Folklore in style: an interview with the designer Nadejda Iacubina

When you see 26 fashion mini-collections in just one evening, it is hard to remember which one was which and what was the name of everyone. But it wasn’t my case. At least not for Nadejda Iacubina’s collection, “Mărită-mă, mamă” (Marry me, mother): nice outfits, excellent textures and a well put together concept. So I tried on one of her designs and I talked with Nadejda about the challenges of being a young designer today, about dreams and future collections.

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What was the inspiration’ source for the collection you have presented at UAD (University of Art and Design from Cluj) Gala?

The key words for the collections were: genesis, marriage, ritual, sacred, profane, eros, proposal, folklore, reconstruction, deconstruction. The concept of my collection was based on reconstruction and deconstruction of folk costume from a personal perspective, brought in modern era. The story is a personal vision of Țara Moților tradition, the “Târgul de fete de pe Muntele Găina” (Maidens’ Fair on Găina Mountain), the tradition with a sacred significance. The girls were waiting there to be proposed by the boys, on the very spot of the mountain (and they prepared themselves for days for these meetings); sometimes, the wedding takes place there. And the tradition says that this kind of wedding is a blessed one. In the end, no matter what is the reason for which two people are getting married, the wedding has a festive character and includes a lot of rituals. My purpose was to accentuate the sacred-profane bond.

Why “Mărită-mă, mamă”?

Every girl dreams about her wedding and every girl is looking forward to get in to the “mature” league, but most of all, every young girl wants to be part of a fairytale. “Mărită-mă, mamă” (Marry me, mother) is the phrase used by the young girl in order to announce her parents that she is ready for the next stage in her life.

How long did it take you to actually put together the collection?

The final year of University I was focused on this project. And probably the hardest thing was to put my idea into practice. It takes a long and complicated journey from the textile sample to the finished pieces. I ordered some materials; some textures are hand-made by myself, like the wool fabric made through a special technique, the golden collage on the leather and the raw cotton. For the beautiful necklaces I collaborate with my colleague from Design class, Dragalina Triscari and for the shoes I had the support of Marelbo. My collection was accessorized with wooden bags (the design is also mine) and they are inspired from the folklore, as well, from wooden chests for young brides.

A funny moment during the process?

I had too many sketches and too many idea for the collection and I couldn’t decide; and I had my revelation on the last moment, when I had to present the concept.

Do you remember your first sketch? Your first piece?

Oh, yes, I think my first sketch was very clumsy; I remember that I had to work on a project and I drew some elongated models, with legs so long… but technically and chromatically it was a nice one. My first piece was a skirt; I am a perfectionist, therefore I sewed and disassembled the skirt until I was satisfied with the result. I even wore it.

What’s your personal style? Where would you wear one of your designs?

I still try to discover myself. I am eager to try something I haven’t tried before and to put together outfits that are totally different from what I would normally wear. I like to be casual for now, but I am sure that won’t take long to change my mood.

The key pieces for Autumn/Winter 2015/2016?

I don’t like to point at some trends; I think that everybody makes his/her own style. I really think we should dress according to our figure, with some clothes that put us in the light. I know for sure that I will always have oversized shirts and T-shirts in my wardrobe.

Your all time favorite designer?

I don’t have one. I watch many designers, I like to analyze their creations, I like everything is new and fresh and I like to put my work into the context and to compare myself with others. But I do appreciate the designers from Prada and Dior. And I would like to make an internship at Prada.

The piece we will always find in your collections?

I don’t think I have one. I always try not to repeat the designs and to invent something new. Maybe in time I will have a signature piece, who knows?

Imagine you have unlimited resources and the show could take place anywhere in the world…

It would be a couture collection; those details, that amount of beautiful work – a couture design is a piece of art for me.

Style is…

… your personality expression.

What’s next? Collections, school etc…

I don’t really have a fixed plan; life is full of surprises and I learnt how to be flexible. I would like to take master courses, to go to London for studies, to stay in this fashion industry and to have something to say, relevent, in this field.

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Designer Nadejda Iacubina & Alina Aliman

Photography: Mihai Plătică

Many thanks to Lucian Broscățean & Diana Flore and Casa Matei Corvin, Cluj Napoca

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