Fashion Designer Irina Shabayeva Brings Back Old-World Glamour
Fashion designer and season six Project Runway winner, Irina Shabayeva, talks to Joanna Gagis about what she learned from the reality series, what defines her style, and why she’s on a mission to bring back old-world glamour.
"Welcome to Life and Living. I'm Joanna Gagis. My Life and Living fans will recognize this face. She's Irina Shabayeva, winner of season six and Creative Director and founder of Irina Shabayeva designs. Welcome to the program. Thanks Joanna. Thanks for having me. We always love talking to designers who are doing things on a national level. Who are really making a name for them self. We saw you come through Project Runway. You were declared the winner and we couldn't be happier because your designs are unique and you're designing for the every day woman right? Thank you. Yeah. I think every woman wants to be glamorous and beautiful and that's what I love to do. And not just for the clothes. It's just about a life style and I think that clothing and fashion is just something that enhances that. But it's really about an attitude of femininity and being bold about it. Not being sort of shy or meek about it. You know, I think being a woman is beautiful and we should all embrace it. So I'm actually wearing one of your designs right now. You were kind enough to let me model your design. It looks amazing on you. Thank you. You really do design for. Well, let me ask you. Who do you design for? Who is your target audience? Who is your target wearer? I think it's a woman that wants to be different. It's a woman that wants to stand out, but in a feminine bold way. Who wants to be unique and genuinely express who she is. And the clothes are... I love prints, I love patterns, I love different silhouettes. I also love the woman’s body. You know, with the curves. Do you celebrate curves in a woman. I do. I love to cast models that are curvier and I kind of want to inspire that in woman. Stick thin waif. No, right. I mean, if you're naturally that way, that's great. Right. Right. Good for you, but most women are not and I think they deprive themselves of certain luxuries like foods in life because they're hoping to be that certain body type that they weren't born with, so I say just embrace it. Yeah absolutely. Go with it. I love that. Can we backtrack a little bit? Sure. When did you know that you really wanted to pursue a career in fashion and how did you get to Project Runway? I actually went to Parsons with the idea that I just wanted to paint. I wanted to be a painter and I had no interest in fashion or anything other than just being creative. I was sort of like a hippie child..."