Hi, Anita. First of all, thank you for agreeing to this interview and welcome to Māgoa. We are really honored to present you and your work to our online readers.
Could you quickly introduce yourself in a few short sentences?
Hello! My name is Anita, I’m 21 years-old and I study Fashion and Textile Design at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering in Ljubljana. I make clothes and I also like to draw.
Describe your beginnings in the creative field? What sparked your interest in fashion?
My mom used to make quite a lot of clothes for me when I was little – she was sewing a lot and I was always by her side and I loved it. So eventually she taught me how to use a sewing machine. I also took a short sewing course in high school, where I made my first “properly made” clothes. I kept on making clothes during high school. I also had a little blog where I was posting things I did. In my 3rd year of high school I started doing a lot of embroidery. I put one of my drawings on a backpack I made and a few people said they would like to have one, so I started making embroidered backpacks, pencil cases and fanny packs – I made around 200 of them. At that point I started considering my career options: I knew that this is what I loved and wanted to do, but I was skeptical and insecure about my abilities. I decided to apply to a Fashion Design course at NTF and I got accepted. I don’t know what exactly sparked my interest in fashion, I just know that I always loved clothes.
How would you describe your personal style as well as design aesthetic – do they correlate or are completely different from each other?
My personal style is colorful, most of my clothes are from second hand stores or I made them myself – I like wearing unique pieces not a lot of people have. Most of my clothes are full of patterns and mostly oversized. I also love menswear; I borrow my boyfriend’s clothes all the time. I wear things that make me happy and make me feel good.
My design aesthetic is kind of the same. I use a lot of colours, textures and prints designed in oversized cute silhouettes. I love working with different interesting materials. My goal is to make clothes I love and I would wear myself.
How did you develop your distinctive visual language which we see in your work today? Did you know it since the very beginning or was it more of a gradual process?
It was a gradual process. At the beginning, I didn’t know what I liked or how to express what I feel or like. But the more things I tried, the more I knew what works for me, what and how I want my art to look like.
What describes your creative process? How do you get unstuck creatively?
I normally get an idea of a concept that I want to work on, I do a lot of research and collages until I have a specific story and proper background. I follow with a color scheme. Then I go to a fabric store and take samples of materials that inspire me. I love textures and colors, that is why I like to do my own prints as well. When I have different material options, I start with sketching. I don’t really like sketching though. I have an idea of how I want my clothes to look in my head but then it never looks as good on paper; I do it only to remember the designs. Then I start with patterns and prototypes and sewing the real deal. I can get stuck quite easily and when that happens it’s either because I have too much or too little to do. I normally take some time off, as much as I need: I try to go to places that inspire me, hang out with people I like and eventually get back on track with my work.
What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?
Currently I’m fascinated by Jane Birkin and everything she wore in the 60s. So pretty.
Can you remember some of your earliest influences and what inspires you today?
I think Tyler The Creator was my first big inspiration when it comes to clothes. I love the way he uses colors and prints and he always comes up with something fresh and cool. I find my inspiration in the most random places, in people I see on the streets, in materials I use, in life experiences, music, in the past, TV shows I watch and in the way, any of those things make me feel.
What skills do you think are important for a successful career in fashion design?
Besides the technical skills, I think you have to have a specific aesthetic or vision that distinguishes you from others. You have to work hard and you have to really love it. You have to have goals that will keep you going. I think it’s also important to work with people, make connections, go places and be consistent.
You’re currently on a student exchange in Estonia. What was the reason you chose this particular program? What surprised you the most – how does the experience living there and designing compare to Ljubljana?
Well, actually I just got back a few weeks ago – I was studying there during winter semester. I wanted to go somewhere I wouldn’t normally go, and the school was amazing. At the Art Academy, there are over 25 different departments and you can choose subjects from all of them. So, I was able to do a lot of courses I couldn’t do at my school in Ljubljana, like ceramics, metal casting … But when it comes to the designing process it was very similar to ours. Tallinn is also not that different to Ljubljana. It is colder, the landscape is different, people are a bit move private, but other than that it’s very cute, small, convenient and it has a lot of cool places to go. The main difference for was that I really had the time to focus and work hard without many distractions.
Can you tell us a little bit about your references for your latest designs?
My last design was a woolen coat. It was inspired by Hilma Af Klint’s paintings, especially by shapes and colors she used to paint. I think her works are amazing; I get a lot of my inspiration from painters.
How do you want people to feel when they wear your clothes?
I want them to feel cool, cute, confident and happy.
What is your favorite fashion trend of all time?
I think matching prints, high waisted anything and puffer jackets. Can’t really decide.
Are there any types of clothing that you avoid wearing?
I very rarely wear skirts or dresses, not on purpose though.
How much has social media impacted your work? What is your approach to this? Do you think that your social media presence helps in gaining commissions?
I would like to say not much, but I think my subconscious mind is full of pictures, art and people I see online. I have this love-hate relationship with it. It’s great to show your work and find people that like and support it. It is the most efficient way to gain commissions and promote yourself in a very low-key way. But it can also be very draining and negative when it comes to comparing yourself with others.
What would you like to achieve before the end of the year?
My biggest goal is to graduate and after hopefully find an internship at an inspiring brand abroad and move there for some time. I want to launch a website and an online shop where I will be able to sell my things. But mostly I want to be productive and keep on creating things I love and am proud of.
What’s next for you? Any upcoming projects you would like to share with us?
My next big project I will start in the beginning of the spring semester – it’s a final, 3rd year BA collection. So far I’ve never done a whole collection, so I’m very excited to start creating it.
Anita, thank you very much for your time and answers. The best of luck with your career and upcoming projects!
Visit Anita’s Instagram