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Goldsmiths' Official Student Magazine

Fashion week inspired by Romanian rivers: Antonia Nae

20 February 2017
Being a young designer is like chasing an elusive dream; meet Antonia Nae part of the new crowd of chasers
pic: Bojidar Chkorev @deepgreenspace via @antonia_nae

pic: Bojidar Chkorev @deepgreenspace via @antonia_nae

By Maddy White

Antonia Nae is a recent fashion graduate of the University of East London; she was featured in shows over London fashion week 17 – 21 February, including one in Holborn, central London that we were lucky enough to attend. Antonia spoke to me about her Autumn Winter 17’ collection Delta, the difficulty of life as a fashion graduate and her central inspiration; her native Romania.

Her collection engages with east-end forward thinking influences as well as a millennials answer to the nineties, with so much freeing of the nipple. Sheer material was highly embellished as the designs permeated natural textures but adversely a sense of the future, or what is it to come. This is what she had to say on her work:

A: The collection is definitely inspired by the texture and beauty of the wild nature from Danube Delta in my country Romania.

Danube Delta located in Romania is the second largest river in Europe and also the best preserved. Its clarity and consistency resonates in Antonia’s detailed designs, she continued:

A: It is a ready-to-wear collection with avant-garde accents. The outfits are all black with fabric manipulation details to show the texture of the nature, sparkly lace, beaded fabrics and leather. All the looks are different, but they relate to each other.

The designs are cohesive and dark, but more than this they echo a gracefulness that could be contributed to the Danube Delta. The accents of avante-garde are apparent with the multiple textures co-ordinated together; it is still very wearable though, combining couture and high fashion with an everyday sentiment.

pic: Bojidar Chkorev @deepgreenspace via @antonia_nae

Of her Romanian and east London inspirations,

A: The collections are inspired by small parts of my country, but definitely living and studying in East London for more than five years influenced the way I have designed my looks.

With so many fledgling fashion businesses failing especially in Britain’s post-Brexit pound plummet, it seems the only way to make it is to be the next over the top statement. Think all Yeezy shows or even Philipp Plein using Jeremy Meeks in NYFW this year, former prisoner whose mugshot went viral not too long ago because he was ‘hot’. Life as a fashion designer especially one starting out isn’t easy; as curator of the show in Holborn, and CEO of Fashions Finest, Deborah St. Louis told me:

“Our aim is to really support designers in the first five years of their career as this is the hardest time for them. We want to build cohesive collections which work well together for talented individuals who might not get the chance otherwise.”

“We look for creativity and innovation, we want to give emerging designers and graduates a professional platform to showcase their work on,” she added.

Antonia rounded off our interview with her future plans;

A: Next, I would like to do a Master’s degree and after that I want to build my own brand and make a name for myself in the fashion industry. I know it sounds too much, too soon and it will take time and patience, but this is the only thing I can see myself doing for the rest of my life. I believe it is really important to continuously work for what you want and never give up. As long as you love what you are doing, you will feel fulfilled no matter what.

pic: Bojidar Chkorev @deepgreenspace via @antonia_nae

It’s obvious from seeing Delta that Antonia is very talented and her work reflects the time she has dedicated and the influences that inspire her. Deborah St. Louis has created a platform that allows designers like Antonia to be shown on a professional stage which is so necessary in this day of ridiculous fashion industry competition, especially for those designers just starting their career.

To find out more about her collections visit: antonianae.com

Follow Maddy on Twitter here

Images courtesy of Bojidar Chkorev @deepgreenspace