I still remember that February morning as if it happened yesterday. It was a whirlwind, short and mighty. "Victoria, London, Conran, Teija and then - the dress, the dress, the dress!" my heart and mind were buzzing with excitement of all things to come. And never quite stopped until I finally found Anna Pitchouguina and "the dress, the dress, the dress..." We spoke at a thousands words a minute mixture of Russian and English as Anna was pulling out dress after dress showing details and talking me through her gorgeous Autumn/Winter 2017 collection made of beautiful fabrics, so soft they almost melted between my fingertips - the sensation that I once experienced before when touching a Prada coat...
Anna established Pitchouguina, her namesake brand, in 2013 ago after four years of learning the ropes at Derek Lam, Christopher Kane, Peter Jensen and Michael van der Ham and crossing the Atlantic back and forth following her dreams and proving that a girl who isn't afraid to dream big can achieve pretty much anything.
When did you first realise that you wanted to be a fashion designer?
This is a question I cannot really find a reaasonable answer for. I think it was just seeded in me as I really wanted to pursue a creative lifestyle and I focused on clothing and stayed focused till now.
Yet before you went into fashion, you studied Economics first. What attracted you to such a practical field?
I actually really like the business side of fashion as well as production and the creative process so for me it was very interesting to learn a bit of that as well. Plus my family is all focused on business.
What was your life like growing up?
Always moving, always changing. We had a big family, four kids, so it was never boring. My family moved to Poland and I was just six so that took a bit of adjustment and I think I enjoy changing places since then.
I was a very stubborn and happy child but also shy and a bit dreamy, so I think it's kind of a weird mixture that got me to be hardworking and optimistic. I did love and still do love sketching, even when I wasn't very good at it at the beginning.
You seem to never really stopped moving, travelling from one country to another... How did your travels influence your creative path?
I think they shaped my personality and I only wish I travelled even more, even though I cannot really complain. I think that all the things we see and experience leave a strong impact on the creative work even if only subconsciously.
Why did you decide to settle down in London?
I always felt great in English speaking countries and I wanted to work for other brands before launching my own. I knew this would not be easy and London probably made it even harder, but it is a really exciting place to be!
What kind of woman do you design for?
I think the one I would love to be - and of course you always put a bit of yourself in it as well, that's true. Recently I have been searching more and more for inspiring women as I think it is so important to show the attitude and the being of the women that make you want to make clothes for them.
In the past you called her a dreamer... Still true?
I think it is - I think it is beautiful to keep bit of a dreamer in yourself. I hope I will always be a dreamer!
Is fashion still about dreams, you think?
It could be about anything. I decided that for me it is and I will stick to that as it is natural to me personally. For me it is about creating some emotions and feelings that keep us content, happy and excited. I really think that clothing can help us a lot of with happiness and I do not mean necessarily just the expensive clothing - but the clothing that wakes up our emotions.
5 THINGS ABOUT ANNA PITCHOUGUINA
Your motto... Be happy.
Your day never truly begins without... granola.
An item of clothing you would never want to part with... A couple of midi skirts that I've been taking everywhere with me for years, summer or winter.
Beauty is... freedom.
Your dream is... to love my work till the very end!
Connect with Anna Pitchouguina via official Facebook page, Instagram & Twitter, view & shop collections at Pitchouguina website.
Photo source: all photos courtesy of Anna Pitchouguina, family photos, details of Autumn/Winter 2014 collection, Pitchouguina Spring/Summer 2016 look book photographed by Krzysztof Frankiwvicz & Aleksandra Rozniata, Pitchouguina dress for Pitchouguina Summer Edit styled by Caitlin Quick & photographed by Richard Ibrahim