Kristina versus Cristina
Two of the most interesting personalities of Romanian fashion agreed to answer our questions about their world, source of inspiration, the future of the Romanian fashion and last, but not least, about the poetry of the avant-garde. Ladies and gentlemen, Kristina Dragomir and Cristina Săvulescu!
The story of the most beautiful hats in the world begins with an idea which is pronounced, it then begins to take shape and then becomes a hat. Kristina Dragomir is the hat designer who knows best what an idea, shape and hat means. Because the manufacture of such an accessory is not simple, Kristina tries to give life to hats – personality in order to facilitate their existence. Thus, we are dealing with the spectacular characters and textures that build dramatic volumes and emblematic figures, accompanied by a futuristic air and the energy of the one who created them: Kristina Dragomir.
You are among the first designers who have built creative passion around hats. Why? What makes the hat to be more attractive to you than, for example, fashion design?
Hats help me to best express my ideas and add new facets to the concept of sculpture using unusual materials. Modeling a hat is similar with sculpture; it is an art described by the spatial exposition of 3D shapes on human heads. I can say that I am the first Romanian artist, in the last 60 years who transformed this craft into art and managed to bring the hat in the everyday style of the Romanian women.
How has the market evolved and what is the profile of the hat buyers in Romania?
In Romania women want to stand out and not to hide in the crowd. We have in our generation women who have the grace and boldness to wear special hats even in the most ordinary occasions. I challenge these young ladies constantly with my hat design.
After all, what is a hat? What is the essential difference between an ugly hat and a beautiful one?
If what you wear is a hat, then it’s no good. The hat is not an object. It should be a natural expression of feminine aesthetic discourse. Not an attached accessory. I firmly believe that the hat and the head should form a coherent unit. That is why I try every time to create heads and not simply hats. The hat represents primarily the personality of the woman which is wearing it. She is the one who will make of this enhancement a very special one or an extremely ordinary one.
In a few words … what is the process of creation and production of a of hat collection?
I always have a concept and then I shape around sculptural forms. Each object is first outlined in sketches on paper creating a block of wood. Later this block is carved by craftsmen following my sketches. Once the block is ready the hat enters into the whole process of making, requiring the work of an entire team of professionals.
I started this collaboration around one and a half years ago and it is a great honor and a culmination of my work. A milestone in increasing Kristina Dragomir brand awareness was the moment when Princess Margaret of Romania wore my creations at the Royal Ascot, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Royal Marriage in Luxembourg.
Each collection you create discusses a theme, a concept. How would the hat you think of right now look like?
A spectacular piece that will outline essentially an animal figure in the purest realism, because reality is not represented by external form, but by the idea behind it, as complex as it is conceptualized.
Your creations are now sold all over the world. How did Kristina Dragomir become a successful brand in Romania and abroad?
My latest collection presented in Paris at Tranoi fair was included in L’Eclaireur portfolio, one of the oldest and most famous Parisian concept stores; in the concept store in Brussels Marc by Marc Jacobs and in the prestigious Japanese concept store International Beams and Swinger International / Milan, with pieces available online through farfetch.com. Thus, the brand Kristina Dragomir can be found now on the same list with all major fashion brands in the world, especially because both L’eclaireur and Beams choose to present renowned international designers .
Your favorite quote about hats…
Heads Not Hats “Art is the magic mirror that we create in order to turn our invisible dreams into visible images. In order to see our faces we are using a mirror; for our soul we are using the works of art” (George Bernard Shaw)
Any dress signed by Cristina Săvulescu carries a story written just for one character: the one who wears it. Carefully constructed, the clothes that bear her name are the next obsession of a woman prepared for life. Complex design, sensible materials and a strong obsession of a well defined waist – these are the strengths of good brand: Cristina Săvulescu.
Cristina Săvulescu is a new name on the Romanian fashion design market. For those who still do not know you… How would you present yourself?
I block every time I have to talk about myself. I’m the creative director of the brand that bears my name, a brand that has emerged from the desire to express myself creatively. I haven’t always been passionate about fashion, but I discovered that fashion hides all those fields of study that I have always been passionate about: art, business, psychology and sociology. I would say that fashion allows me to exorcise my demons but it also gets me down to earth through rigorous business plans and marketing strategies. I do not aspire to invent new shapes, I prefer to work with history. I always liked to tell stories, that’s why I initially chose journalism. When I start a new collection I draw the woman first, I explore her hidden desires, discover her weaknesses, I create her universe.
All your collections reveal a secret passion for the waist, lace and corset. Was this a unique and difficult mission?
I realized that I have an obsession with the waist, while experiencing different patterns in the studio. Moreover, every time I open a fashion history album I get excited when I see the corseted waist, laces and strangled breasts. Lace is extremely interesting. Lace seems perverse. A lace corset can be
worn by an immaculate bride and by a prostitute in a brothel. It’s a striking contrast between the symbolism of lace; lace can be naive and delicate or sophisticated and sensual depending on your personality.
Although have just started, your name and especially your creations haven’t gone unnoticed. Why ?
My creations talk about myself and people feel when its creator “bleeds” for a garment, however trivial it may seem for a specialist in design. I chose to invest in quality fabrics which was a risky bet financially but I won it. For each collection I choose to work with a highly creative team and I put my creations in the spotlight.
How do you define the profile of Cristina Săvulescu’s creations?
The woman who chooses to wear a dress Cristina Săvulescu is in a relationship with her body; she knows what to hide, where to tighten, what to cover and what to show. She knows that there is a fine line between an alluding transparency and vulgar transparency; she appreciates the quality of fabrics and she probably has a box of fetishes in a corner of her soul.
If you were to make a top of five of your favorite designers, who would it be?
Alexander McQueen , Raf Simons , Rei Kawakubo , Rick Owens , Vivienne Westwood . Each of them were talking about themselves in their creative approach independent of trends, Pantone reports or the fashion direction which is increasingly directed towards consumerism.
Elegance, is often misunderstood. How would you define this concept so overused today?
While it may sound like a cliché, elegance is a state of mind, a matter of interior construction. You can be elegant in a lace dress, in a traditional Romanian blouse or in a leather jacket wearing rubber boots. As much as I appreciate the clothes, elegance is not about them. Want to be stylish? Check your posture, gestures, language, the environment you live in, what you read, the music you listen to and at the end you will get to the wardrobe.
It is often thought that a lace dress cannot capture an intelligent design. What is your opinion?
If we would do a retrospective into fashion, we would see that absolutely any type of fabric can create a smart set, no fabric should be underestimated. I noticed in the latest edition of Premier Vision that textile industry keeps the brands hopelessly in love with lace. For instance, Solstiss and Sophie Halette introduced lace on neoprene, leather, thick fabric. Such combinations allow you to be creative, to play with shapes and volumes.
If you had to choose another city to live in as a fashion designer, which would you pick ?
It would be a difficult choice between London and Paris. Actually it’s a choice I have to make right now. Beyond this exercise of imagination, I will soon go in one of those cities as a student.