2012 Fashion Show laureate in Shanghai: Alexandra Avramova

21 Jun

Alexandra, one of six winners at IFA Paris’ 2012 Fashion Show in Shanghai and a recent graduate, took some time to share her journey through her experiences while preparing, her thought process and the original vision of her collection“Army of ME”.

Image Alexandra and a model wearing one of her garment 

IFA Paris: What did this year’s theme ‘East Meets West’ mean to you?

Alexandra Avramova: It is the perfect theme for a graduation collection for someone like me who comes from the West but likes to live and study in the East. Here in Shanghai, you have a lot of examples that can illustrate the meeting of both cultures. To create my collection, I took most of my inspiration from the local Chinese youthand focused on those who had strong individuality and hip lifestyles.   Using my European background, I drew from this inspiration to create and design a vast majority of my collection.  I wanted to blend these two cultures to illustrate my understanding of East meets West.

IFA Paris: How did you incorporate this year’s theme into your design?

Alexandra Avramova: When I began my research on the younger generation of China, I realized that this current generation grew in a much more stable economy than those in past generations. They are often called the ME generation, or the “Little Emperors” of China, because they have more open opportunities in front of them than their parents had, and are more independent and opinionated. These days, China is booming with opportunity and you can really feel the positive optimism in the young people of China.  From this, I decided to take this amazing new spirit and mix it with traditional elements from older Chinese culture.  To blend in the west, I focused on the minds of the current youth and their obsession with western labels and tech gadgets like i-phones, western music, etc. Especially the way these young Chinese people interpret and change these western influences through the prism of their own experiences and their own culture.

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Mood Board

IFA Paris: I noticed that your designs featured very unique accessories.  How did you come up with the idea to include accessories?

 Alexandra Avramova: I wanted to imitate the Chinese traditional headwear, former style of queens, as well as helmets for soldiers and mix them together in a more crazy form so it can be modern and cohesively blend together with a youthful face.

The lights on the garments and on the plastic bags represented the nerdy and technological side of the “Little Emperors” who spend endless hours on the internet and who love socializing with other youngsters globally.

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IFA Paris: What was the most difficult part about the design process?

Alexandra Avramova:If you want to do good work, you need to find great materials. Finding printing facilities to realize my prints, as well as a supplier with laser cut machines for my plastic accessories was not an easy task.  After that, I had to figure out how to screen print on plastic and how to incorporate illumination wires into clothes and it wasn’t easy either. Doing everything on my own in Shanghai also presented itself as quite a challenge in itself.

IFA Paris: How do you feel to be one of the winners of the Fashion Show 2012?

Alexandra Avramova:To summarize in one word, I’m very “happy”.  To see my collection as a final product and worn on models was simply wonderful and really brought that sense of accomplishment in me.

IFA Paris: What has surprised you the most?

Alexandra Avramova:I was a little worried about combining so many elements together. Surprisingly,  thefinal creation turned out great!  My garments successfully fused the different materials, print techniques, colors and accessories.  To have my ideas translated so fluently onto the runway was a great surprise.

IFA Paris: How have your professors helped you throughout?

Alexandra Avramova:They helped a lot mainly with practical support for the realization of my collection. Their encouragement really made a difference to bring my vision into a reality.

IFA Paris: Can you describe your collection in five words?

Alexandra Avramova: “I love living in China”

IFA Paris: How were the final moments preparing for the show? Did everything go as planned?

Alexandra Avramova:Each of my models had to wear layers of garments and numerous accessories: gloves, leggings, head pieces, large wrist bands, belts, necklaces, attachable backpack and skirt, and bags. It took the dressers longer than usual to help my models get into all of this. So naturally I was quite nervous if we could manage to send the models to the stage in their full regalia! We were a good team and the models appeared on stage just as I planned, like real queens and soldiers.

IFA Paris :What do you plan to do in the future?

Alexandra Avramova: I am not sure what exactly I will be doing yet but definitely I would work in design. In particular, I would love to work for a big Chinese label from China, like Uma Wang for example.

 

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Alexandra’s sketches

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Alexandra’s sketches

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Alexandra’s sketches

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Thank you very much for your answers, and as with the other winners, we would like to wish you good luck for your future in the world of fashion.

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