At only 22, recent London College of Fashion MA graduate Emilia Bariamova joins a wave of conceptual knitwear designers offering a highly skilled, artistically hand knitted collection that is rooted in deep and meaningful inspiration.
Emilia has taken the intimate and intense exposure of fighting with ones’ own confused state of mind and related it to the metaphorical process of knitting; creating comfort and protection through a tangled web of yarn that embodies a visual expression of a personal ‘breathing space’.
Hey Emilia, where do you hail from?
Originally from Moscow, Russia
Where did you study before the London College of Fashion (LCF)?
Moscow State Academy of Fine Chemical Technology. I did a degree in Chemistry for a year to please my parents but realised it wasn’t really my passion.
So you came to England to study fashion?
Yes, I studied a fashion foundation course, and got a BA Hons in Surface Textiles for Fashion and then MA Fashion, all at LCF. Also, I undertook work placements with Alexander McQueen and Russian designer Chapurin and others.
What was it like to study at LCF?
Your collection pays tribute to tradition and craft through knitting. Is this something you feel strongly about and if so why?
I do, actually. Living in the environment where most things are disposable and everything changes so fast, I find that people lose the appreciation of craftsmanship and perhaps, even quality.
Your collection uses colour to depict an emotional journey. Do you feel colour is an important metaphor for emotion and feelings?
I am very interested in psychology and always take my inspiration from various experiences and matters. I believe each colour carries a huge subliminal impact. Therefore, when starting a collection, I choose a colour palette. Personally, I love observing the shades of nail varnishes on people and whether they fit with the rest of the look; in their silence they speak volumes.
Do you have a favourite colour that you feel represents you?
I like them all. But if you ask me which colour do I relate myself to at the moment, I’d say deep purple.
Knitwear designers such as Sandra Backlund and Simone Shailes are gaining a lot of media attention at the moment. Do you think there is a gap in the market for more directional knitwear?
Possibilities in knitwear are endless. And, it’s great that there are emerging young talents that challenge the perception and purpose of knitwear. Raising awareness and creating trends for conceptual knitwear, which border-lines between art and fashion, definitely forms a solid gap in the market.
Which designers would you say most influence your work/ or do you aspire to?
I aspire to Ann Demeulemeester, Nicholas Ghesquiere, Stella McCartney, Coco Chanel and Sandra Backlund.
Can you describe your personal style?
Androgynous, eclectic and experimental.
What is your biggest personal achievement?
Perhaps, looking from prospective, I’d say moving from Moscow to London at the age of 16 on my own, not knowing anyone in UK.
What are you hopes and plans for the future?
I hope one day my dreams will come true, I plan on working hard to achieve it. (just kidding!).
I’ve got lots of plans, which are not necessarily related to fashion. Apart from launching my own luxury label in few years time, I would like to build a shelter for women in Russia and open my own chocolate factory.
Sitting comfortably next to the likes of Swedish knitting queen Sandra Backlund and recent Central Saint Martins graduate Simone Shailes, Emilia’s dreams of opening her own chocolate factory may have to be put on hold as we believe this is one insightful designer to keep your eye on.
- Brick by Brick
- Swedish Fashion Exhibition
- R/H Label, fashion design from Finland: meet Hanna Riiheläinen and Emilia Hernesniemi
- London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Mark Fast
- Q&A with Finnish fashion designers Hanna Riiheläinen and Emilia Hernesniemi of R/H Label