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Evelina Selevestru

16th May 2021

The Soviet Union, iconic 1960s films and actresses such as Tatyana Drubich are the inspiration behind Fashion Design BA student Evelina Selevestru’s final major project ‘Underground Chic’. Cultural elements of her early childhood in Moldova are combined with structured silhouettes, and embellished with rhinestones and strass inspired by traditional Soviet scarves and batik patterns. Iconic fashion garments such as denim and leather jackets are reinterpreted with oversized silhouettes, strong structured shoulders, laser-etched patterns and embroidery. 

Evelina designs using herself as her muse, creating garments she would love to wear. Her research is based on personal aesthetic, influenced by her early years in her home country of Moldova and growing up during a time of change following the dissolution of the Soviet Union before leaving the country aged six. Regular visits each summer to Moldova have cemented vivid and unforgettable memories of her home city. ‘Underground Chic’ is a collection designed for women who wish to dress in a chic, effortless and stylish way, keeping in mind how and when the garment would be worn. 

The laser-etched designs are based on traditional patterns, made using a combination of hand drawn and digital techniques. This innovative laser process turns historic Soviet decorative patterns into modern garments which go beyond imitation, and into the realm of high fashion. She said: “Technology is evolving rapidly and so does the fashion industry, with new innovative fabrics and techniques.” – this fusion of innovation and craftsmanship is something Evelina is keen to explore further as she develops as a designer. Archive and vintage apparel research is another aspect influencing the design process, with garment and detail analysis forming the foundations to reinterpret classic designs in a new and exciting way. 

“The future of fashion belongs to sustainability”, Evelina said. Her collection aims to source fabric and trims which are sustainable, eco-friendly, deadstock or organic, in order to have as low an impact as possible on the environment and society in general. This is a particular challenge for denim production which historically uses vast quantities of water and chemicals, however it’s Evelina’s passion to create sustainable denim designs and she will continue to push this idea in industry to promote change. Another fabric innovation Evelina is working on is creating her own wool denim fabric with a metallic effect by combining knitted fabric made using organic wool and other fibres with denim fabric using a machine embroidery technique. This process is time consuming and conveys the sense of craftsmanship evident in Evelina’s work. “Sustainability is a broad issue, and I am always seeking more information to educate myself”, she explains. With sustainability a hot topic for many fashion brands, the research Evelina is exploring will no doubt set her apart after graduation.  


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