Before presenting a collection, a designer has an inspiration. And in Ioana’s case: another meeting with the DfT patron, too. As “Designer for Tomorrow” winner Ioana Ciolacu is currently working on her new collection for Fall/Winter 2014/15, she went on an inspirational trip to Paris as part of the DfT sponsorship programme.
The first stop after arriving in the French capital took Ioana to “Marché aux Fleurs”, the flower market and the last one of its kind. Paris’ blossoms are legendary and especially for a fashion designer there is a lot to discover. From the shapes to the surfaces and colors that may be adopted to silhouettes, fabrics and patterns. Ioana already had visited the city before because of its great architecture. Now, the up-and-coming talent returned for the fashion topic: “The vibe of Paris is unique. It gives me that certain peace of mind and well-being that makes it so inspiring for me.” Fashion has a long history in Paris and Ioana found inspiration also in the city’s past. At Paris’ famous flea markets such as the “Marché aux puces de St. Ouen” – which consists of various markets – and vintage stores like “Didier Ludots Vintage Couture” or “Scarlett”, the DfT winner studied antique details and elapsed decades.
Indeed, the fashion capital is a great shopping city. Besides the mono-brand stores of big fashion houses, Paris is the home of one of the first and probably most famous concept stores in Europe: “Colette”. “What I like about Paris are those hidden places one always seems to discover in a different way”, Ioana told us after the trip. That may be the reason why she not only visited “Colette” but other concept stores as well: the new-in-town “Broken arm” that contains a small café, “French Trotters” with its mixture of fashion design from all over the world as well as art exhibitions focusing on different countries and “Merci”, the concept store where one can find little treasures to buy and whose earnings are donated to various charities. “Visiting and researching the concept stores definitely gave me a better knowledge on how to transpose my catwalk collection into wearable items for my customers.”
For her personal highlight of the inspirational trip, Ioana had to get up very early: the reunion with the DfT patron before her fashion show for Spring/Summer 2014 during Paris Fashion Week. Preparations behind the curtain started around 7 a.m.. And Ioana was there: observing the last few hours before the show, learning about the backstage process, studying the collection before the audience has even seen it and meeting influential people such as the patron or famous models. “What was most important to me, was to see the whole process of a fashion show by such an influential designer. She is a role model, not only in public life but also backstage”, Ioana describes the event.
10 a.m., Opéra Garnier, Paris: When the show is set to start, the “Designer for Tomorrow 2013″, Ioana C. Miron, is part of the curious audience. Watching the collection walk by with its floating silk suits and lace dresses, she soaks in every detail of it.
Stepping forward to the present, Ioana is already back in the studio, putting all impressions and ideas from Paris together.