Interview with Anastasia of NUIT Clothing
April 3, 2014 § Leave a comment
NUIT Clothing is dedicated to a luxurious, minimalist style that balances both historical and futuristic inspirations, creating a strong look with pieces that have a metamorphic dynamic with the body. “My favourite part of designing is transforming things that inspire my imagination into physical objects,” says Anastasia, the designer and entrepreneur behind it all. Her clothing embodies dichotomies – between romanticism and starkness, between the natural world and the urban – brought perfectly together in black.
What does your office/studio look like? What kinds of things do you keep around you for inspiration? What kinds of soundscapes do you surround yourself with?
I work in a space with big windows and lots of greenness in the summer/snow in the winter. I feel closely connected with and inspired by nature all year round. I have many found objects on surrounding shelves. I usually listen to minimal classical/contemporary music, but I do also enjoy working in silence.
Can you tell me more about the found objects on your shelves? What do they mean to you?
The objects on my shelves reflect my aesthetic and set a mood for me to create in. They capture: nature, vitality/mortality and human efforts in art throughout history. I have quite a few bones, candleholders and pieces of religious/devotional art.
What does a typical workday look like for you? What is your schedule like?
I wake up early and plan what I will create that day. I will work all through daylight hours and rest/cook/relax in the evening.
What kinds of software and computing devices, if any, do you use to get your work done?
I mostly use online resources (tumblr, instagram), as well as basic Microsoft Office tools. Mostly, I collect hardcover notebooks to organize and plan.
What kinds of tools do you use? How do you use them? What is your creative process like?
I use cloth, leather, cutting tools and sewing machines. I like to use paper as an initial creative canvas, instead of fabric. I usually make my patterns by cutting, pinning and adjusting sheets of paper and then finally making a prototype (sample) out of cloth.
What kind of mental processes help you get work done?
I like to be inspired while I work. I tend to envision the final garment in it’s completeness. This “final form” inspires me and keeps me working towards my goals.
What does “handmade” mean to you?
It means, made by one person or a team of closely bound associates with the same goal. I also think handmade implies a more limited production of items.
How far do you feel something can be automated or outsourced before it is no longer handmade? What do you feel is the role of intent/passion in determining if something is handmade?
Personally, I think handmade implies that an object is made in the presence of the designer/creator. If one is running a salon/workshop/studio they can still be closely associated with the production of their own designs. For example, many renaissance masters ran their studios in such a way where they would assign some of the more time-consuming areas of a painting to their apprentice(s), and only work on specific/complex details (such as faces) themselves. Nevertheless, they would still bear authorship for their art.
I do think it is different in every case. To me, unity in time, space and vision has a lot to do with an object being “handmade”, but this is my personal view. Outsourcing to individual craftspeople, for all intents and purposes, is still hand-work! I think the most general but precise definition that I can come up with is that hand-made objects are not mass-produced.
What inspires you in the creation of your objects?
Music, images and characters I invent in my head. I invent the person for whom I create: I think about their existence in their world, their favourite things, their friends, their loves, their energy.
What kind of music and images inspire you? Can you tell more about the characters you imagine?
I am inspired by dark romantic images and landscapes. I love wild and raw nature, open expanses of land. I also love sleek and minimalist architecture, especially when it is found in nature (ex. Russian Futurist Architecture.) In individuals, I am inspired by contrast, adornment and lack thereof and most of all personality. I define personality as the ability and courage to transform your inner realm into an outer representation.
What do the objects you create mean to you?
They feel a bit like talismans to me. They are something I pour my energy and attention into and pass them on to others. I think any object which is so personally inspired and created, naturally carries some of the energy of the creator.
How do you see the relationship you have with people who buy your clothing?
I feel like we are part of a cycle of mutual inspiration. When my creations are worn by unique individuals, I am inspired to create. I love seeing my garments in photographs and as part of some creative endeavour. I am also inspired by the way that my garments are interpreted through the lens of individual style. It brings me great pleasure to know that I can contribute to someone’s creative process.
What do the materials you use mean to you?
I love using materials which have an otherworldy quality…either in colour or form. They represent a heightened state.
What are your favorite materials to use?
I love working with leather, denim, wool and stretch fabrics. I think natural fibers have their own special beauty and I try to compliment that beauty with unique drape and fit. I am always interested in using traditional materials in non-traditional ways and pushing the ways in which fabric can be manipulated.
How do you transfer your material presence, in terms of your self and your handmade objects, to the digital world?
I love to use photography as a tool to pour my imagined worlds into the physical/digital world.
How do you balance the physical and the digital? Do you prefer digitized media or analog media, etc.?
I believe digital images are equally as captivating as their physical counterparts. Digital format feels akin the collage of my imagination.
How do you use the internet to connect with others interested in the same kind of work and aesthetic? How do you interact with them offline?
I like to tell a story, about my world, my work and my community. I want to engage those whom I create for to enter this digital space and I hope they are inspired by it.
Do you consider yourself part of a subcultural community? What name would you give it?
I don’t have a name for it, but I know that these are like-minded individuals who brave their own way in the world and love to be inspired by the beauty of the world and their imaginations.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
My aesthetic seems to be rooted in history but fascinated with modern minimalism.