Fashion as undiluted way of communication

Fashion / Design / Performance Interview with Tigran Avetisyan, menswear designer. By Sara Pizzi

When fashion becomes an element of subversion of the common canons, it is not difficult to obtain as a result a video that more than a presentation of a collection, it looks like a punk form of guerrilla advertising.
Russian menswear designer Tigran Avetisyan released his graduate collection under the sponsorship of LVMH to critical acclaim. Workman style jackets are cut from fabrics usually hidden or thrown away and disparaging slogans – that tell about the hardship of student life - such as ‘No Jobs’ and ‘Nothing Changes’ are scrawled across the garments in chalk. Tigran Avetisyan became a winner of Design It contest and presented his SS14 collection at Fashion Scout Kiev during Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days.
We met up with him for a better understanding of his highly communicative style.

You are an acclaimed young talent, what’s the secret to emerge for a young designer?
It is not so much of a secret. With my work I simply try to talk about what matters to me and hope it’s something that other people find important and can resonate with.

Which are your professional project for the future?
The thing I am most excited about now is preparing for Pitti’s Alternative Set. I am doing a video presentation. I’ve been playing around with the medium for SS14 and I am thrilled to explore it further for the next collection.

What’s personal style in your opinion? And fashion? What do they mean?
Both words don’t interest me. My clothes are about neither.

When did your passion for fashion and design begin?
I wish I had a story to tell you that I’ve been making dresses for dolls and whiling away my childhood in ateliers. But no, I grew up in suburbs of Saint Petersburg and as most boys played football. My interest in clothes emerged relatively late, I was 21 then. Fashion, I realised, happened to be a practice that everyone is interested in and where self-expression is possible. Moreover it is on the threshold of everything: design and art, high and popular cultures.

What is the message that you want to communicate with your creations?
I try to make my collections open-ended. It’s much more exciting to hear what people make of my work than trying to define it. I am in this to have a dialogue not to dictate my point of view.

What are the key pieces of your collection?
For S/S14 I would say it’s the coat that has ‘Nothing Changes’ scribbled on it.

Who is the designer who inspires you? Who is your fashion icon?
I admire energy and creativity of young London designers. But my absolute all-time hero is Helmut Lang.

Which is your creative method?
Converting cons into pros, achieving as much impact with as little input as possible.