On September 16-17, the Oriflame organized another fashion show in Yerevan. Setting up a fashion show on September became a tradition both for the organizers, participants, and guests. It seems that the Oriflame is moving forward to organizing a more creative and innovative fashion shows; and the Railway Station for location, 30 collections from 30 designers, are a very good starting point.
The Oriflame 2017’s show was the first fashion show in Armenia for a founding designer Vicken Derderian, and he does not intend to dwell on this. Even though he has not been in fashion industry for as long as other Armenian designers, his collection shows professionalism and understanding of fashion. “I have not been in the fashion very long, I did architecture for a long time for 15-20 years. I went back to San Francisco to graduate the Academy of Arts, and then my school collection went to New York to Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.” To the question of why he decided to try his hand at fashion, he responds simply: “I wanted to do something that was completely different from what I was doing; something that has a different set of rules. Working with building materials versus working with fabric. It is very different medium. So I brought architecture to fashion side versus the other way.” The collection clearly shows intervention of geometric forms as well as experiments with texture.
The theme of art and fashion education in Armenia was also affected. According to Vicken Derderian, the choice of educational institution in the sphere of art and fashion is of less importance if the student can put out a work that is worth to show to the world. “All the things that we feel we did well, we hope to do better. All the things that we did wrong, we hope to do better. It is a matter of always improving,” says Derderian from the personal experience.
It is worth noting that the collection was done along with Vicken Derderian’s partner Phyung. ” Fashion design is not just me and my partner. We have a sewing team behind us; we have a family team that supports us. We get to walk down the stage but it’s mostly about them.”
As for the beginner designers who are just building their way to the top of the podium, this year’s event showed a shift in their creativity and innovation. Hagop Shahinian is among those rising designers who showcased his collection during the Oriflame event. According to Hagop Shahinian’s observations, the Oriflame Fashion Weekend was well-organized because “when you are organizing your own show, you have to do everything by your own: casting, location. They are giving a platform for every designer to show their works.”
Talking about the experience in creating the collection, he also tells the difficulties he encountered during the process. “The production is the longest process that took a lot of time because if I knew patternmaking very well I would not spend much time on it. Sometimes it is very hard to explain drawing or a sketch to someone who is making the pattern. And sometimes you get something different, something that you were not imagining it to be.” Fortunately, what was presented to the audience this weekend fully represented Hagop’s vision. “Creating was always a passion for me since I was a little kid but it’s not only about fashion it is about painting, designing, and many other things.”
In his collection, there is an atmosphere of formalism that contrasts with more feminine details and forms. A mixture of sexuality, elegance, and strength give looks confidence. Hagop Shahinian also won the online Oriflame Fashion Weekend voting content.
Armine Ohanyan, a well-known designer who established a brand in Paris under her name, came to Armenia and joined the Oriflame Fashion Weekend designer’s list to showcase her collection to her compatriots. She is involved in the fashion industry for almost 10 years. Starting her educational path in Armenia, she continued her studies after moving to Paris, where she created her own brand, which functions almost for a year now.
Armine’s collection differed from any other previously showed with the meticulously planned performance of the models walking on the runway; the structured appearance, moves, and mood of the models a foundation of something more than showing clothes. “The theme of my collection is Qamu Shunch (Breath of Wind) i.e. the wind passing through the whole nature leaves its imprint; it follows by the rain, and then we abruptly see how the sun rises, and the weather becomes more clear and ethereal. I intended to show the exact transition from a strong hurricane to a still summer morning.” That is why the whole collection is divided into thematic parts, and it has an artistic twist that prevails till the end of the show.
She also expressed her opinions about the creativity of young people and their promotion in fashion in Armenia. “I think there are many creative people living in Armenia. The only thing they lack is good educational institutions and professionals who will give power to those talented people and inspire them.” Armine Ohanyan’s message for the rising designers and people who want to move forward in their careers is simple as that: “In order to move forward in the field of fashion, you must first have the desire. If there is a desire, then everything is possible.”
Here are more photos of various designer’s collections who also participated in the event.