Urban fashion: an interview with the designer Sorana Barb

Her collection opened UAD Gala in Cluj. And I was in love from the first outfit I saw on that catwalk: “That’s what I need for the fall!”. Therefore, I couldn’t miss the chance and I talked over a coffee, in Cluj, with Sorana Barb, about fashion, style and new challenges of today’s young designers. In the heat (I am not kidding, there were like 35 Celsius degrees outside!), in a beautiful location (Casa Matei Corvin in Cluj) I tried the Autumn/Winter Sorana Barb outfits: heavy leather jackets, edgy anoraks, cool bag made of car rubber floor mats).

alina aliman sorana barb 1

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

I was inspired by urban life; in recent years, this thing has significantly changed human relations with nature and outlined different patterns of behavior and specific typologies. With my collection, “Asphalt”, I proposed a series of outfits that integrates specific urban elements in contemporary fashion, reinterpreting the classic biker jacket and proposing new solutions for the textile surfaces. In an urban environment considered as a chaotic network of lines and figures it was the only element that I found familiar.

Why “Asphalt”?

Asphalt is the material found on the surface of the road, the main source of inspiration for textile experiments; this was the main motivation in choosing this name.

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

About three months; the most difficult part was to find the right materials, in my case natural leather with different textures. Plus, the surface of natural leather is usually damaged or scratched. And I tried to integrate the imperfections in the clothes, therefore I managed to save some important resources.

A funny moment during the process?

I was always amused when I found Mr. Emil Varga, my tailor, trying on the biker jackets before final sewing. He looked so “interesting” dressed with a biker jacket with oversized collar from “Asphalt” collection!

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

My personal style is a little bit retro, a little bit rock, never constant. I love all black outfits, leather jackets, men shirts and comfortable jeans. I would wear “Asphalt” pieces on the streets of some very crowded, vivid city.

Do you remember your first sketch? Your first piece?

My first sketch was for a project at University of Art and Design; it was inspired by the ostrich skin, and it had a lot of oversized volumes on the upper side of the outfit.

The key pieces for Autumn/Winter 2015/2016?

From my point of view, Autumn/Winter season is not about just some pieces, but the reinterpretation of the overall silhouette with oversized volume, fluid, elongated, textured surfaces and leather.

Your all-time favorite designer?

Boris Bidijan Saberi and his Autum/Winter 2015 collection.

The piece we will always find in your collections?

The biker jacket.

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

It would look like “Asphalt”. I am happy that I managed to find the right person to work with, the desired materials. It was the perfect result for me and I do not think that would change anything regardless of resources or location at this time.

Style is…

… a reflection of everyone’s personality in the way of dressing.

What’s next? Collections, school etc…

I would like to accumulate more experience, to take some internships, to go to master courses and, of course, more collections.

Designer Sorana Barb & Alina Aliman

Designer Sorana Barb & Alina Aliman

Photography: Mihai Plătică

Many thanks to Lucian Broscățean & Diana Flore.