This past November Yalda the Label participated at the second annual Caspian Fashion Week in Astrakhan, Russia. She was the only designer from Iran alongside designers from different regions in parts of Russia and several other countries. For the SS16 season, Yalda presented a light but luxurious collection contrasting white with traditional tapestry. We sat down with Yalda to better grasp her experience in Russia.
Can you tell our viewers and us how your experience varied via The Caspian Fashion Week and the Russian audience?
It was very different from what I’ve known and experienced here in Iran; I enjoyed every second of being in the process and getting to know the audience. They were all very friendly and kind. What I loved the most was that other than the collection they saw on the runway, they wanted to get to know me personally.
What is the story behind your collection?
My collection was inspired by Persian motifs such as Persian carpets and other elements like mirrors used in old Persian palaces mixed with a touch of modernity.
Would it be possible to know about one of your favorite projects from other designers/artists?
One of my favorites was a handbag designer from Moscow, DianaGrebvena. On the runway, the models were simple and chic, yet avant-garde in their hair and makeup. At the finale, there was a snow effect on the runway that created a unique ambiance for showcasing the bags and presenting the models.
Who are some of your design heroes?
My all time favorite designer is Alexander McQueen because he believed in his roots. I used to get amazed by him in every way possible. From the way, he came up with his designs and the dark side of his life, which I was visible in his collections. Each piece he made is a work of art; he truly was a genius of a generation.
Would you say being a fashion designer or even following the trends is a luxury or extravagance reserved only for a select few?
Definitely no. You can be trendy and stylish without spending a fortune on brands; you can always mix and match the things you have in your wardrobe and come up with new designs and styles. I actually started to re-design the clothes and shoes I already had in my closet that hadn’t worn in many years. Doing this was one of my first steps towards finding my passion for fashion and becoming a designer.
What would you change in the fashion industry if you had a chance?
Fashion is about wearing what suits your personality and body type and being comfortable in it at the same time. It is not just following the trends without having and knowing your own style. People can be trendy and stylish and confident in the things they wear and the way they look at the same time. Some don’t understand this.
What is your opinion on the Iranian fashion industry?
I admire how the industry is developing every day and also the progress of young designers who are able to have their own brands these days. The amount of young boys and girls who are working in the fashion industry in Iran is also something to note. They can find their own voice by designing what they love. Fashion in Iran has a lot of potential for growing.
Which part of your design process is the most challenging considering the Iranian industry?
For me personally it’s advertising and sharing a point of view without forcing an opinion. This is one of the most challenging things I have to do as a designer. I also have to create things that stand out, but that are different from other designers, which is at the same time wearable in the country I’m living.
How do you improve yourself and your collections?
I try to find my inspirations in every place I visit and from different cultures and what I’m getting to know. At the same time, details come across my mind in my daily life in Tehran, such as the architecture of the crossing roads and the mixture of old and new buildings and the conflict of, for example, crowded and noisy Tehran and the calmness of nature outside of the capital.
We’re interested in helping people grow in their careers. Where do you see yourself in 5 years and how do you plan to get there?
I would also like to establish and manage my own brand and style and to become a known designer. I plan to keep on participating in other fashion weeks in foreign countries as well as my own country.
The third season of The Caspian Fashion Week will take place from April 21st -24th 2016. If you are interested in presenting your FW2016/17 collection at CFW send us an e-mail at email@example.com