Lotta Volkova Adam, the Russian-born stylist/casting director behind both Vetements and Gosha Rubchinskiy, recently sat down for an interview with 032c that touched upon how she came to be involved with both of fashion’s current it-brands, her relationship with social media, and her motherland’s influence on her aesthetic.
Volkova, 32, left Russia to study fine art and photography at London’s Central Saint Martins university. In her spare time, Volkova started her own brand — Lotta Skeletrix — that dealt primarily in menswear and accessories influenced by post-punk, post-Soviet subcultures:
Nowadays, Volkova finds inspiration on Instagram more than anything. Her feed is equal parts mood board and resource; Volkova has used the social networking app to cast shows for both Gvasalia and Rubchinskiy in the past. “I am really into Instagram, for example. I really like it when people write to me that they like my work and that they find it new and different, because I am taking the side of different cultures and am mixing subcultural codes rather than just being glossy and glam.”
Read on below for more quotes from the creative and click here to read the interview in its entirety.
How did you meet Demna Gvasalia?
Through a friend. Through parties, really. One night he showed me his first collection. It was just some lookbook images. Apparently, I saw the lookbook and I said, “Great clothes, but bad styling.” So he said, “Why don’t you style it then?”
Please explain what you do.
At Vetements I am involved in the casting, the styling and I’m also consulting Demna with the collection. We have meetings about directions and shapes. Vetements is very much about attitude, therefore shapes are very important. We are trying to translate moods into shapes and silhouettes. I never thought about clothes in this way until I met Demna. He is really interested in making a jacket that represents an attitude. For example, a jacket that looks as if you just got off your motorcycle. Demna constructed the sleeves in a way so that they stay as bulky as your jacket is shaped while you are riding a chopper. This is a completely new take on constructing clothes. It’s very sculptural.
What impact would you like to generate? What is the philosophy behind your work?
I am interested in doing something that is real and true. And I would love to inspire. I am really into Instagram, for example. I really like it when people write to me that they like my work and that they find it new and different, because I am taking the side of different cultures and am mixing subcultural codes rather than just being glossy and glam.
Are you against the system? Do you want to beat the system?
No, not at all. We need the system. We just want to do what we enjoy doing. The system helps us do that.
How did you feel about the criticism that your runway casting this fashion week featured no people of colour? Was that lack of diversity an oversight, or was it intentional?
Those were some shocking allegations for us. We cast certain characters for certain looks and felt we were paying a lot of attention to diversity. We had Russian gay people in the casting, people from so many different cultural backgrounds. But I take this as a challenge now to pay more attention for the future. Not because I want to be politically correct, but because I don’t want to offend anyone.
What are your favorite stereotypes currently?
I have always been inspired by different stereotypes. I like the sexy secretary, or the biker or the goth kid. Or the Russian school girl that I was playing, walking down the runway opening the Vetements show. What is interesting about stereotypes is that people can easily relate.
It seems that one of the reasons why everyone is projecting all their hopes for the future onto Vetements is because you reflect the now. Tell me about your “now.”
It’s a remix of a lot of cultural references. A constant flow of information and immediate reactions to everything. I find that extremely interesting and exciting and overwhelming. It’s very fast. Incredibly immediate. It’s a crazy pace of life. A crazy pace of being influenced. Of course, I am talking about social media. Of course, I am talking about Instagram. I’ve had the Internet since I was 12, and I was obsessed with it. I was on it all the time. I would search about fashion and music. I was very aware. You know, in the former USSR we had nothing. No magazines, no Western TV. The Internet supplied me with all the info I needed. And it still does.
Which medium corresponds with your vision of the future of fashion?
Instagram. It gives you the opportunity to reach out to anybody you want. I find that very inspiring. I met so many people via Instagram, I just find them randomly, and then I send them a message.
Who in the fashion industry is in power today?
Please complete this sentence: The future of fashion is…