It's no surprise that the one piece that is currently sold out on Avenue32, from the Russian streetstyle star slash rising designer Vika Gazinskaya's well-documented A/W 12-3 collection happens to be the simplest - a sweatshirt adorned with pastel wooden gems. Gazinskaya may have went into a more upscale direction with her fabric choices of rich brocade paisleys last season but for her latest S/S 13 collection, she honed into her strength as exemplified by that simple sweatshirt piece - her ability to mix the naive and downright childish with unexpectedly elegant silhouettes. Her inspiration for much of the collection was ludicrously simple as she glimpsed out of the many plane rides that she takes and drew out clouds in rough sketches that were then woven into special jacquards in France. As a fellow frequent flyer, there's definitely a meditative quality to looking at all these clouds on voluminous garments. Moda Operandi is running a trunkshow at the moment and has bought in many of the jacquard pieces if you're interested in a spot of pre-ordering.
This hand drawn scrible is becoming something of a signature for Gazinskaya and for me, looks the most personal part of her aesthetic. She's never been scared to play up the dramatics in her silhouettes, employing a structural flounce, a cocoon shoulder or a fish tail skirt regularly in her collections but here of course, you could well link up the shape of the clouds that she observes with the ruffles and flare that frame each ensemble. The dusting of clouds or raindrops either through a simple applique or the textural jacquard are the perfect counterpoint to her obsession with mid-twentieth-century Cristobal Balenciaga-esque curves.
In another story to her collection, Gazinskaya made at trip to Iceland and from photos of the stark landscape, she made quilted patchwork dresses that purposely look like children's blankets. She flattens the lines into David Hockney-esque colour blocks and keeps the shapes simple to allow the landscapes to do the talking. It's nothing ground breaking but fits into Gazinskaya's childhood regressing trajectory, which I'm personally happy about. Little details such as embroidered dandelions or blades of grass punctuate some of the pieces with restraint, almost as if Gazinskaya is anxious not to let her own handwriting overtake the collection.
It will be interesting to see whether Gazinskaya shakes off the tag of merely being a much-photographed clothes horse for her own designs and instead becomes feted for her work alone. A nomination nod from ANDAM this year is a stepping stone to that but there's no doubting that Gazinskaya is one of the newer generation of designers who have grabbed what the streetstyle blogging world has to offer as a useful vehicle of promotion. Keeping her nose to the ground and her head up in the clouds for S/S 13 seems to have put her in good stead to build up the foundations of her brand, whilst ensuring cloud-watchers like myself keep on dreaming.