Masha Reva: "I am interested in design in all its domains – furniture, textile, books"
On November 5 London hotel Savoy held WGSN Global Fashion Awards. Masha Reva was the only designer in the list of the nominees of the prestigious international awards. In the short list of the nominees for “Emerging Designer” nomination there remained Masha Reva and three more designers chosen among more than 2000 designers from all over the world. Today Masha Reva has a very intensive creative life, participates in contests and fashion projects, draws incredible sketches and creates original clothes.
Masha, you are called one of the most promising designers of Ukraine. You have a very impressive background: Kyiv National University of Technology and Design, Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, internship within Thakoon Panichgul and within Walter Van Beirendonck. Could you ever have dreamed of it yet a schoolgirl? What was the beginning of your way?
I had a very uneasy period at school and can say that I was a looser in my class. That’s why the only thing I could have dreamed of was to finish school as soon as possible. I think that my further choice of profession was explained by creative atmosphere in which I was growing, as my father is a sculptor, my mother is a costume designer, that’s why in my childhood I was surrounded by sketches, plasticine and colors and I was observing them in their work.
Masha Reva at ECO-CHIC-PARTY 5 in Fomin Botanical Garden. Photo: Olga Yakymovych
You won the Grand Prix of “Look into the Future” contest initiated by Ukrainian Fashion Week and got the grant for studying at Central Saint Martins College as a prize. How has this trip influenced your perception of the world? Was it your first international experience?
After the internship in New York, which was my first international experience, a course at Central Saint Martins College was a serious step in development and helped me to discover new opportunities. That’s why I’ve made up my mind to continue my studies there. Now I am living and studying in London, and all this influences my professional maturing. I think that now I am living through the most important period for my professional maturing. I am trying to make the maximum of what I can and I enjoy the atmosphere of creativity. It is an incredible place to be and a very good chance for me.
Fashion illustrations by Masha Reva
Do you think that international experience – studies, internship, contests, exhibitions, fashion weeks – is important for Ukrainian designers?
International experience is my priority, as in our country there is no clear understanding of fashion industry, so it is necessary to use the experience of those who are more professional. Surely participation in fashion weeks in contests is important and each time it is necessary to understand which platform is more advantageous at this particular moment, and what you expect to achieve.
Invitation to Masha Reva fashion show within Odessa Holiday Fashion Week
What does the nomination to WGSN Global Fashion Awards mean for you?
First of all it is success, as during the ceremony I was told that it is a great achievement even to get to the shortlist. Surely, this contest is good for your designers’ faith in themselves. And it was so exciting to be part of this great event, to meet many interesting people and to put on an evening dress at last! I think for the moment I still don’t realize what has happened, but I know for sure that I have to work really hard.
Masha Reva on a red carpet during WGSN Global Fashion Awards. Photo: www.globalfashionawards.com
Your work with a form is amazing. Each your dress is a finished self-sufficient item. What’s your professional secret?
I use “moulage” method which I studied in KNUTD University. It helps me a lot and I advise everyone who wants to try himself as designer to start with this method.
Apart from creative silhouettes and interesting fabrics your clothes are special because of incredible prints. Are those prints a complementation of the clothes or one of the starting points for new fashion looks?
For me they complement each other.
"Botanical layers" Pullovers with designer prints
What inspires you for your exclusive prints?
Illustrations in ancient books, paintings. In my last projects I used photos made with my iPhone.
Stages of the process of pattern creation
Sketch of the shoes with designer print by Masha Reva
You started with clothes, now you create shoes. What other domains of design will be interesting for you in future?
I hope that in future I will have all the necessary technical possibilities and freedom of choice to realize all my plans. And to tell the truth I am interested in design in all its domains – furniture, textile, books…
"Merging 2012" project by Masha Reva. Photo: Synchrodogs
Shoes by Masha Reva
You draw all the time. Would you like to try your hand in arts and graphics?
I am really attracted by this idea and sometimes I think that I have made a wrong choice as designing clothes is more specific. It deals more with calculations and organizational process rather than with creativity.
Is Fashion an art or a business? What lacks to Ukrainian designers? What is in abundance?
First of all Fashion is business, but it won’t work without fresh ideas. The basic factor Ukrainian designers lack is knowledge and internet is useless here. They need to work harder, to get experience in those countries where fashion industry is well-developed.
In 15 years … (continue the phrase).
…I will be a mother, will sit on Burgas beach and will drink champagne with my best friends from different countries. And I will also work on my business, will draw and I hope that by that time I will not need any visas and other formalities.
Interview held by: Iryna Demchuk