Stalked: Polina Charalambous, Emerging Fashion Designer.
13 February 2015
One of my biggest passions when blogging is interviewing todays emerging designers and in the run up to London Fashion Week all eyes are on these guys! I've selected a few of my favourites, starting with the lovely Polina, who graduated this year. Born and raised in Cyprus, Polina Charalambous is a designer that believes inspiration comes in a variety of forms from books, poetry and music, to personal ideas, thoughts and experiences.
I caught up with her for a stroll along the Embankment and chat about her current work.
What do you love about being a designer and how did you get into fashion?
All disciplines of design act as a form of expression mainly for the designers but also for the people that choose to interact with it by seeing it, using it, reposting it and wearing it. People wearing my garments to express their mood, feelings, opinions, style and anything really.. it can’t get much better than that.
Did you always know you wanted to do something related to art and design.
In Cyprus at school I mainly explored still life drawing and fine art so I decided to expand my horizons with a foundation diploma where I could explore all disciplines. Fashion was my second rotation and after that I lost all interest in anything else, as I found what I wanted to do. After that I started reading every book in the library that related to fashion, I followed up on all the trends and all the shows, I started noticing more what people around me were wearing. I started forming concepts that could develop into collections and noting them down for the future. I picked my favourite designers and then I picked them again and again until I finally found a few that stuck and slowly I started forming an identity and a personal handwriting of my own.
What influences your designs?
Anything can trigger an idea really from art, poetry, music, books to personal thoughts and experiences. I seek for inspiration in new and unexplored areas by utilising neglected objects and crafts. I find that the past is a vital ingredient when moving forward. Respecting heritage, history and tradition and how they altered fashion over the years. I have learned to appreciate forgotten crafts and commend the slowness of the making process. Mixing my passion for researching the overlooked and my love for historical and traditional references is what drives my design process.
If you could live in another city where would it be and why?
Berlin! When I was doing my placement at PUMA in Nuremberg for a year I visited Berlin a few times and every time fell in love with it even more. There is so much street style, history and culture to draw inspiration from.
How would you describe your personal style?
It depends on my mood really but no matter what comfort is a key. There are days were I really just want to stay warm and cozy with heavy knitwear and a pair of jeans and times where I want to take on the world in a serious and sophisticated outfit. I would say it shifts from minimal and masculine with a feminine twist to simple casual oversized and loose silhouettes.
Where do you shop in London and where do you eat?
For clothes I love & Other Stories, Cos and Toast – as I really like their silhouette shapes and innovative pattern cutting. For home décor and candles I lose myself in Anthropologie and for beauty and bath products I literally can spend hours in Lush with all the different scents and products. Where do I eat. - probably the hardest question to answer as I am a foodie. If I had to choose now it would be the Refinery. I also love cooking at home and experimenting with food. I look for new recipes, mix them and most of the time I am not sure of the outcome. I have my grandmothers recipes as a back-up.
Follow Polina on her journey through fashion on Instagram here.
Five items you can't live without?
My perfume. (Lolita Lempicka)
My burgundy jacket.
My sunglasses which I rarely get to use in the UK but they are always in my bag.
Books from my beloved authors. I like to re-read all my favourite parts.
My neck pendant, which is 3 different pendants each a gift from my father, mother and sister.
And I know it’s not an item but I cannot live without my music.. I listen to it everywhere.. even at night to help me fall asleep.