Issue 29
A Modern Class
Playing Fashion takes a modern class on style,
the fashion business, and even menswear from the edgy designer and cool girl captured in streetstyle photographs, Vika Gazinskaya.
“For the past eight years I have been in fashion, I have not witnessed any kind of decadence in menswear,’ said womenswear designer Vika Gazinskaya, when I began our interview talking about all things men related. ‘I always look at all the seasonal men's shows. I find everything in a man that differs from a woman, including physiology, attractive.’

Men aside. Vika Gazinskaya is a familiar face both on streetstyle blogs and in the pages and on the cover of Playing Fashion. She was last seen gracing the cover and inside our March 2012 print issue with friends and fellow members of the Russian Fashion Pack: Ulyana Sergeenko, Miroslava Duma, and Elena Perminova. Today, we meet her again - a character who continues to take our breaths away with both her wonderful work and her honest words.

‘Just like everyone else’s, nothing to add here,’ said the busy designer about her design process, which results in coveted couture-like collections season after season. This season, the brand’s signature exaggerated geometric silhouettes are perfectly toned down with the heavy use of sensible solid wintry colors and complemented with extravagant rock-sized jewels. The modern collection recalls a kind of elegance lost in the evolution of feminisation and brings it forward in its uniquely polished and contemporary way.

Vika’s career in fashion kickstarted in 2002 with an internship at L’Officiel Russia, then, moved on to become a stylist, then, to launching her eponymous label in 2006. ‘If you have that "creativity" living in you, you will find a way to transmit it to the commercial side!’ The blunt-bobbed trendsetter said and remembered the days as a young designer, ‘it’s called "re-inventing the wheel” unfortunately, because all that is required for a fashion brand to function - from the manufacturing of seasonal collections to its delivery to the store to the final stage of its sales - is not developed in Russia, to put it mildly.

There are neither the means nor experts in this area, nor the laws operating in your direction. Accordingly, the errors turn into monetary losses. Therefore, I'm learning patience and humility.’

‘The main thing is the PR and marketing,’ she continued. ‘PR is everything.’ So, in that sense, can fashion change the world? ‘I don’t think about it!’

“Vika is a very talented designer. I love her simple style with amazing prints!” said Leaf Greener, senior editor of ELLE China, who along with the likes of Natalia Alaverdian, fashion director for Harper's Bazaar Russia; and Miruyet Ibragim, Head of Buro 24/7 Kazakhstan have been spotted rocking collections by Russia's foremost designer.

‘I guess it’s all ahead!’ Vika hints to a possible upcoming ad campaign for her label and even a high street collaboration. ‘Everything will be when there is budget!’ What about being scouted by a maison to head the design team? ‘When there is a specific proposal, then, we will discuss it! But I think I would like to try revive Elsa Schiaparelli, because of all my "faux fox" and painted diamonds, isn’t that something that could develop under the brand Schiaparelli?’

Photography by Hyun Jin Park; styling by: Shanna Nicole and Elissa Aimee; make-up by Amy Park using Make Up For Ever; hair by Hitomi Nakamura; model: Jana Knauerova / Ford; photographer’s assistant: Joon Sub Noh.

All jewelry by Erickson Beamon.
Words by Carrie Lau