Q&A by shiva shiva for WestEast Magazine.
Q1. Working in 3 different mediums such as costume, set design, and designing accessories what would you say is the common threat for you?
There is always a story.
There is always a reference to history.
It’s about creating an environment. It’s about creating a world, everything from the background all the way to the foreground, including all the small details.
Q2. Your work has been associated with words like: sculptural, fetish, sinister, monochromatic, victorial…How would you describe your designs?
All these words are a correct.
All these words it’s what I try to put behind the collection. I’m delighted to have so many words being associated with the brand, as many time journalists try to associate the brand only with the “Dark” side. Very often we have up to 21 colors for the collection, but I only use one color per piece.
Having so many words associated with the collection it makes me happy, because I try to have a diverse collection.
If you look further in the collection you will also find that it’s glamorous and feminine!
Q3. By you wrapping your objects in leather, is that a way of you rendering them with animate qualities?
It’s true that many people refer to the collection in that way. But I never take it that far. I’m very interested in sciences, art history, and Greek mythology. These are where I take my inspirations.
I use leather as my main subject because I find it controversial, and it’s all about the aesthetic of it for me.
Q4. What inspired the leather-clad skeleton rockers?
When Maria Luisa asked me to do a window display, I never wanted to do a typical jewelry window. I wanted to do something a bit unusual and something with a sense of humor.
Many people associate the leather-clad skeletons with art, but to me it wasn’t about making art. For me it’s fashion, and it’s craftsmanship.
Q5. Why do you utilize leather in your work? What is it about this material that you love so much?
It’s a very noble material. I enjoy using leather because at times it’s not considered glamorous even thou I believe it is.
It’s very elegant in jewelry as it can be in shoes and bags.
Leather in jewelry ages just the same way it does in shoes and handbags. People are not used to the concept of their jewelry aging with them.
The leather starts chipping away after years, and you come to discover the life beneath.
I enjoy using leather as my subject because people come to discover the life under, and leather is always glamorous.
Q6. In what ways working with Oliver Theysken has influenced your designs?
I was very happy to be part of his team. He looks at every single detail for perfection, which is something I do in my creative process.
He designs from inside / out. If he has an idea or a dream he doesn’t stop to see what others think. He is very loyal to himself and his ideas.
My approach it’s always been the same, and I will always try to be honest to my vision, and will not give into commercialism.
Just like Oliver, I try to only think about the creative aspect of the collection.
Q7. All of your followers understand that every collection tells us a story, or a myth… What was A/W 09 collection inspired by and what kind of story is it trying to tell us?
The starting point was the human body.
The details of veins.
Drawings of the human body.
With adding abit of punk spirit.
Q8. Since our fall issue is themed ADVENTURE, What and where is Natalia’s ideal adventure?
Turning my inspiration and creativity into a business.
Having the freedom and taking risks.
I feel so lucky that people are responding to my brand. It’s the best adventure for me.
Q9. Which myths or animals would you compare your brand with?
Horse because they are noble
Birds because they fragile.
Q10. To what extent do you think the fashion industry rewards or punishes the adventurous designers out there?
The real reward comes from people that love the brand.
Behind everything there is a lot of pressure, work and effort.
I feel so fortunate to be perceived in markets such as USA and Asia.