THE INTERVIEW: ANNA OCTOBER

 
 
 

As her eponymous label lands exclusively at Browns, the Ukrainian designer talks experimental style, having fun with fashion and her model muse Nadiia Shapoval...

ON HOW IT ALL BEGAN...

I drew my first sketch at the age of 8, just sitting with friends in my backyard. I made my first piece from my mother’s gold brocade wedding dress when I needed a costume for a school pageant. Since then I decided that I wanted to be a fashion designer and needed to learn everything about it. I got a degree in fashion design technology in my native city Zaporozie in Ukraine and moved to Odessa at 17 to study Fine Arts. Odessa was the real starting point for me. It inspired me so much that I decided to take the huge leap from working as a fashion journalist in between studying pattern cutting and designing for private clients to launch my own label when I was only 19. My brand has become my school, my home, my life.

ON THE ANNA OCTOBER FORMULA...

It is lightness, femininity and playfulness. My woman is a real lady with all the grace, good manners and cultural interests, but she is a bit crazy; she can escape from her castle at night and dance all night at the party. This collection encapsulates energy and the mood of new beginnings. I wanted to create clothes that every girl would feel themselves in, but even more feminine and even more fun. That translated into flowing forms, cuts that are sensitive to the slightest movement of the body and bright, rainbow hues.

ON HER STYLE...

My style icons are Grace Kelly and Hanne Gaby Odiele! Grace for her easy elegance and Hanne for her off-kilter cool and playful attitude. I go from the extremes of something very pared-back and practical to something more statement and special. My wardrobe is 90% my own designs, 9% vintage dresses from flea markets in Paris or Antwerp and 1% simple black denim.

A silk robe is my go-to. It's comfortable, chic and the perfect anytime piece; I can feel beautiful wearing it around the house, pairing it with jeans during the day or going bare-legged and slipping into heels for the evening.

ON HER CREATIVE PROCESS...

I dream about creating a story that everybody would want to be a part of. My work is very personal and emotional but always free of any negativity, in fact, it is quite the opposite; it stems from positivity.

How I feel at that particular moment is where I begin designing and developing the mood into visuals, thinking about how I can give that same feeling to the girl who will be wearing the collection. Then comes the research, the draping and the fittings. The fittings are my favourite part, I see every millimetre of fabric as having a huge impact on the cut and the shape; I love to work on details.

ON HER WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH NADIIA SHAPOVAL...

We've been working together for ages. She modelled at my first shows and supported me as an upcoming designer. When she came back from studying in Milan she began working as a stylist on my collections. I love her character; it's a natural reflection of her look. There is always a dialogue between masculine and feminine and always a sense of grace and effortlessness. She inadvertently became my model and muse.



 
 
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