FASHION SHOW NOTES
Interview by Alex Lucas - Edited by Bronte Billings
Elena Ciuprina is a Moldavian illustrator and fashion designer based in Kraków, Poland. She recently won first prize in Fashion Illustration at Art & Fashion Forum 2015, where Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, fashion designer, commended her work; an accomplishment we couldn’t find more deserving considering how stunning her work is.
Hi! My name is Elena Ciuprina, I’m Moldavian illustrator and fashion designer based in Krakow. I love to create new shapes through inventive pattern making. I add color and beauty to everyday life through fashion illustration. I'm color lover, I delight people’s eyes and awaken their imagination.
How did you become interested in fashion illustration and fashion design?
To this day, I remember how instead of taking typical apron knitting craftsmanship class at school I entered a classroom of Elena Ghemu with all her fashion illustrations, designs, and clothing hanging on the walls. I was amazed at how beautiful they all were, how powerful she looked in her clothes, and how very different they were from the gray and grim reality of Moldova in those years when everyone dressed the same. I was 12 back then and this was when I fell in love with fashion illustration and design. I wanted this superpower of self-expression for myself and I’ve been working hard to master it ever since.
Where do you get your inspiration for your work?
In photojournalism, especially works of Henri Cartier-Bresson, fashion shows, fashion campaigns, street style, and contemporary architecture.
What is your creative process like?
First I research, gathering all the things like photos and articles that catch my eye and I start to develop the main idea, concept, atmosphere, composition, and color pallette.
Then I make little composition sketches and start painting with watercolor or ink. I really like watercolor technique because you can’t control it 100%, and it often surprises me with beautiful color mixes and unexpected blots. :)
After, I scan my sketches and use Photoshop to play with the composition, scaling different elements or multiplying them.
What was your inspiration for this series of illustrations?
I was inspired by Spring Summer 2016 collections: Ann Demeulemeester, Hermes, Creatures of Comfort, Haider Ackermann. Also, by scenography of fashion shows atmosphere and most interesting trends I observed.
In Ann Demeulemeester collection, women were extremely elegant, mysterious and had a contrast between black suiting, sheerness and powerful accessories. It was so eye catching and great that I couldn't resist interpreting in my illustrations. Hermes had a great part of the spring collection with dresses, top, and pants all in scarlet and cherry-red color blocks and white geometric lines. So warm, so full of energy!
Creature of Comfort had the a vivid look of interesting cherry red dress layered under red shorts. And of course, my favorite, the Haider Ackernamm show with contemporary urban fashion gang, great "punk" styling and unique atmosphere.
Do you have a favorite brand of watercolor & ink you like to use?
My favorite inks are Winsor & Newton and Talens Ecoline. "White Nights" and "Schmincke" are my favorite watercolors.