I have recently come across Agnieszka Osipa’s work and I have no words to describe her jaw dropping creations. Portrayed in a dreamlike visual representation, her work lets the myths and folk stories of Baba Yaga and Rusalka come into our minds. Costume can transport us to a different time but Agnieszka’s work can definitely also grasp what the audience needs today. Talking to the Polish costume designer we learn more about her work up to now.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your work, when did it all begin?
It all began with my fascination with folklore music back in high school. After one of my teachers advised me to get into clothing design I’ve tried to incorporate one into another. My route was first the Art High School in Jaroslaw and further in Academy of Fine arts in Lodz in Costume Design specialty. But I was always painting instead of sewing, and always thought this will be my final destination in career.
What is the inspiration behind your costumes?
As mentioned before it is folklore music, dark and witchlike aspects of the pagan beliefs and east European culture. Mostly through music.
Each piece you create has its own unique embellishment, what are the key material manipulations in your designs?
I use many materials so it’s truly hard to pinpoint one. I use leather right next to plastic, the materials are not as important as the forms they allow me to create. Your work seems to have a very strong cultural and historical influence.
What is it about folklore culture that fascinates you the most?
Yes indeed it does, the strongest influences were always musical. The first band to kick me into this vibe was Dakha Brakha from Ukraine and after that many more, like Russian band Svarga, Krynitza, Arkona. I’ve visited Menuo Juodaragis festival in Lithuania last year and that also was a huge boost in inspiration.
Any future work we should expect to see your work?
I am not planning on finishing anytime soon, so yes there are many more designs coming up. The main issue is that I have too little time to incorporate all of my ideas, as I make each and every design with my own hands.
Melissanthi Spei is an Athenian born fashion artist based in London. Her heritage in combination with her creativity inspires her to create contemporary and sculptural garments. Part of her identity as a designer is to use industrial materials for something historical and old through the exploration of traditional arts and crafts and their projection to contemporary aesthetics. Melissanthi has taken an interest in exploring different parts of folklore culture around the world and ways to revive them within the fashion context.