News & Runway

An Interview with Designer and Project Runway Winner Irina Shabayeva

Irina Shabayeva

Irina ShabayevaKnown for her amazing details and craftsmanship in her garments, Irina Shabayeva is a fashion force to be reckoned with. Since her win on Project Runway, her success as a designer continues to rise. Currently, she is gearing up for New York Fashion Week next month and can't wait for all the new things going on with her company in addition to the new collection. Stay tuned for her upcoming e-store that's currently in production as well as her own flagship store that should be opening this year. We caught up with Irina to talk about all this and more.

the Fashion Spot: What is new for your collection this season?

Irina Shabayeva: My working is always evolving and morphing. I think that is what I love about designing. I always want to come up with something new and exciting while staying true to who I am as a designer. This season I am inspired by the Elizabethan Era. I will be using very rich fabrications with a lot of modern tailoring.

tFS: Is that what we will be seeing at your presentation next month at NY Fashion Week?

IS: Yes, I will be showing in the Grand Ballroom of the Eventi Hotel on 6th Ave. It's a perfect room for the collection. The room is very grand and royal.

tFS: How exciting! Can you give us a little glimpse into what we might expect to see?

IS: This collection has a lot of drama! It's all about having each look be its own story, which is why we are having a presentation instead of a runway show.

tFS: Presentations are definitely a great way to really get a good look at each piece. Your Fall 2011 show had some great use of cut-out accents in a couple looks, which is an effect I just love. Will we be seeing it in any of your new stuff?

IS: The laser cuts were a huge hit and a lot of fun! This collection is more about tailoring.

tFS: How about your famous feathers or the illusion of feathers, which you've used a lot in the past?

IS: I love feathers too!! There is definitely a chance you will be seeing feathers!

tFS: How about your bridal collections? Do you ever show them at different bridal weeks?

IS: We will definitely be showing in the coming bridal weeks. We also host a lot of trunk shows across the country in some of the best bridal shops. You can also expect to see bridal gowns in my fall presentation.

tFS: Great. So, what do you think truly defines a designer when it comes to aesthetic and technique?

IS: I think you have made it as a designer when you have your own distinct look that is very much unique and your own. People should know and recognize your work by just looking at it. As far as technique, fit is a huge part of what defines a designer. Women will always remember a good slimming fit and always come back to you for it. Being a woman, I know how much fit matters!

tFS: Absolutely true. In what ways is your design process for your bridal collections different from your other collections?

IS: Designing bridal is a lot more creative and difficult in some ways. Brides are very picky! You also have to manage to please the bride, her mom, and maybe a few of her best friends.

tFS: Okay. Tell me about Luxe by Irina. What was your initial concept for the line?

IS: I have had so much fun designing Luxe! The concept for the Luxe line was to create a great "LUXE" product at a great price and available to purchase easily. The initial concept was to create fabulous knitwear and outerwear with faux fur touches.

tFS: And, how has your initial idea evolved since then?

IS: The Luxe line has grown; we are now also designing dresses and accessories in addition to the knits. You can expect to see a lot more of Luxe! I will be showing the new Luxe collection on HSN in September and November of 2012.

tFS: I'll have to tune in. Having been an actual winner of Project Runway, what do you think of the latest installment, Project Runway All Stars?

IS: I love the concept of the show. It's great to see best of the best compete.

tFS: Have you kept in touch with anyone from the show or do you pretty much just do your own thing?

IS: I kept in touch with a few of the designers after the show, but it gets tough with living in defferent cities and the demands of the fashion industry to keep in touch.

tFS: Okay, let's get back to your designs. I'm dying over the Silver and Gold Lame' Prism Crystal Cocktail Mini that's featured on your website. What went into creating this piece?

IS: Thank you! That particular pattern probably has a million pieces to it. The dress has gold and silver lame' fabric to mimic facets of quartz. It was like sewing a puzzle together; it was quite labor intensive.

tFS: It definitely looks it. The details are gorgeous. Overall, being that it's the beginning of the year, what's your fashion resolution for 2012?

IS: My fashion resolution is to keep growing my company.