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Interview: Fashion designer Natalia Kaut

Flicking through look books and new collections, I’m always fascinated by the process of creating a fashion masterpiece. All we see is the finished result, by which point the most interesting part of the process is already finished. Sleepless nights, hundreds of draft versions and countless scraps and offcuts of material – this is the part that only the designer remembers. Wouldn’t it be great to draw aside the curtain and see the whole process with your own eyes? We were recently lucky enough to visit the studio of young British designer Natalia Kaut. She shared some of her plans with us, and showed us some of the pieces from her new collection.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. You’re Russian, but as far as I know you’ve been living in London for some time already. How and why did you move here?

I lived in Vienna before moving to London, but in the end I chose London. The architecture, the mix of cultures and the friendly people – all of these things attracted me to London.

How did you develop your interest in clothes and fashion? How did you realize that this was your vocation? 

It happened by accident. I was invited to a ball while I was living in Vienna. I wanted to make sure that this was a moment I would remember, and, of course, to surprise and impress my companion. After a bit of thought, I decided to create my own dress. The result exceeded all my expectations! I received so many compliments, and all the ladies asked me where my stylish dress came from.You could say that this was my first step towards creating my own line of clothes.

Do you remember the first thing you made yourself?

Of course — it was a turquoise dress, made from incredible silk. I still keep it, as a kind of talisman.

Where do you get your inspiration from when you’re in the process of creating a new collection?

I have played the piano since I was very young, and because of that when I need inspiration or need to think about my new collection, I start to play… Sometimes I even think that my music adds a certain charm to my creations. I also travel a lot. Changes of scenery and new cultures always give me new ideas. I take geometrical elements for my collections from the architecture of different countries I visit. I find baroque architecture the most inspirational.

Can you describe the creative process you go through when you’re making a new masterpiece?

There isn’t any specific process — and I think a lot of artists will say the same. It just comes to me. I see silhouettes, colors and even the particular fabric from which a piece needs to be created. It happens spontaneously and very quickly. Sometimes I dream about dresses — I guess that always happens with people who are fascinated by something that they like. I find it’s a bit like to musical improvisation.

Who is Natalia Kaut’s modern woman?

A woman, who is not afraid to experiment. On one day she’ll conquer Everest. On another day, she’ll smoke a cigar and drink whiskey.  On a third day she’ll create a haute couture dress.

You participated in the Russian Fashion Show at the London Russian Maslenitsa festival and won an award in the “Innovative Creation” category. What’s going to be next? Participation in London Fashion Week?

At the Russian Fashion Show we had very strong competition; one of our competitors was Masha Tsigal. But despite this we won the top prize – participation in London Fashion Week. We’ll present our new collection for Spring/Summer 2013. Let’s see how it goes – right now I’m waiting for September!

Do you have any people who you see as your teachers or authorities in fashion?

It goes without saying that if you live in London it’s almost impossible to avoid such great names as Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood. As far as the Russian fashion industry is concerned, my favorite designer is Ulyana Sergeenko.

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?

I’m not thinking that far in advance. Of course, I’m working on developing my brand now and I want to please and surprise my costumers. I’ll try to build interest in my brand with every collection.

Every designer has their personal style. How do you describe your style?

Urban style, which includes basic clothes in dark colors with bright accessories.

Where can we buy clothes from Natalia Kaut?

You can buy them at our internet shop — www.nataliakaut.com

Which goals do you want to achieve in promoting your brand this year?  

We are working hard on creating our new Spring/Summer 2013 collection, which will include two completely different trends. Basically though I’m following a very low key brand development strategy, because we create haute couture pieces. We’re starting to work with Italian showrooms, and also planning to develop our relations with France and Russia.

Special Thanks to Natalia Kaut and Alisa Dobrzinska.

Photographer — Vanessa Sette

FashionByRussian by Olga Druzhinina/Vanessa Sette

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