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Thread: Russian FS Costume Designers

  1. #21
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    What a cool set of interviews, thank you so much for the translation! My best friend is a costume designer but for professional cosplay not sports and I ended up linking her these translations because I thought that they were so interesting as well as potentially useful. The note on the fastenings and their diminishing quality was especially neat (though sad!).

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by synteis View Post
    What a cool set of interviews, thank you so much for the translation! My best friend is a costume designer but for professional cosplay not sports and I ended up linking her these translations because I thought that they were so interesting as well as potentially useful. The note on the fastenings and their diminishing quality was especially neat (though sad!).
    Yep unfortunately it is kinda harder to find quality fastenings lately. I somehow feel that most products (including clothing) currently made is made to last a season or two, and then be discarded, while before the stuff was made to last many years. In Russia, this is specially visible because of the socialist times - until 1990, the stuff was made to last, then to be repaired and last more, while the use and discard trend is a bit older in western countries.

    And well, wait for the next one, because it will reveal where the fastening of Yulia's red coat was.

  3. #23
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    Yes, that's absolutely a shift that has happened. Of course in NA it happened much earlier. It is on the whole both sad and frustrating.

  4. #24
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    Original: https://www.oblgazeta.ru/sport/37507/

    - The World Championship began. Our "red ballerina" Alina Zagitova is on the ice in a costume created by you ... How do you feel when you see skaters on ice, and even more on a podium?

    - I worry about them so much! Not only I'm worried, I also infected everyone around - my whole family, my friends, are watching figure skating. And then everyone always calls, writes ...

    - What is most important in a costume for a skater?

    - The costume, in the first place, should fit the theme. It is important to show the idea and make it readable by the audience. Once, in social networks, I read a comment about myself: "I can not believe that one designer can create things so different in style and execution." And it just can not be the same for absolutely different themes: Lipnitskaya's red coat can not be like Karenina's dress for Zhenya Medvedeva. They can not be compared - these are very different themes.

    - In many costumes, you do not use fasteners at all: for example, in the dress of our brilliant junior Sasha Trusova, there is not a single one.

    - Yes indeed. In the beginning, I constantly used zippers. But then the quality of zippers ceased to suit, they began to break down - and I began to about what else can be used. I switched to hooks. The first hooks unfastened, I searched a lot for options that would be very reliable - not everything would be right. And I thought how to sew them, so that they wouldnt be uncomfortable, wouldnt unfasten... Now I have gone further - and, as you correctly noticed, I try not to do fastenings at all. In my dresses there are ribbons, patches of fabric on the back... They look like decorative elements, but allow you to put on the dress like a swimsuit. All the decorative elements in the costume are there not just because. Sometimes, the decorations hide something that is not supposed to be seen, or there is some other trick. The costume without fasteners gives a great freedom of movement, the skater does not think about whether the hook will unfasten... Everyone saw the French Gabriela Papadakis skate at the Olympics, when her dress unfastened and her breast was exposed.

    So the main thing is that the costume must be comfortable. And this, of course, limits a lot the choice of fabrics and finishes. I read fans asking why not to choose expensive lace for Evgenia Medvedeva's dress. Because it does not stretch, in such lace she would not be able to raise her arms!

    When people look at this beauty, everyone forgets that it is primarily a sport outfit. It is not an evening dress.

    - Did you want to do not sports outfirs, but evening dresses? There is much more freedom.

    - And I do them, moreover - I started with them. Actually figure skating came later. And attracted me since the beginning - this is a very peculiar art, not very simple, but very interesting. It's addictive. Well, the ice does not let go - this applies not only to skaters!

    - Do you skate yourself?

    - God forbid! I tried this year at a public rink, I sent a video to Eteri Georgievna Tutberidze. She watched, laughed a lot. Like, if you do it once again - you will break your legs, but we can not allow this! We need you for other stuff! And Zhenya Medvedeva's mother said that in general it is impossible to skate on a public skating rink, there is such a traumatism, suddenly someone will hit you, so dangerous! Run away from there as fast as you can.

    - One of your first works is the famous red coat for the Olympic free program "Schindler's List" by Yulia Lipnitskaya ... How did Yulia come to you? And how was this image born?

    - Yulia began to sew in a whole different place, but something didn't work out there. And she and her mom came two weeks before the first start. They immediately wanted a red coat, not a dress - this was the idea of ​​Yulia, her mother and her coach. Only no one imagined how this coat should look. Of course, there were no talks about any sketches, there was no time. I sewed it straight away...

    I remember the first time I brought it to the ice. It was not even painted, no decorations were there yet. But Eteri Georgievna looked and said: "Yes, this is it." And so Yulia became the girl in the red coat...

    By the way, returning to our conversation about fastenings. You'll never find where is the fastaning of this costume.

