5.12.2013

GETTING TO KNOW SOSNOVSKA

Lately, there has been a significant number of promising fashion designers coming from Eastern Europe and SOSNOVSKA is without a doubt one of the more interesting brands to watch out for. Anna Sosnovska's eponymous line was founded in the Republic of Belarus back in 2009. It aims to create well-thought-out garments with minimalistic and laconic aesthetic. SOSNOVSKA's menswear and womenswear are characterized by muted colors, graphic linear forms and silhouettes and high-quality organic fabrics. Both are somewhat similar but stands apart from each other with the menswear having a more masculine touch and the womenswear having the opposite. 
Anyway, check out my exclusive interview with the talented Russian designer discussing her relatively new brand, the new wave of Russian creatives and her beloved country.
Can you describe the world you have created for your eponymous label?
SOSNOVSKA is a special exploration of identities. It is the world in which I create and where realities are shaped decisively. It is a deep meaningful space, filled with clear and precise thoughts that open and identify its position.

What is SOSNOVSKA's signature look? Do you have a piece that gets carried over every season?
Indeed, signature pieces are a constant factor to SOSNOVSKA. Such garments move from one collection to the next enhanced by their development, evolvement and improvement.
Pivotal to my work is a settled concept, varied by changing images, inherent to SOSNOVSKA shapes, laconic silhouettes and construction techniques.
By creating new collections, I am continuing stories that started beforehand. In addition to this, I spent a lot of time focussing on internal details of the garments. Such items may not be visible at a cursory browse, but reveal themselves when interacting with the garments.
They are unanimous and complimentary to the central SOSNOVSKA image and reveal this other side.

What are the things that typically inspire you whenever you create a collection?
My inspiration relates to many things around us, at times invisible and indispensable elements, as mundane, as we inhale and exhale. I am inspired by people, what happens to them in this world and what shall come in the future.
For me, this is an eternal source of views, imagery and moods. Furthermore, I like to be inspired by natural phenomena and their environmental interaction, as they give birth in their essence to something new.
Centrally, emotions, are what constitute the vivaciousness of images, as they are diverse and have many faces. Lastly, music carries within an idea of the sound, as if it begins to speak and phonetically transmits its lucid spirit. All these elements, are experienced on an intuitive level, grasping inspiration from the outside, fusing this, into newborn creations in a focused manner, is what is central to my way of working.


Which is more important for you: the process or the end product?
I think that you can get a comprehensive end product just by allowing for the process of creating unfolds itself. This is an integral part of creation. When I design, I completely immerse myself in the process, as if underlining a global philosophy, with time as a suspended momentum, a bright energetic interaction of minute construction. As its result - the end product - symbolized the ideas incarnated, fully tangible and visible. For me, all these steps are equally important, as they are intertwined.

Lately, I have been noticing a great deal of Russian creatives primarily stylists, photographers and designers. Do you think Russians are out to conquer the fashion world?
For a long time, this entire region was closed down and shielded from the rest of the world. Now there are more opportunities, to express ourselves and to show our work and creativity. Furthermore, a profound interest in what is happening in our countries developed, including in the creative spheres. This in turn sparked a desire and a need to present such creativity internationally, beyond the established borders. According to me, this is a natural process, located only at the beginning stages of formation and development.


After several years of doing menswear, you recently presented a full collection exclusively for women. Obviously, there are some pieces from this collection that can be undeniably worn by men as well. What made you decide to do a separate collection for both genders? Why not just one unisex collection?
The desire to create a full women's collection had been part of me, for some time. I wanted to create a full female silhouette, separate from the male line, and I was looking for this expression both externally and internally. The A\W 13\14 collection, was a perfect moment to engage in this project. Personally, I felt I expressed certain core ideas SOSNOVSKA that belonged to the men’s line and converted them to the women’s.
Whilst some similarities can be found, they both have absolute differences. The women's collection, is in some sense the continuation of the idea of the men's collection with its inherent techniques, elements and sensations.
The garments are decisively inspired by the imaginative process behind menswear tailoring, yet foster a strong effeminate persona. This is why there is a feeling that there are parts that could be transcended onto menswear. I am very interested in this direction and I think that this idea will become a key element in the female silhouette for SOSNOVSKA in the future.

Which is easier to do: menswear or womenswear?
The creation of a men's collection, allows for a familiar immersion into the creative process. I feel comfortable and in my element, working from the menswear definitions I have set. After a long time of working with menswear, the process of creating women's collection has been somewhat unusual and very saturating. It is a most different approach, utilizing different techniques, that at some point are something new and challenging for me.
Therefore, the process of creating the women's collection took me a much longer time than usual, but it does not actually complicate the job. On the contrary, I was fascinated by the process, developed new ideas and enabled myself to pick up new techniques easily. For me, the process behind each direction, be it menswear or womenswear, has its own nuances and subtleties of features, one is more apparent, the other less tangible, but in the end their parity becomes uniform.


How does living in Belarus affected your work as a designer?
Personally, I am convinced it has made me stronger in relation to many situations in life that can be attributed to the professional field, such as the desire to achieve results on your own and expressing your creative and constructive ideas.

Special thanks to SOSNOVSKA's Vitali Chyleka and Marlo Saalmink for making this interview possible.

All images provided are from SOSNOVSKA's Spring/Summer 2013 Collection.

Click SOSNOVSKA for more info on this amazing brand!