One learning resource we are most proud to provide students with at the Academy, is the opportunity to work with local designers in Kansas City Fashion shows and photo shoots. We have participated in countless fashion shows over the years, and each one presents a new challenge and style for the students to overcome. We are always so surprised and proud to see what our students come up with, and this October we had the wonderful opportunity to work with a designer who had a fun, beautiful, look she wished to achieve. Lead by our Education Director Roseanna Pollina, the students set out to create gravity defying, regal runway hair, with inspiration stemming from the Rococo Period. Their Marie Antoinette style hair and makeup, was not complete however, without the beautifully executed fashion of Nataliya Meyer, who is a Kansas City based tailor and fashion designer.
We were fortunate enough to have the chance to pick Nataliya’s brain, and ask her about vibrant, intricate collection.
1. How long have you been designing clothes and tailoring professionally? Where did you get your start?
I started sewing as a girl when I was eight years old on my mother’s sewing machine. I wasn’t allowed to sew on the machine, but would sneak around to do it anyway. As a child I would make my own clothes and draw my own paper dolls and all their outfits. When I got older I received formal training at a college for tailoring and sewing and worked as a seamstress in a factory.
2. Where did you get your inspiration for your collection presented at the Beauty through Courage Masquerade? What inspired the colors, shapes, and technical aspects of your garments?
The collection was really colorful, which as a designer is very uncommon for me. I am usually drawn to darker neutrals like charcoal and black, but this collection was all about pinks and greens, vibrant hues and shiny things. The collection was inspired by my new relationship with my now husband and all the new things that were happening to me at that time because of it. It is a very happy and uplifting collection for me.
3. What is your favorite aspect of clothing design and construction?
Clothing design and sewing has always been my main mode of self expression and relief. Touching fabrics, experimenting with silhouettes, and continuously pushing my creative limits is gratifying and fulfilling. I love the idea of the clothes I make living a life of their own on my clients. It’s especially nice to do custom orders and seeing the garment come together piece by piece as it gets shaped to my client.
4. How does it feel to see your work walk down the runway? What do you love about participating in a fashion show?
I love the community that forms during a runway. It’s always such a pleasure to spend time with all the amazing artists that contribute to a runway to make it what it is. The models, hair stylists, makeup artists, assistants all play such a vital role in helping my vision come to life while also getting the opportunity to share their own artistic vision and skill set, and that kind of creative bonding cannot be matched. It’s extremely exhilarating to hear the response from the audience and to have the eyes of an entire crowd on my hard work.
5. What designers or artists do you find the most inspirational? Do you see some of their motifs appear in your own work?
Some of my favorite designers are John Galliano, Zuhair Murad, and Michael Cinco. Their attention to detail, extravagant designs, and quality craftsmanship is deeply inspiring and exciting to me. I think the designers I listed above along with myself are all really drawn to fine couture details such as beading and embroidery as well as dramatic designs and flattering yet avant-garde silhouettes.
6. When and where can we look forward to seeing your work again?! Any upcoming shows or events you are planning to participate in?
I plan on participating in the upcoming season of Kansas City Fashion Week where I will debut a new collection I just started working on. Between runways it’s always nice to have photo shoots showcasing my work as well.