My interview for Hey Kids! magazine
|October 17, 2012||Filled under Featured, In The News|
I was very delighted to receive a proposal from Alireza Rezaei, executive editor of Hey Kids! magazine and work on the interview for such a cool and fun magazine!
Alla Koval’s Happy Fashion
interview by Alireza Rezaei
It can be said that fashion is fashion and there’s not too much difference when a designer works for ladies, gentlemen or kids. The essence of this job or art is almost the same for all, but when you look at Alla Koval’s designs, you will find it obvious that there is something special for kids in them. Something makes us smile when we see children wearing them. Something in the colours, textures and the way she combines materials is happy and makes her designs unique, fabulous and enticing. That’s why I asked her to have an interview with Hey Kids. As I expected there is something unique in her point of view about fashion for children: Happiness!
The first eye catching thing in your designs is the colours and the way you choose and use them. Please tell us about your view and sense of colours.
One of a brightest memories from my childhood was my very first set of 48 colour markers. I was super excited to experiment with the colours, and my mom paid attention to how I used them. Later she told me that when she asked why I combined the colours that way, I explained, “They felt happy together.” Well, I still have that excitement about colours and love to make them feel happy.
What got you started working in children’s clothing design?
My daughter Kristin. I have been knitting and crocheting since I was a child, but rarely created any children’s items – just did not have much motivation. But when I had my own daughter, I started imagining all the cute things she could wear and this is how I started designing children’s clothes. And then I realized that it was exactly what I wanted to do in my life.
Your work is all highly detailed and imaginative. Where does that inspiration come from?
From everything I see, from nature to graphic designs to eighteenth-century costumes. But most of my inspiration comes from little wonders with their such precious personality and amazing vision!
Some of them are like paintings for kids and they remind us of kids’ books. How do you imagine them before starting the design?
It varies. Usually I just visualize them clearly and then somehow make the mental images into something real. I call it “design as you go”, when having the rough idea is enough to get started. But other times, when I see it’s going to be complicated, I start with math and draw stitch diagrams first.
Knitting is the main part of your designs. It should be more difficult to design some knitting and mix it with other textures than using just textures. You really love knitting, don’t you?
I do love both equally, knitting and crochet, because they’re so different. I tend to use crochet more for lace on summer and spring garments and knitting when I want something more fluid or use textured yarn. And my absolutely favourite part is to combine knit and crochet in one garment – a more fresh and enticing look.
Are your designs knitted by hand? If yes, their prices should be high. Would you give me a rough idea about the prices?
Yes, all my creations are hand knitted and crocheted by me with high quality yarn. Unfortunately it all makes the prices really high, but still, I have sold hundreds of custom-made (mostly one of a kind) items online. However, one day I realized that I have too much on my plate and couldn’t keep up with all orders anymore. I thought if I started writing patterns, I could make something just once and let other knitters and crocheters make the garments by
themselves, and even sell finished projects made from my patterns. I really feel that it was the right thing to do, and I’ve been so blessed by this experience. Somebody else making something out of what I’ve created — that’s what makes me happiest!
Have you published your patterns?
I have published my patterns since 2008. I have my designs published in Interweave Crochet and Crochet! magazines. I have also been designing my own line of knitwear and crochet for Kids Designs and Women Accessories, and I sell my patterns in my own on-line store, My Little Citygirl and in shops on Etsy.com, Raverly.com, YCMT.com, Anniesattic.com and DaWanda.com. With more than a 100 published patterns, I have now started working on my very first crochet book Imagical Seasons: Crochet Couture for Kids 2-12 years and have exciting plans for the future.
Is it possible for you to go to mass production?
Mass production is not for me. But to design something for a child’s brand to be mass produced, would be a pretty exciting and interesting experience.
What do you think about the role of geography and culture in fashion?
I think there are no strict logical lines between geography and culture in fashion these days.
What’s your favourite piece from your current line? Any all time favourite?
Alla Koval Designs