I have been a fan of Ioana Ciolacu since I first saw her. It was at the press conference with Stella McCartney. I was rooting for her to win the Award, not only because I her showcasing piece and her collection “Paradox” completely blew me away. But there was something about her that I immediately liked. I remember her, shy, but so genuine. She won the Designer for Tomorrow Award of 2013 and last summer she presented her debut collection as the official winner of the DFT Award, which again was one of my favorite collections by far presented at Berlin Fashion Week.
This season she returned to Berlin on her own with a new collection. Her being one of my favs since she emerged, for two seasons straight – imagine my joy, when I received a personal message from her via Facebook if I was interested to attend her show. She herself invited me to her show! Soon after I received the official invitation, backstage passes and one of her runway dresses to attend her show in.
(A little bit of gossip on the side: I even organized some friends to walk her show. Salimata, you looked amazing!). Enjoy a post full of runway and backstage impressions.
Ioana Ciolacu is a great designer with a creative mind and great sense of fashion as she has proven in her previous collections and her latest shows no different. Again I loved it, the tassels swaying with every step you take, the cut (especially that of the jumpsuit! So sexy, yet so effortless) and the details. I personally think it’s a great collection with a lot of pieces I could see myself wearing. Unfortunately most collections were super boring this year, so it was refreshing to see something promising on the catwalk and have something exceed my expectation or at least not be let down for a change. I can already say my favorite piece next winter is going to be the black jumper with the tassels or the checkered black combo two piece. My favorite piece of the collection though? I can’t say, I can’t decide..
I met her in Neukölln rent apartment and visited her backstage after her show again to congratulate her on her new collection. Right before the show, Ioana took a minute between the excitement minutes to her show and answered 5 quick questions my inquisitive self had to chance to pose.
Read the interview below:
Lois Opoku: How did you get into fashion designing?
Ioana Ciolacu: I guess it was a choice that I took without knowing what to expect, while I was still studying architecture and I wasn’t quite happy with what I was doing. So I decided to do something more creative with a quicker final product. In architecture you have to wait 5 years to see a building, in fashion everything just moves really fast. That’s what got me. And if I hadn’t chosen fashion, it would have been stage design.
Lois Opoku: This is your first show after your success at the Designer for Tomorrow Award with Peek& Cloppenburg. How does it feel to have come so far?
Ioana Ciolacu: I never expected to present (a collection) again to be honest because I thought that I was just in the programme, but apparently Berlin really likes what people are doing (who are) into fashion. So they called me again and that was quite a surprise. I’m really thankful for all the help and support I got without being part of the DFT anymore. That’s quite something – it’s really an achievement and I’m proud but I’ve got some weight on my shoulders.
Lois Opoku: Let’s talk about today, about the now. What’s your inspiration for this season’s collection?
Ioana Ciolacu: When you do a collection, then you realize that you haven’t done something you wanted (to), so you introduce those aspects in your next collection and so forth. I think that’s how you discover yourself and you grow. This one was done really fast and I tried to focus on winter, bearing in mind though I’m doing a show and it’s not just ready to wear. There are some pieces to that are more design. It was inspired, as you are going to see in the show, I imagined that when in movement it (the pieces) would move a lot because of all the ruffles.
Lois Opoku: If you could dress anybody – if you could see anyone dead or alive, in your designs, who would it be?
Ioana Ciolacu: Catherine Hepburn!
Lois Opoku: Awww!
Lois Opoku: Describe how you feel in this very moment in a word or two!
Ioana Ciolacu: Soar throat!
Lois Opoku: Do you have a cold too?
Ioana Ciolacu: No because of panic and excitement!
Lois Opoku: Haha! Thanks so much for your time and this great interview! All the best for you show!
I for one can’t wait to see what’s next for Ioana Ciolacu, the label, but also the woman behind it. No matter how far she’ll go, I hope she’ll stay the humble beautiful soul I met during Berlin Fashion Week.
Thank you for this great new experience and a highlight – the cherry on top – to my very eventful fashion week.
ALL PICTURES BY ME.