Thursday, 12 February 2009

Tell Us More: Olesia Makhonko

New York Fashion Week starts tomorrow, and the style posse comes to London in just eight days. Can you tell we're going into designer tunnel vision?

Olesia Makhonko, born in Ukraine but headhunted to the UK (long story), has shown off her maximally structured line, Molessa, at Ukrainian Fashion Week and Amsterdam's Modefabriek. This season, she joins our team. Although I still hold a bit of jealousy over her internship at Alexander McQueen...

Here, Olesia goes into detail about geometry, keepin' it real and Natalia Vodianova. Fingers crossed you'll see her looks in a London boutique soon.

Molessa. Photo Credit: Paul Glickman for Fashion Capital. Copyright Paul Glickman.

When did you start designing?
I was just 12 years old when I started to design my first mini-collections, while studying at weekend school of fashion and design.

What type of customer do you have in mind when creating your looks?
Successful career women that appreciate high-quality, unusual, limited-edition designer garments, which can be collected like pieces of art and admired for many seasons.

What person would you love to see wearing your clothes?
From celebrities, I would love Dita von Teese and Natalia Vodianova. I love them as they are very elegant and sophisticated and have a style of their own.

What's been inspiring you lately?
I always been inspired by architecture, sculpture and geometric shapes. But for this season I also got an inspiration from researching the legendary story of Jeanne D’arc. The duality and mystery of her image and the historical background she lived in was a great source for creating bold, avant-garde shapes for my new AW09 collection.

What designer would you love to collaborate with?
I think that any collaborations between two fashion designers are very difficult. However, I would love to collaborate with textile designers and footwear and accessories designers to create a complete, branded “Molessa” look under the creative brief of my seasonal women’s wear collection.

Do you have any upcoming projects or shows you'd like to talk about?
I have just finished my AW09 collection, which is very fresh and different. There are lots of metallics, beige and black. The shapes are very experimental and voluptuous; it’s probably the most avant-garde collection I ever did for my brand. There are lots of party dresses in it, so I had an excuse with them to go a bit over the top - I’m sure the press and celebrities will love it. This collection has been shown already in Amsterdam at Modefabriek and will be also shown during London Fashion Week at the showroom of my PR agency, Felicities.

The other project I’m working on is a diffusion range for the online retailer It’ll be a more affordable and casual line, however it’ll keep the Molessa sleek, clean, geometric style and elegant feminine shapes.

Who are your current stockists?
Molessa is very new to the UK. However, it’s already successful in Eastern Europe and is stocked by boutiques in Kiev and Moscow.

What's something you wish you knew from the beginning that you'd like young designers to know?
I wish that young designers would realise from the beginning that creating and establishing your own brand is a very long, hard way, which requires a great amount of self-belief, energy, dedication, passion and constant hard work. And not every designer who starts his or her own brand will come to success.

What's been your proudest moment in fashion?
It’s really hard to tell. Well, when I was a student, I was very proud to win a couple of big fashion competitions. Recently I’ve been proud when every new collection is well received and has great attention from press, celebrities and customers. However, I still hope that my proudest moment in fashion is yet to come for me.

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