    - But you will share the secret?

    - I will share! The finest zipper is sewn into the sleeve and is fixed under the collar, and the collar is also fixed with clasps. Even if you really want to, you cannot accidentally unzip it. But most importantly - no zipper can be seen.

    - You also sew the dress for the short program?

    - Yes, and there is an interesting story connected with the costume for the "You Don't Give Up On Love" program. There was no time, and Yulia's mother Daniela Leonidovna said: "I want a delicate dlue dress." So it was sewn as desired. When I brought it to the ice, everyone liked it. But a few competitions have passed, and Eteri Georgievna said: "I like the dress, but ... something is wrong with it." And I said: "I did not see it like that at all." And then she looked at me and said: "Do it the way you want." Nobody even see the fabric for it, I did everything as imagined. Yulia got it on the day of the Grand Prix in Moscow, that is, she didn't even try it in advance. When they saw the finished dress, they just said: "Wow ..."

    - When you did these costumes, did you feel that Yulia would become a champion, and these costumes would be part of the history?

    - No one felt anything, probably, that everything will be just like that. But Yulia and the team went very persistently and purposefully towards these Games. Later people wrote a lot that it was a "rapid success" - no, she knew exactly how she had to perform in order to make her way to Sochi. She understood that she can not have any days off. I saw how she worked and how aware she is of it. But when I sewed the dress, of course, no one knew for sure if she would be at the Olympics. Nobody knew that she would be on podium in it, and later on the covers of all the world's media. Not every fashion designer can boast that his dress was everywhere, (laughs), and I can. Nobody knew that she become part of history of sports exactly as the "girl in a red coat", which I sewed. This is my pride to this day.

    - Admit it - you cried when you saw her on the podium?

    - I cry very rarely, and at that moment I was very happy for Yulia, she deserved all this. But ... You know, at this Olympic Games, watching Zhenya and Alina, I, of course, weeped... There, it seems to me, everyone cried, even those who are not into figure skating.

    - Alina ,last season, wore the red tutu that was before used by Zhenya Medvedeva. Why didn't she got one of her own?

    - There were several reasons. At the beginning of last season, Alina's prospects were not yet clear, how stable she would be ... She was a junior last season. In addition, Zhenya's tutu fit Alina really well - and we decided, let her skate in it.

    - Why this year, when she moved to the senior level, Alina did not want something individual, new? Why did she decide to repeat exactly last year's costume? It's just that she is constantly being compared to Zhenya, and then there is also the tutu.

    - Well, at the beginning of the season, nobody compared her to Zhenya. Medvedeva was the undisputed favorite, all attention was focused on her. Alina was yesterday's junior, just moving into adult skating. It was not clear how everything would turn out for her, how she would cope with it. The beginning of the season for a skater is generally as a whole other life. They skate new, yet unfinished, programs, they look at the costumes: is it comfortable or not, does it look good or it does not. This is always a very difficult period. Eteri Georgievna said - the costume fits perfectly, the red color is very well liked. We decided not to change anything. And now the red tutu is the symbol of Alina, few remember that once Medvedeva skated in the same costume. It was Zagitova who became the the "red ballerina", this is absolutely her character. This means that everything was done right.

    - The second Olympics in a row and, on podium, a figure skater in your costume. You are just a luck charm!

    - That's for sure, those dresses attract gold! This year, in team Tutberidze social networks, someone wrote approximately this: "At the Russian National Championship, our girls come in first for three years in a row". I read it and smiled - but my girls become the first nationally for a year more (laughs). In 2015, the best in the country was Elena Radionova - and also in my dress. And how many of my dresses are on the pedestals of junior championships of Russia and international ones!

    - There is an impression that you especially like working with the Tutberidze group ...

    - I used to sew only for a few athletes from this group, but now I'm sewing for everybody. Because this is more comfortable for them, and they already know me, trust me. I also sew for others, of course.

    - About trust. Zhenya Medvedeva said that the dress for "Anna Karenina" was worn for the first time right before the first time she skated in it!

    - Do you know how many athletes actually do this? It's just that Zhenya told about this, but that's the norm. The famous pink dress of Lena Radionova was the same story. They sewed something else, they wanted something in the Japanese-Chinese style, they chose fabrics for a long time, they did it for a long time... And at the last moment, they decided not to complicate it and sew a simple dress. We sewed in a week. Two fittings for the swimsuit itself, and then Lena saw the ready dress, put it on only right before competing. And it worked for her character! Of course, skaters trust.

