Xsenia & Olya
Xsenia & Olya, a London based brand, specialize in cruise and resort collections using one-of-a-kind fabrics with unique digital prints for the elegant, modern day woman with an eye for travelling.
Their designs have been worn by Natasha Khan of Bat for Lashes at the Brit Awards and Bolivian actress Carla Ortiz, to the Oscars last year. They have strutted the runways at Paris, London and Vancouver Fashion Week and their presence is growing by the second.
The two beauties behind the brand, Xsenia Runa and Olya Shishkina, both dabbled in fashion in Moscow and then powering on to graduate alongside Alexander McQueen, Matthew Williamson & Stella McCartney from London’s distinguished Central St Martins.
Xsenia whose style is sexy-feminine, regularly participated in both Moscow and Russian Fashion Week showing her own label. After showing her collection “Blank Sheet” at Moscow’s Graduate Fashion Week, she was hailed as an emerging Russian designer.
Olya whose style is comfortable elegance with a hint of bohemian, studied art and design for five years in Moscow, won numerous awards for her creations, ran her own atelier ‘SHI’ in Moscow and has launched her own label Olya Shishkina for a collection of leather jackets.
For the perfectly paired duo, fashion “is a personal expression of oneself and style is more of a representative description, rather than simply following a trend or fashion. It’s about finding the style that suits you.”
Their dreamy inspiration comes from the “details of life that people sometimes miss when they’re rushing around. The spokes of a bicycle, the faint whisper of smoke of a burnt out candle, the peeling wallpaper”. Their a/w13 collection is just as poetic in their conceptual take on movement in the form of time and time travel.
Their unique prints are a byproduct of plenty of research, creating collages or taking photos themselves, such as the water prints from a previous collection, which were created from photos taken in Xsenia’s bath. These are then digitally manipulated to create something aesthetically beautiful, both on screen and on the body. A lot of thought goes into how the design, fabric and prints fall on the body.
Inspired by Madeleine Vionnet, queen of the bias cut, Hussein Chalayan for his futurist avant-garde and Vivienne Westwood for her combination of unconformity and sense of tradition, the duo have sound advice for aspiring designers. “There is definitely no one proper way to do things. You have to love and believe in what you do all the time. If your work makes you happy, the universe will help you out.”
Purchase their a/w13 collection at www.carnetdemode.com
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