NINA DONIS @ LFW
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Russian Designers Nina Donis to show at London Fashion Week, February 13-17th 2005.
Already the toast of their native Moscow, Russian design duo Nina Donis will be staging their first major overseas show as part of the forthcoming London Fashion Week (February 13th to 17th 2005).
Chosen from a broad field of international applicant by the British Fashion Council's Scout initiative, established to showcase emergent designers from overseas as part of the official LFW line-up, Nina Donis have elected to finish the week's shows with a spectacular finale, which will take place on Thursday 17th September at 3pm @ the BFC Main Tent in Battersea.
About Nina Donis:
Moscow based design duo Nina Donis (aka Nina Neretina and Donis Pouppis) have been collaborating on ready-to-wear collections from 1992 onwards, since their graduation from the city's Textile Academy (Russia's answer to Central Saint Martins). They describe their work as 'a personal, and unique vision on the traditional and classic clothing of the Twentieth Century' or, more straightforwardly, a style which improves upon items we might consider prosaic, by updating them for a contemporary consumer. In short, there is no hidden agenda, no obscure reference, no historical nor fantastical backbone to their work: "We try to avoid conceptual burdens when we design. Approaching a collection from purely a design perspective means that the process is more immediate, and the clothes somehow lighter and more approachable," says Pouppis.
That said, if the duo maintain that their inspiration is firmly rooted in reality, then surely day-to-day life in Moscow is a far cry from the London studios of their catwalk contemporaries this season? : "Of course we're inspired by our everyday lives, that's inevitable," agrees Pouppis, "and yes, we do try to focus on the positive aspects of living in Russia now, in as much as our clothes combine a hard edge with an element of romanticism."
However, for those whose concept of contemporary Russian fashion is coloured by the stylistic excesses of the nouveau riche, or worse still, a cliche ridden catalogue of propaganda posters, babushkas and Doctor Zhivago fur hats - you couldn't be more wrong. Although they readily admit that designing Versace knock-offs would immediately endear them to a certain type of consumer back home, their design output would not look out of place in any of the fashion capitals, regardless of any perceived lack of glitz. "We like to add a healthy dose of anarchy as we go along," says Pouppis, " If our work is Russian, it's just as likely to be the Russia I see when I take my dog out for a walk, rather than a bunch of stereotypes."
Consequently, Autumn winter 2005 is inspired by that most prosaic of characters - the duo's next-door-neighbour, whom they witness every morning in a variety of layered garments that have less to do with an idiosyncratic fashion sense, but simply an attempt to keep warm. "It's a lot to do with comfort, volume and layering - the way that when you put on a combination of garments it can make something entirely new," explains Neretina. "Basically it's inspired by our freezing winter - the colours, the light, the cold , and crucially being comfortable when it's -20 outside."
British Fashion Council Scout
February 2005, London
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Spring / summer 2005
A positive, light collection inspired by:
- kids’ home photos (image, mood, colours)
- designer interiors of the ‘60s (prints, layouts, design solutions, colour schemes)
- Chinese paper lanterns (the structural principle)
The collection is created along “the complex inside the easy” lines.
Elaborate simplicity of dresses with their especially complicated cut echoes the ‘50s silhouettes (the designers’ favourites). The cut of voluminous skirts and sleeves takes its clue from the Chinese lantern principle.
Structural seams create a kind of framework, which makes the garments look “angular” and fragile, as if they are crafted of paper.
Pants, jackets, T-shirts and skirts, simple in cut and silhouette, are made of multi-layered crepe-chiffon that creates soft shapes and a pleasant caressing touch.
Hand-painted imagery (the only kind that appears in this collection) cover the inner layers adding an extra dimension and volume.
Fabrics: cotton and chiffon of various thickness and density.
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