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Photography by Zeb Daemen

Helena Lumelsky (Antwerp, Belgium)

The Crimean-born designer is now designing under her own name and is playing around with dramatic cinema for her first collection.

Soon after finishing her studies at the Antwerp Academy Helena Lumelsky and Demna Gvasalia started the small label Stereotypes, and in 2007 they participated at the Japan Fashion week together with other young designers. Now designing under her name and inspired by black and white cinema and interior design, Lumelsky is showing once more why she swept away with all the awards when she was a student. Dazed talks to her about Russia, fashion and childhood.


Where are you from?

Sevastopol, Crimea (former USSR)

Where are you based?

I am based in Antwerp

How did you become interested in fashion?

Being six years old and playing hide-and-seek inside my mom's wardrobe, since then I have a belief in fashion
as aesthetic rather than intellectual beauty

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I see myself at Madame Tussauds but the vision is not completely clear, maybe I am just a visitor...

Best advice given to you?

"Stop feeding a little nicotine monster inside you!"-given by Allen Carr, but I still do.

Tell us more about your new collection?

I've been inspired by clothing from the time of black and white cinema – when colour was simply not a defining option, ensuring silhouette and contrast were the stand out features of any piece. I wanted to create slightly surreal aesthetic, by using asymmetric cut, floating darts and different textures of black fabrics combined in one piece.
The interior design of clothes was also important for me: 
the pieces in the collection are supported by internal corsetry and boning – though with stretch fabrics that allow this feature to complement and structure the silhouette without torturing the body, but giving a certain attitude to the wearer.

Where do you seek for inspiration?

In my head. 

When and why did you start designing?

At 12 I was "publishing" my own fashion magazine, hand drawn, although I've never seen any real fashion issue at that time. (Living in post-communist country) 
At 14 I was stitching and knitting for myself, because I could not buy the things I wanted, the selection in shops was very poor.

Who is your favourite designer and why?

Azzedine Alaia and Thierry Mugler at the moment, and the reason is their pattern skill


What makes you happy?

Staying in balance

Where do you see the Russian fashion going?

Russian designers are still answering only local celebrities' needs, but Russian customers are staying very enthusiastic consumers of European and American fashion brands. The Russian market is enormous.

Where can we buy your clothes?

At Ra in Antwerp.