Iulia Filipovscaia embodies the diversely talented, hyphen-studded ideal trending in today’s creative industry.
The designer-artist-actress-model-curator infuses her work with her ethos, specifically through her artisan fashion label, Lana Siberie, which combines environmental consciousness with conceptual fashion design. All Lana Siberie clothing is made of sustainably sourced, vintage, handmade, organic material.
The form of the four- year-old company has shifted with Iulia’s dynamic interests and is now a facet of her larger brand, a site called TheWonderfulWizard which houses Iulia’s art pieces alongside her bespoke clothing and blog. ROCKET got a glimpse behind the curtain at Iulia’s artistic process and the future of her mystical, multifaceted art.
ROCKET: What’s the driving force behind your work?
IULIA FILIPOVSCAIA: Originally it was my mother and desire to find and ignite a skill or a craft in her, to help ourselves (2 girls) become independent and earn a steady income. Finally, to leave a legacy for next generations.
The last 4 years with Lana Siberie did so much more! It lead me to an identification process of those specific things that make my work inherently mine. I found out about my Drive to Communicate through Creation, the Love I have for the tactile, Curiosity and nose for Rare and Unique things, all along side interest in Supernatural, Magic or Consciousness.
“I found out about my Drive to Communicate through Creation, the Love I have for the tactile, Curiosity and nose for Rare and Unique things, all along side interest in Supernatural, Magic or Consciousness.”
The process of creation is always a process of becoming, and if I answer the question from the moment of now, Lana Siberia drives itself. It seems like I have a duty or have a responsibility to continue carrying out the LS mission. However, today it is something else, part of something bigger.
To answer this question simply and honestly, I want to make a meaningful mark during my lifetime and do things that I love. I want to serve by making revolutionary work that will make more people happy and connected to this planet.
I want to be part of universe that is reverberating with bright and shiny light, happiness and love throughout the cosmos.
R: Describe your creative process.
I.F.: Part one: inspiration
I’m influenced a lot by textures of things that surround me. Fruit and vegetable skin and seeds, even the packaging itself. This process is interminable. I get ideas all the time, so I write them down or draw them on paper so that they don’t dissipate. Yet another valuable source of inspiration are books. Reading and innovative ways of using language are powerful tools for the expansion of one’s imagination. A combination of eloquently put phrases create visuals for me, transcend a thought that I pull down into the earthly dimension and as an alchemist let the process of materialisation take its toll. There are certain areas and styles that I am intuitively attracted to, more often than not I follow my guidance through with an inspired action and then later understand it’s meaning…
Part two : study
During my process of creation, no matter the ideas and concepts, what turns out differs from the original. Idea realised and tested is a moved on matter. Hence why the necessary next trajectory is drawing, collage and writing in reversed order. But even then, the outcome of both processes is another thing all together.
Part three: sample/ testing
Producing a sample or testing the ground is what’s required next. So, after I’ve drawn out the pieces I take them to my atelier and this where the ‘translation’ happens. Before it goes to sewing, a pattern is made, and as I call it, ‘foundation’ is produced. From that, the garment or artwork alters slightly and enhances its appearance. I feel as if creative process is so much ingrained in a creative being that it is hard to separate one from the other. The process never stops even when the piece is brewing, being made or is done. It keeps going, because as soon as you finish you already see how in future to go better about it. It is a continuous learning and improvement cycle. My latest favourite is the ‘inspired action’ approach and this can be applied for all parts of the project and in the everyday. It is much more genuine and positive approach, an action only made when the inspiration has occurred. Not out of necessity or obligation. For example, you get an idea whilst you are reading a book, get up and write it down or better do it if you able to attend to it immediately and keep going like that.
R: How did you become involved in fashion/art?
I.F.: I am not one of those artists who will answer this question that I’ve been drawing from the age of 5 and wanted to be an artist all my life. I don’t think I completely grasped what Fine Art is even when I was applying for a B. A. However, from 10 years of age, I was in a school with a strong bias towards arts. We had still life drawings in pencil, oils etc. several times a week. I enjoyed it very much, so when I went for an exchange year to Kansas in the USA (my first year of independent ‘sailing’) I took Art I and Art II classes and even won a competition among high schools in the area. By the end of that year I knew creativity would be my path. And so it began…
My interest in fashion was largely influenced by my mother who would always dress me in the latest trends that would get me into trouble at school. Once I had to leave because I fought back!
R: What would you say to someone who wants to enter the field of fashion or art?
I.F.: You have to be prepared to challenge yourself. When you are walking against the grain, and most artists do in any creative field, best to be extremely honest to yourself and your audience. Be brave, have the courage to do things you are called to, trust yourself as long as it is for the benefit of the whole and not self-indulgence.
R: Do you view your art as an expression of self or as a reflection of society?
I.F.: What a great question! Last year a son was throwing away a garage full of books published by Gandhi Peace Foundation. His father used to own a shop selling those. I could not bear the sight, I rescued them. Some of them are still with me and the other day I picked up one. Let me answer this question using one of them.
In the handbook for one who practices non -violence as an effective tool for social change, it talks about the progress of mankind developing in two directions. One, where inner faculties through study, research, meditation and yoga evolve on an inward journey and two, ‘ the line of social reforms, legislations, revolutions, etc.’, a progress concerned with the journey without. Both of those are not mutually exclusive, rather interrelated and interdependent. The purification of an individual and ‘search for truth must end in social change and the medium of social change should be individual search for truth…the revolution begins with him/herself.
R: Can you tell me a bit about the latest Lana Siberie collection? What inspired it?
I.F.: Latest collection…I would rather talk a little but about the large body of work that I am and will be making. I am excited about making a limited number of wearables and non-wearable objects.
I will say this, LS has moved on from seasonal into the realm of one-off pieces. We make pieces when the idea reveals itself or when there is an order.
R: How do you think the collection should be worn?
I.F.: However way one likes it. I will show examples, you will be able to see those via my instagram account: @ifilipovscaia or , but it is also great to see others at play and exercising their imagination. Isn’t it what is all about?
R: Who is a person in the creative world right now whose work inspires you?
I.F.: So many… There are so so many young, talented and innovative brands and artists out there.
The most important is to stay searching. Especially if you have the means I would encourage you to do your homework and look out for the youngsters who are challenging the norms or digging into the newest latest technologies of future fashion. I’ve recently supported Wires sunglasses zero waste/Zimbabwe made, Pla slippers made in Bangladesh, finished in Mallorca, all whom I tag and give air time on my Instagram. We recently found vegan silk used by Buddhist monks and brought some beautiful handwoven, plant dyed examples of this fabric in scarfs with my friend Irina from Assam…these workers inspire me.
R: What is the next step for Lana Siberie?
I.F.: Like I mentioned, Lana Siberie will be making unique, one of a kind items per order only. Recently, I got more and more into film industry. Lately I have been working at Warner Brothers studios in UK. It is taking a lot of my time and I enjoy it. Let’s see what the 2018 will bring!
Written by Emily Bacal