UTS Fashion Design Graduates 2009, Talia Shuvalov on working with Alexander McQueen

Here is yet another budding designer to look up to. I'd love to see some of her designs one day. Here is a bit about what she says about her fashion design.

Talia Shuvalov 2009

Bachelor of Design in Fashion and Textiles

Exhibiting Work
In my major work Synthetic Organic, I have been looking at how designers have exaggerated the natural figure through fashion.
My work at the moment covers the progression from organic form to synthetic. It starts with organic shapes and blends into a more robotic image.
I’m focusing on knitware - 98% of the pieces are all knit. I am looking at combining the knit with woven fabrics so creating 3D forms with the knit - something that is proving to be extremely hard!

Working with Industry Contacts in China
I am getting a lot of knits made for me in China. I’ve got a few contacts there, creating two different types of fabric for me (Intarsia knits and velvet devore).
For me this is a really pure way of designing because I am starting the process of design from scratch, designing the actual fabric.
In terms of building these relationships with industry people overseas, it can be hard relying on other people to pull through with your tight deadlines. It has been okay so far and they seem to understand everything pretty well and I seem to understand their limitations.
An issue it has created for me is that it places an extra three weeks on the top of everything else having the fabric made and sent back here. I have had to get things in production well before other students and I am not an extremely organised person usually, I don’t think I’ve even ever owned a diary.

A Family In Fashion
My mum owns an importing company called Sandra Steiner and used to be a knitwear designer in the 80’s, designing for David Jones.
Mum now sells her label to David Jones and around Australia and I’ve had the experience of designing a couple of ranges for her under T.I.S. - which is my initials. This experience has helped me to design to a target market different to myself when in the past I only designed for me.
Mum has been in the business for 25 years.
Ever since I was little my mum has been travelling to Hong Kong for the fashion trade fair. I now go with her in January to meet all her contacts there and help her out. I love it because I can work for her but then drag her to the shops that are open till 10pm.
I pretty much always knew I wanted to work in fashion but at the same time it was something I fought against because mum was in the industry.
Since starting uni however, I haven’t regretted my choice in course at all.

A Bit on Me Work Wise
This year I worked for three and a half months for Alexander McQueen in London.
McQueen has three assistant designers. My boss Holly was the assistant design in textiles and style but he also has an embroider assistant designer and a construction assistant designer.
When I worked there I was enjoying the work so much and was so motivated at the beginning of each day, but at the same time I was getting absolutely no sleep. You were producing all of his ideas at the most insane pace. I had never been able to produce things as quickly in my life. There would be a showing almost every morning to present all the work.
McQueen has contacts at his fingertips that people would only dream about. It takes me five weeks to get a piece of material back from China, it takes him about two days to get this perfect piece of fabric back with not a single change to make. They have photos of people making these fabrics in a workshop and they’re all wearing these lab coats like it’s some kind of science fiction movie – I kept thinking where do I find these people?!
One of the highlights of my experience working with Alexander McQueen was the show in Paris.
It was amazing, really, really amazing. I just never expected to be at one of those shows. It was not a fashion show but a performance. McQueen had sixty different looks. The models were crazy looking, almost like another alien species. The people there were people I would only read about in magazines.
While I was in Paris, I also got to go to the Victor & Rolf show through my job back in Sydney. I work for Parlour X in Paddington and my boss was in Paris at the time and had asked me to help her with her buying. With my boss I went to the showrooms for Balenciaga and Isabel Marant and Herve Leger, they were all an experience in themselves.
The trip to Paris made all the hard work worth it. Those three and a half months with McQueen was just such a crazy experience.

Student profiles

Here is another site worth looking at: http://www.australiandesign.org.au/(A(Srm0i4OKygEkAAAANzJlNTI5ZGMtZGMwMi00NzVlLTgzODYtNjlmNGRkMWU2OTk04Bk-2FwgmsRCmYLRD5Xa2phEdGI1))/LightBoxDetail.aspx?id=134&type=spotlight&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
for more information about rising Australian Fashion Talent. It is a directory for Australian Design such as Industrial, Graphic, Landscape, Digital Media, Furniture.

>>OMG That is SO AMAZING!!! I definately have that to aim for. It just gives me less apprehension about what I can do with my degree. How do i become more like her? How can I get more motivated to achieve like her, or work as hard as her, or to have that much knowledge and contacts and freedom to move creatively?? I suppose the first thing to to tackle each thing step by step. The first thing to do complete my skirt project which is failing dismally. I may think for this time, yes, try hard, yes, get help from teachers because it shows commitment and dedication and they really mark you on that, and then make LOADS of toiles because everything goes wrong CONSTANTLY as i have realised. And I mean, take it like its school. I just dont know why i am still doubting, probably because of my parents. SO, HOW do i stop blaming my parents?

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