Muchaneta Kapfunde – diary
BRINGING A FASHION DREAM TO LIFE
By Muchaneta Kapfunde
When it comes to trying to get your label started the best advice is to go and see how someone who has been in the fashion business longer does it. How do they get sponsors? How do they put a show together? How to they cope with the stress of finishing a new collection on time for its debut? How do they handle the press? Who do they NEED to invite? It was with these questions that we – SADO Head Designer Carlotta Gherzi, her co-designer Evan Del Franco and myself, found ourselves wanting to ask those question qnd more to designer Igor Chapurin at his fashion show in Paris. Our goal: to learn the ropes, ask the questions and network.
ABOUT IGOR CHAPURIN – Chapurin brings Russian Fashion to Paris
Designer Igor Chapurin debuted his latest collection in Paris for the second time, to an appreciative audience. His first collection was the ballerina inspired S/S 06, and it him took nearly ten years to get to where he is now.
At 37 years old, Russian Chapurin is a talented fashion designer who fortunately grew up around fashion. His grandfather opened the first russian linnen textile mills, his father modernised sewing firms and his mother ran a hats manufacture. He soldified his fashion designer status when he won Paris young designer award in 1992. From there he was requested by the Princess Irene Galitzine, in 1996 to 1998, to create the first line of the italian fashion house Galitzine. This was soon followed by an induction as a member of Haute Couture Russian Association which then led to the association distinguising him with the supreme award for his 1999 and 2003 collections.
In 2005, the established designer recieved the Man of the Year award from the Russian GQ, was designning the costumes and decors for the ballet production Jeux de Cartes and he also presented his new line CHAPURINRG, a skiing clothes collection. By the end of 2005 Igor Chapurin opened the Maison Chapurin, in the centre of Moscow. It is now there that he has his new shop, office, design studio, Haute Couture and Ready to Wear Workshops all under one roof.
This season Igor Chapurin introduced us to his A/W 2006/2007 collection- an array of Swarovski Chrystals and Kopenhagen Fur. The Russian Empire inspired collection was a flair of constructivism and military presence which was translated in the sharp cuts of the coats. His collection managed to show the tubulent times of Russia at the time and the memory of the luxurious past through strong military inspiration which he softned by the romanticism influence evident in the sweaters which were made of coarse natural raffia. Chapurin managed to create a collection that boasted an understated luxury by using jersey instead of silk. Other fabrics used in the A/W 2006/2007 collection included stiff taffeta, foaming boucle wool, tulle and mohair.
After the show, we found ourselves backstage. The importance of this was in the need to introduce yourself personally to the designer so he knows who you are. We congratulated him and asked him our burning questions. Always remember to come prepared with your questions. I know, from personal experience, that it is scary to walk up to somebody unknown let alone a known fashion figure, so fake that confidence if you must, smile and take advantage of the usually rare situation. Also carry your business cards with you always because you never know when you might need them- your next potential contact could be round the corner.
At the Chapurin Soiree we attended took place at the Soho Boutique in the 1st district. There was a mixture of fashion, russian society and french society and this was were we did the majority of the networking. As the champagne flowed, Igor Chapurin, whose collection had been well received at his show earlier, made the rounds to meet and greet all his guests. The intimate affair boasted no VIP section, but had all mingling, conversating, and enjoying the candle lit party.
So if you are wondering how you can get yourself to a fashion show, be sure to find out the PR that is handling the label and request tickets- never ask for more than 3 as that would give them a reason to say no. Last words: go out there and find inspiration to make your label fabulous by taking useful tips fom those who have been there, done that and who probably still remember what its like to have a dream that begs to be fulfilled.
Ciao, Ciao from Paris
When a Venture turns into an Adventure
By Muchaneta Kapfunde
Before I start my diary, please let me introduce myself. I am a 26-year-old female with a dream and a goal to make my mark, albeit a small one, in the fashion industry. So here is some brief history on my relationship with the world of fashion journalism. Ok here goesâ€¦
â€¦It was through a very lucky break one summer that I found myself working at Seventeen Magazine in
I was supposed to be working in Tatlerâ€™s Editorial Department but I constantly found myself drawn to the Fashion department. It was there that I soon became aquainted with Tatlerâ€™s fashion wardrobe, although not as fabulous as the one up stairs at Vogue, it was a little bit of heaven for me. Soon enough I was introduced to Nina Ricci; Yves Saint Laurent; Alberta Ferreti; Kenneth Cole; Sonia Rykiel and Yohji Yamamoto creations. With a quick word in the Fashion Editorâ€™s ear, I soon left Editorial for Fashion. That following summer, after putting in 6 months hard work at Tatler, I found myself back in
The glamorous and glitzy magazine had me covering openings, shows, and premieres that unexpectedly turned out to be more work then I ever comprehended. Back in
Thatâ€™s me in a nutshell, and now things are about to take an interesting turn. I have recently succumbed to a new venture- accepting life in the fast lane AKA the world of fashion PR. This sudden twist in my usually work life is a change that has been a long time coming. I have now swapped my cushy journalist-write-about-fashion career for the risky fashion pr world, were I will be responsible for putting fashion creations out there- a very scary prospect!
I have willingly entered this unpredictable territory, and will make sure that this fly-on-the wall diary will include written commentary on how SADOâ€™, the fashion label I am doing the PR and Marketing for, will be fairing up in the sometimes harsh fashion business and how it will be coping trying to stand on its own two feet. This easier said than done transition will be a mission that will hopefully inspire, encourage, and give confidence to present and future designers to take that scary step into believing in their fashion dreams.
Last Words: Finally something I can sink my teeth into. Not only is it challenging but it will also mean that I will be working on the other side of the fashion industry. This will be a hard prospect after having gotten used to fashion houses approaching me, I now have to be the one doing all the nerve wrecking approaching. Saying that, I know I will enjoy sharing with you, the readers, useable tips and juicy titbits of whoâ€™s who, whatâ€™s what, and the when and whereâ€™s of