Interwiev / DREVENÁ HELENA
In 2012, she set up her brand Drevená Helena / Wooden Helena. Between 2015 – 2017 she worked for the fashion house Nehera as a Designer assistant. At the moment, she is a Creative (Artistic) director of the collection for Buffet Clothing and she presented her new collection for DH, too.
Ľubica Hustá: Can you briefly introduce your collection?
Lucia Marcinková: The new collection was born after a longer break. It is a sort of a restart for me. I am starting from one point of view as if anew, that’s why I am careful in many respects. The number of models is limited, the same applies to the diversity of material – it is cut down to minimum. The boldest element is the austerity of colours. I added red into a usual range of neutral colours. The collection is thus a little more feminine and distinct. The strictness created an intersection, though, which works visually well for the collection.
LH: How is it different compared to your last work?
LM: Well, I surely tweaked my approach after working in an international fashion house. What mattered to me in making of this collection was the choice of high-quality materials. The patterning process of the collection was quite lengthy, since I started with it when I was still working at the fashion house. I tried to take things slowly. At the moment, I don’t follow the standard division into seasons in fashion; my collections are adjusted to the real seasons – times of year. I would like to do the classic timing in the future, but I will reduce it to only two collections a year. I‘d like to offer something else, but also stick to my traditional aesthetics. People’s reactions are positive so far, and that makes me happy.
LH: Is it still unisex and universal size?
LM: Yes, but this collection is tilted to one side. This time, women’s clothes outnumber. The next collection will be more balanced, as I still fancy working on men’s clothes. When it comes to size, it is more pragmatic, mainly because of online sale. Universal size is just easier to communicate. I use two sizes: a smaller and a bigger version. Customer then may judge which suits them more. Most of cuts are loose-fit and oversized. On the one hand, it’s easier to communicate it and on the other hand, it reflects aesthetics close to my heart.
LH: What is your main point of focus when making your models?
LM: When I start making a new collection, the first thing I have in mind is a silhouette. The rest of the things comes out of it: I make a rough structure of the collection, visualise the materials and after I find them, I start working on the colour range. Cuts and construction, i. e. physical patterning process itself takes just about the same as preparation. Both of these stages are equally important to me. The first is rather imaginary, the other one a technical one.
LH: How do you do your sales or who are your main clients?
LM: I sell online (www.drevenahelena.sk), but I believe the new collection will make it to brick-and-mortar shops, too. The most common customer is a woman around 30. A vital factor is that she must be active on social networks. But most of all, people write me directly through Instagram. Whether regarding orders or collaboration. In August, I am planning a pop-up showroom in Prague and I’d like to have my things in Berlin next year.
LH: What was the most important thing you have learned in the international company and from Samuel Drira?
LM: In Nehere, I worked in the patterning team, which means we were preparing prototypes and later, models for productions. I learned to work in a team, which role means and carries what and how vital it is for running a big company. I also was an assistant to the designer Julie Rodowicz who designed knitwear for us. I had no clue about this branch, not even crocheting. During my time in Nehere, I learned the terminology, in three languages, so I would communicate with factories, sending them designs and such. But the most interesting thing was to peek behind the scenes of the process how a fashion house and fashion business as such works. It is crazy, but very interesting. Samuel Drira is a beautiful person and it was wonderful to watch him in action and consult details with him. The respect he has towards the female body has always fascinated me.
LH: Your biggest fashion experience and dream?
LM: My biggest fashion experience is every visit to Paris. Whether occupationally or recreationally. I don’t know if I ever get into that mad buzz during a fashion show when everything is getting ready, there are photographers all over the place, guests are starting to show up and those couple of minutes of the show is your satisfaction of you several-month work. Then you actually find out that it’s not the peak at all, that you have twice as much work with the collection ahead of you. But the emotion is strong. My dream would be different collaborations with different creators. When more creative people who get along put their heads together, a beautiful thing with great energy can come out.