How are you doing?
All is fine.
Let’s start with your background: you were born and raised in St Petersburg and were growing up after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Yes, you’re perfectly right. From my early childhood I have always been interested in creative things and knew from the very beginning that I will be involved in that. It took me a while to understand which path to take and only after moving to London I finally realised what I wanted to do. I started a Product Design degree at CSM and after a year I switched to Fashion Design instead.
Why did you choose London as your next destination?
That was my father’s idea. If I’m being totally honest, at that time I couldn’t fully understand why I had to be in London and why I needed this all. Only after graduating from CSM I realised how great and cool that experience was.
What do you think has made an impact on your philosophy towards design and was it London or your background that has helped you to develop your aesthetic?
I think it was London. The clothing that I make has nothing to do with Russia. In fact, it’s not attached to any geographical point. It’s clothing about clothing and fashion about fashion. My aesthetics is a symbiosis of reflections and comments on the current state of fashion, or, quite often, on previous seasons. When approaching design, for me it is important to look the other way round, hence, backwards, and reflect on the past.
This is something that I wanted to touch upon: most of us tend to look ahead when it comes to fashion, hence never-ending obsessions and fashion trends. How does it feel to take the approach that is totally the opposite?
I think it is rather important to look back as I see no point of running forward, especially when the chosen direction is not wright. I try to disregard trends and do things that I consider to be relevant and worth the attention.
So, that means that you focus on topics that you think people have missed out?
Yes, exactly, that’s the right wording. Themes that people don’t pay attention to. Actually, it’s all laying on the surface, however, not everyone is paying attention to it.
Your personal feelings, are they reflected in the clothing you make or you tend to stay abstract when working?
No, it is more about reflecting on fashion and making my comments as opposed to a personal self-expression.
It seems that you always approach design with irony, with a serious irony, if I can put it in this way.
Yes (laughing), with a serious irony, I like the way you’ve phrased it. I should use this phrase more often when describing our work.
The current pace of fashion has impacted many things: there are so many copy cats out there to the extent that, first, it becomes concerning and, second, you start questioning whether there is any depth to it?
Well, it’s fashion, I’m not sure if it meant to be fundamental. Instead, it is seasonal and is always a subject to change. I don’t consider this to be art. It is meant to be capricious. I don’t see any problems with fashion, at least as it is now.
Got you. I’m curious, which messages that you’ve addressed to the audience via your designs you’d highlight so far in your career.
To be fair, I’m more interested to hear what people think about my clothing, so I stay humble about my personal thoughts. One of the recent collections, though, called Nothing Changes, is about cyclicity of fashion. Twelve totally identical jackets were made in that collection and it was very intriguing to observe people’s reactions. We’ve printed the look book and while glancing through, some have noticed that they were, indeed, twelve identical jackets, but others thought it is one jacket captured twelve times instead.
Share your thoughts about menswear: towards which direction you think it is moving and what is happening at the moment?
To be honest, that would be hard to define. I think everything is being simplified and is moving towards merchandise, towards ”souvenir collections”, really. Simple garments, which are easy to wear, to understand and also to sell.
Do you think the same thing is happening in Moscow?
If we take the fashion crowd, my answer would be yes. Those, that are not interested in fashion, in Moscow and in Russia in general, they are far behind and I actually like it. I consider this aspect of ”being out of fashion” as positive. You can still see people that wear out-dated things that before used to be so fashionable. For a designer it’s important to be able to grasp and capture these things. Sometimes it seems like we’re still in the early 2000ies. Russia is rather refreshing because if you’re always around fashionable people, your vision might not as sharp as it can be.
By the way, have you thought of doing womenswear?
Sure. We’ve already made one collection and showcased it in Paris. My friend, Pavel An, is working on the womenswear line under my label. We’ve started with evening dresses and will carry on working on this line. KM20 just hosted the official launch of the collection and also a party to celebrate this. They will also be the first ones to sell it exclusively. If you happen to be in Moscow, you’d be definitely welcome in KM20 to check it out.
That would be my pleasure. KM20 is a unique and very pleasant place.
It is our favourite store in Moscow and they have been supporting us pretty much since my first collection.
You’re based in Moscow at the moment. How do you find the vibes there comparing to your presence in London?
It’s awesome to be here. I feel great, the city has so many interesting people, and the energy in Moscow is totally different compared to London. I like the pace of this city and it just feels great to be living here.
How would you describe this energy and pace?
People are more open here and I think the atmosphere is more sincere. Maybe that’s because I’m in my home country however, I don’t think it is detrimental . Those that visit Russia say the same thing: it is easier to communicate and build meaningful connections with people in here.
Who are your favourite designers?
Pavel An is my favourite. No one else. You will hear about this kid soon, seriously. He’s just sitting next to me at the moment (laughing). I like individuals that have their own and distinct point of view that can’t be compared to anyone else’s. I could name Rick Owens as one of my favourites, for example.
Tigran, what is your definition of style?
Self-sufficiency, own perspective and point of view. Independent thinking.
And how would you describe yours?
You mean, what I wear or what I create/do?
I would like to hear about both.
What I wear is totally opposite of what I draw and create. Nevertheless, I don’t feel the necessity to wear my own designs nor the designs of other designers, whom I respect. It’s sounds controversial but that’s how it is.