articles, lectures and interviews with the creators of our brands. Themed events are held, for example, Be In Forum - it's very cool. The domestic fashion market in Russia is developing very actively, new brands appear that really make decent clothes at an adequate price. This is very important for the consumer - the originality and quality of the product is a priority today.