Emerging Designer: Irina Dzhus
1. Designer Name?
2. Where are you based?
3. Where did you study fashion design? What was that experience like?
I studied at Kyiv National University of Technologies and Design, which, however, appeared to be quite a disappointment: the education was out of date and way too theoretical, with no connection to the nowadays fashion industry and modern technologies. Therefore, I managed to do an internship with a conceptual Ukrainian designer Victoria Krasnova, in between my studies - and that has become a priceless experience for me.
4. Please tell me about your current Spring/Summer collection? What was your inspiration?Our Spring/Summer line is dedicated to the process of apparel manufacturing, celebrating the technological aspect in all its peculiarity. Using experimental patternmaking techniques, I constructed garments that feature radical transformations: trousers are modified into a jacket almost instantly, a bag can be worn as either a top or a skirt, and a voluminous hood vanishes once flatly folded.
5. I love that your line is made out of cruelty free materials, what materials do you use?
My choice of fabrics and finishes SS19 plays up the ‘in progress’ condition of the garments, which I’ve always found the most enrapturing stage of creation. Inspired with the genuineness and imperfection of mock-ups and prototypes, I created exaggeratedly structured details, exposed seams and threads, and used cottons resembling crumpled paper for some of the styles. You’ll also find denim, chaotically pleated weightless fabrics and sheer gauze details in our Spring/Summer collection.
Since we don’t specialise in footwear or fur-looking pieces, our cruelty-free sourcing isn’t that notable. Mentioning that we just never use non-ethical materials might sound insignificant, however, if only you knew how many times I found some small leather details (labels do count!) on clothing I ordered online, which wasn’t mentioned in the description. Thus, vegetarians will definitely appreciate that we dispel their doubts from the beginning, ensuring them that all our products meet their moral values.
6. Why is this important to you?
My highest priority as an individual and a creator is ethical consumption and production. I’m convinced that no product, be it a masterpiece or an essential, is worth a living creature’s suffering. However, I must say that our cruelty-free production has never been the main concept of DZHUS – it’s the basic standard we work to. To us, it’s rather odd to realise that other options are still considered acceptable.
7. When did you start designing? What led you to that direction?
I remember myself at the age of 5, dreaming to be a fashion designer. I was so inspired with the phenomenon of clothing and the fashion industry with all its shows and magazines, that I couldn't help watching and drawing. Thus, I went to a children’s art school to develop my skills. At 7 or 8, I scrap-booked and laid out my own magazine, with sketches, articles and even cosmetic ads. I was probably 12 when I’ve developed my first unique design concepts, which began the primary steps on my way to DZHUS’ identity.
8. Please tell me one of your favorite designers and why?
I’ve always felt a strong connection between my approach to design and Martin Margiela’s work principles. Some of his designs are the most outstanding creations I’ve ever seen. I just adore Margiela’s revolutionary attitude towards patternmaking and fashion as such.
9. What is your goal for the next upcoming years as a designer?
I aim at extending our international stockists list, to provide an opportunity of a more convenient, physical shopping for DZHUS’ followers all over the world, providing our like-minded souls with more opportunities to discover and feel our creations.
Street Talk, which supports emerging brands that merit being discovered and what’s happening in fashion.
Interview by Alison Hernon, Editor-In-Chief, PhotoBook Magazine.