Irina Shaposhnikova

ANTWERP, Belgium:: Russian born fashion designer Irina Shaposhnikova was causing waves in the fashion industry long before graduation. Whilst studying at Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts, her BA knitwear collection was featured in Russian Vogue – chunky cable knits attached to a barely visible nylon mesh formed fantastic window like pieces. “Crystallographica” Shaposhnikova’s now renowned MA graduate collection soon followed. This time large sculptural geometric folds in a variety of high-tech fabrics were complemented by a monochrome colour palette. Following Shaposhnikova’s catwalk debut, her work was quickly featured on a number of influential magazines and blogs. Even an impressed Kanye West posted the entire collection on his blog Shaposhnikova takes some time out to tell FAULT what inspires her.

FAULT:: Your innovative garments certainly aren’t for the everyday woman; do you have someone in mind when designing?

Irina:: Yes, but not someone I know – she is a real individual and has a strong personality. That is what interests me the most. The age is not very important to me.

FAULT:: For your BA collection you specialized in knitwear, whilst your MA collection illustrated a detailed use of high-tech fabrics. Most emerging designers working with textiles tend to focus on one area such as print or knit; what made you change direction?

Irina:: I did not really change the direction, just at that time it was interesting for me to try something else, so I did. In the future I might come back to knitwear again or work with print. I don’t want to limit myself.

FAULT:: Is this love of textiles and technology something you will continue to develop?

Irina:: It is definitely something I am interested in. Textiles is an important part of the design process for me. I am interested in inovative forms, new color combinations and original treatments of the materials. Working on the textiles helps me to express my ideas better.

FAULT:: Which designers do you find inspirational?

Irina:: British designers Marios Schwab and Christopher Kane. I love the tailoring in Christopher’s work and the sense of feminity. I think it is very modern.

FAULT:: What are your plans for the near future?

Irina:: In the future I am planning to continue working on my label.

FAULT:: What are you currently working on?

Irina:: I am currently working on my new collection, it will be available this September.