Anna Kostina: Costume design and more…

Fashion covers a broad range and we’re glad to feature Anna Kostina this week.  A young graphic and costume designer currently based in London, Anna graduated with BA in Visual Communications at FH Mainz last year.  She is now a freelance costume designer who creates all her exclusive pieces by hand.

Tell us more about yourself and how you became a fashion designer.

I had a classical art education and an early aspiration for creating extravagant dresses and costumes.  As a girl, my mother took me regularly to the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow to see ballet performances like Swan Lake and Nutcracker.  I remember being captured by the beauty and opulence of the stage sets and costumes.  I never wanted the performances to finish because it meant the end of my dream world.

My professional venture into fashion and costume design happened when the Cocoon night club opened and brought the Ibiza craziness to Frankfurt.  The dance performances and the costumes melted together with the music and the crowd in a surreal manner.  It was impressive and I wanted to dip into this world from head to toe so I started to work as a promoter.  Shortly after, I made costumes for the dancers of two very successful party events.

I studied Visual Communication in Mainz, Germany and in Plymouth, UK.  In this course I had the freedom to combine graphic design with art and fashion.  As an example, I have created typographical sweatshirts for couples which revealed terms about relationships according to different constellation of the bodies.  My final BA project was a fashion art magazine called Progressiv.

What inspires you?

19th century art and modern art is a big source of inspiration for me, as well as art magazines and books.  I also follow contemporary illustrators and photographers.  London is incredibly inspiring; I moved here recently and I am in love with this city already.  I could walk around the markets on the weekends forever, looking at the antique and vintage stalls and the fancy crowd.  I do love going out and a night in a club with good electronic music gives me energy that I need for the rest of the week.  My work does refer to club kids like Michael Alig and Kash Point and epic clubs like Studio 54 and the Manumission parties in Ibiza.  They created worlds and special moments and their imperfect lives make them even more interesting to me.

Do you have any favourite designers? Who are they?

One of my favorite designers is Alexander McQueen, a master of extravagant couture.  Cassette Playa aka Carry Mundane from London did inspire me for the cartoon costumes I did for the Fake parties at Cocoon Club.  I also admire Gareth Pugh; his futuristic style is unique and powerful.  He took his aesthetics to a ballet performance I have seen recently at the Royal Opera House in London.  He designed costumes for the dancers and the music was composed by Mark Ronson.  The modern choreography gave ballet a new meaning.  Again, I did not want that performance to be over as I’ve enjoyed it very much.

Tell us more about your Progressiv collection.

The Progressiv collection was my final project at university.  I have designed and made glow-in-the-dark costumes for a black light party.  The look is quite futuristic, colourful and fun.  The dancers who are wearing the costumes do acrobatic performances with poys and wings to techno music.  With that, I have produced a fashion magazine which included a look book and different themed shoots.

I read that you are interning at The Rodnik Band. I love their works! How has it been working at The Rodnik Band?

I have worked at The Rodnik Band for a couple of months now and I like it a lot.  Philip, the head designer is a very fun and friendly person who is easy to work with. All of us in the studio work close together in a busy and creative atmosphere.  My work includes graphic sketching, layout and some sewing.  I designed three crown hats for his last collection which were shown at the London fashion week in February, as well as two bags in the shapes of an egg and a pigeon.  Recently, I worked on the design of the new website for The Rodnik Band.  The next challenge is to create a range of T-shirt prints with iconic designs of Rodnik.  Every day, there is a new challenge and it never gets boring.

What are your plans after the internship?

I’ve had my own label ANA for 5 years now, where I design and create commissioned costumes for parties, events, advertising and editorials as well as for artists from the burlesque or club scene.  I hope to develop it further in London, a city well known to be a creative melting pot.  London has a rich club scene, interesting performers and events where my costumes would be an enrichment.  In parallel, I would like to gain more experience working for other designers with a style similar to mine.  I am also open to collaborate with people from any artistic area.

We hope to see more of Anna in future and perhaps even in Asia!  Speaking of costume design, there is an upcoming Costume Design for Theatre 101 class by Anthony Tan.  The class is held on 10 June 2012, 2pm at the Rehearsal Studio in Esplanade.


X Sybil

(Images from Progressiv collection from Anna Kostina)

About fashionartisan
Bringing out the art in fashion

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