Five o’ clock coffee with Ioana Ciolacu
My first interview with Ioana Ciolacu was (I think) in a GLAMOUR Romania edition, some years ago. Since then, I looked up for every collection signed by the Romanian designer, I followed her runways at Berlin Fashion Week. And I was happy to see that Ioana Ciolacu Showroom has opened in a gorgeous villa, where in a sunny spring afternoon, we talked about the most recent collection, about social media today, about uniforms and the least inspired questions in an interview (yep, “what is your source of inspiration” is still in top). Ioana Ciolacu has started to play with architecture. Then she switched to fashion industry. She had a London Collage of Fashion scholarship, she won the Designer for Tomorrow award from Stella McCartney and she presents her collections, every year, at Berlin Fashion Week.
Your love story with the fashion has started…
You know, I had to know fashion in order to have a love story with it. It wasn’t that kind of the passional love at first sight. I wanted to do this, I wished to do something in fashion design area, I really didn’t know what to expect. But the moment I have started… I couldn’t do anything else ever again. I fell in love and I am falling in love every day.
The best / the worst thing that happened in the last 5 years in fashion?
I think we are not (at least yet) at the sustainability level we should be in fashion. We are still talking about consumerism and fast-forward fashion. I wish and I hope that the impact of fashion industry on this planet will be reduced in the further period of time, I know that is not going to happen in one year. On the other hand, so many brands appear every day, the dynamic of the industry is amazing…. You could be on top then you could fall hard in just one day – just look at Vetements.
If you had infinite powers, what period from fashion history you would delete?
None of them. At a point, when I was younger, maybe I would have said that I do not like 60s and 70s, but now I think that every period in fashion history is there where it should be. And they all are our heritage. If I dislike something badly… I would say totalitarianism uniforms.
How is your Spring/Summer 2018 collection?
It is called Women of Bauhaus and it was presented at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Berlin. It was inspired by some iconic women, not so well known, from the Bauhaus period Anni Albers, Marianne Brandt, Gertrud Arndt). They were a little bit… weird, atypical for those years. So I’ve decided to imagine a collection for them, with some elements inspired by that period. I like the collection, it’s a direction that I didn’t explore before and I like that you cannot say right away that it’s about Bauhaus. I played with textures, I had recycled threads. It’s a collection about individuality and power, but yet about a lot of femininity.
If the collection would be a classic movie…
Wow, tough question! Easy Rider, because of the mood. Or Metropolis, if we want to stay in that specific era.
The remedy for a inspiration gap would be…
You know, David Lynch said once that “Everything we do starts with an idea. So, ideas are like fish. You don’t make the fish. You catch the fish.” That and some wishful thinking, I guess.
What is next for Ioana Ciolacu?
The Lab project, an educational project generated by my personal desire to pass my knowledge to some young creative minds. It’s a fashion lab and its purpose is to educate young creatives (https://www.thefashionlaboratory.com). And, of course, a new kids collection is on the way, a mini-version of the bestsellers from streetwear collection.
We need fashion in our life because…
Fashion is a consequence of the society. It takes fashion because we need clothes, we need an identity, innovation, a link to a specific group. If you want to live without all of these, you could live without fashion.