Interview Romina Karamanea

Romina Karamanea is presenting her ss11 collection at 4FASHIONSHAKE ΙΙ a few weeks after her show in London. A designer who never ceases to experiment, always staying away from the norm. Due to this particular ‘obsession’ she was recently included in Hywell Davies’ ‘100 New Designers’ book which resulted to a collaboration with Nick Knight’s SHOWstudio. Her ss11 collection comes as a refreshing surprise since her creations move away from the strict monochromatic style embracing a ‘lucid lyricism’ as they flirt with natural phenomena and geology. We cannot wait to see her in Athens. We cannot wait to start shaking…

-What happened to the ‘gloom and doom’ of your previous collection?

For Autumn/Winter 2010-11 the collection was inspired by shadow and duality, on the surface everything was dark yet finely balanced in terms of its geometry and grace, imagine a Helmut Newton night woman.
For Spring/Summer 2011 our sexy and very direct woman has fallen in love with nature and colour. Her mood is inspiring positivity and hope.

-What was the main inspiration for your ss11 collection, that you are presenting at 4FASHIONSHAKE II?

Spontaneous, emotionally charged paintings with exhilarate and pensive strokes were my instant inspiration this season. I felt like I was in a field of colour, in reality I had popped to see my artist friend Hermes for a glass of wine.

-There’s a very romantic feel to many of your ss11 designs. Was this something you set out to capture or has it just happened as a natural evolvement?

I felt like moving away from ‘my norm’ monochromatic style. Abstract expressionism and the glorification of painting was my intense stimulus this time. There is a languid, sensual feeling alive in the print, adjoined with a more stark statement, through linear composition, craft and construction. Exploring a new technique of layering the lucid lyricism of the print is in contrast to an intersecting weaving technique, displaying discipline with signature structures.

-Other than the architectural references what else you consider as your design signature?

I am very much inspired by natural phenomena and geology as well as sci-fi movies, the human anatomy and super hero characters.

-How do you feel being chosen for the Hywel Davies ‘100 New Designers’ book?

I feel honoured to be part of this special publication that celebrates innovation and radical design. It is great to see, that my work is appreciated and it gives me real motive when fashion students express to me that my work inspired them and provoked them to be more experimental in their design approach.

-Do you feel an affinity with any of the others up and coming london designers?

Absolutely! We try to be there for each other when we struggle and celebrate when things are going well. Of course there are the typical frustrated kinds that are not happy when a fellow designer is stepping up the success ladder but I believe that if you truly love what you do, you do not feel envious of people who love the same thing.

-I know music is a main source of inspiration for you and plays a vital role to the way you design. What are you listening to at the moment?

Currently I am listening to the new tracks of my boyfriend’s Taso, Electronica/New Wave project that draws influence from bands like: Neon Judgement, Church with no Magic and of course The Joy Division. It is fascinating to hear NOISETOY rehearsing creating their new sound whilst I am designing next to them in our East London warehouse.

-What are you most looking forward now that the stress of LFW is over?

Spend time with my loved ones and travel to new inspiring destinations. I look forward to explore new cultures and mentalities!

-What is your view on the current fashion reality in Greece?

It makes me happy see there is a growing group of people that is craving for fashion innovation and artistic stimulus. People are now more open to new ideas and inspire one another. We see that the economic climate of our times has in fact contributed positively to the way we conceive ideas and create. A more collaborative approach that brings great minds together will eventually result into breaking the Greek fashion boundaries.

-What would it take to shake things up?

The very thing that is happening right now to our country, the economic recession! Purity and truth can now replace the superficial mentality that has been holding our country’s most creative minds back for a while now…

Romina Karamanea will present her spring/summer11 collection at 4FASHIONSHAKE II

Text: Danai Alaska | Photography: Lefteris Prasopoulos | Link: rominakaramanea.com