    But it is important to understand! This is possible only at the beginning of the season, when important, but not critical championships are taking place - no one will risk so much before the championships of Europe and World, I'm not even talking about the Olympics. It happens sometimes that, after the competitions at the beginning of the season, we change the dress entirely. Everyone likes it on the figure skater, but when we watch it live, look on TV... Something is not right - we change it. So that for the main competitions, the figure skater can be sure of it, of looking in character. This is very important for the mood, for victory.

    We cut the Alina's tutu twice, made it shorter - after each Grand Prix stage (laughs), until we found the ideal length.

    - Zhenya changed the dress three times this season!

    - Yes, it was a creative search! After all, initially, "Anna Karenina" was choreographed as an exibition. I will never forget this call: "We have "Anna Karenina", we need a dress. We're leaving the day after tomorrow." The dress was sewed according to old pattern, overnight, from what I had at home. And at 11pm they write: "We thought ... And then we need a muff for the gala!" And from what will I sew this muff at night? (laughs). There was velvet at home ... Of course, it had to be made of fur and not be soft. Well, whatever, I managed it, and then Zhenya ... suffered with this muff, but also managed it.

    - Do you have skaters that are the hardest to work with?

    - I can never answer this question. Sometimes, I have someone that we always work everything out easily, and suddenly the desired dress is getting born at all. But again, I can not remember the most complicated dress - when I have already done it, they are all beloved. Every particular dress is a new story.

    But the most beloved, dear dress is one of the first. I sew ir for the young figure skater Anya Urusova. The first dresses are especially dear, the most memorable.

    - I thought you would name the costumes of Yulia, Alina, Zhenya ...

    - Of course, I will never forget what the red coat or Alina's tutu cost me, how much effort was invested in the character of Karenina ... But the first works occupy a special place in the heart. And then, I remember all the figure skaters as children ... I also sewed one of the first Zhenya's dresses - she had such a wonderful costume - tiny shorts with shoulder straps and a yellow top. Zhenya was so thin, you can not imagine! Little, funny... She was still skating at CSKA. By the way, many figure skaters in my phone are named for characters and costumes, and mostly the ones I made for them as children. When Austin Powers calls me - I understand that this is Andrei Filatov!

    - What is fashionable in figure skating now?

    - The tutues are a nightmare now! I'm already sick of them. Almost every message is: "Hello, we would like to make a costume. A tutu". After Alina, the tutus quickly became fashionable. And all think that before Alina, nobody skated in tutus. People did - and very much! Apparently, to make it a fashion, it was necessary that the tutu would be on the top step of the podium. One of my favorite tutus is Elena Radonova's gala costume. Also, this year there are many swans.

    In general, trends always come in waves - all Carmen one season, now here are swans. And you do not know how to make each of these swans special.

    - Have you already started working on the next season?

    - Not yet, the skaters have not yet decided which programs they will have... I am the second member of the team who learns to what the athlete will skate. It is always very interesting: no one else knows anything, everything is kept secret, the skaters guess who prepared what, the fans are in anticipation... And you already know everything and make the costumes!

    ...Already when we were saying goodbye, discussing - no longer for the interview - the skates at the World Championship and the fantastic success of Russian juniors, Olga suddenly said:

    - I'm growing with them, after all. They were young children, then they became juniors... Nobody knew me. They grew up and won their awards and the hearts of the fans - and I grew up with them, now they have very different scores for the technique, I have a new technology of fastenings and new ideas. As if I climb on the podiums with them every time.

  5. #25
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    What a beautiful interview and such a wonderful translation to capture so much of her character. Really so interesting, I love the detail about the location of the fastenings on the red coat.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by synteis View Post
    What a beautiful interview and such a wonderful translation to capture so much of her character. Really so interesting, I love the detail about the location of the fastenings on the red coat.
    yeah i spent tons of time trying to figure that out.
    all this makes me wonder if more technology could be brought into FS clothing.
    I mean, today you can have stuff like this: https://n-e-r-v-o-u-s.com/blog/?p=7162
    Or weird digital art printed into fabric, for example fractals: https://boxtail.deviantart.com/art/Astrolabe-738945581

    really curious to see FS designers to bring in new tech - and Olga could be the one since she seems pretty open to experiment and explore.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by moriel View Post
    yeah i spent tons of time trying to figure that out.
    all this makes me wonder if more technology could be brought into FS clothing.
    I mean, today you can have stuff like this: https://n-e-r-v-o-u-s.com/blog/?p=7162
    Or weird digital art printed into fabric, for example fractals: https://boxtail.deviantart.com/art/Astrolabe-738945581

    really curious to see FS designers to bring in new tech - and Olga could be the one since she seems pretty open to experiment and explore.
    Yes, absolutely, I'd love to see costumes that used modern technology to its full advantage. As Olga pointed out, they're deeply functional garments which I imagine is part of what makes them slow to change. Still, things like laser cut designs like you have in that first link would be so cool.

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