Maison Magenta

02.10.17

Fresh to the Kent fashion scene is Maison Magenta, an exclusive designer brand that offers unique high-quality personalised items made from sustainable materials for its customers. The company devotes its designs to incorporate bright colours coupled with natural materials to create bespoke garments and was founded by Anastasia Kuatkhina in June 2017.

Born in St-Petersburg and raised in Canterbury, Anastasia’s journey into the world of fashion commenced at the age of seven, when she won her first competition, and further individualised her aesthetic during her time at Central Saint Martin’s, London where she completed her bachelors of arts. Sparking a desire to pursue a career in the industry, she undertook an internship at Christian Dior Haute Couture design studio in Paris working closely with Raf Simmons. It was here, she developed the necessary knowledge to build the foundations for her own exclusive company. With a curious eye for original patterns, Anastasia’s style aims at maintaining an emphasis on individuality for each of her clients.

Living in an era where sustainability is becoming an increasing call for concern amongst fashion designers and customers, Maison Magenta reassures us that finding resolutions to this growing problem is at the root of the brand’s values. The idea behind Maison Magenta is to slow fashion down with a sustainable outlook focusing on a bespoke approach through an appointment only system. Anastasia hopes this process of producing on demand using one or more unique techniques from the collection or even a specifically designed garment will slow the fashion cycle down and remind ladies about the craftsmanship and appreciation for clothes. Selecting natural materials, with great properties including: hand dyed silk, cotton, suede, and fur at the end of their cycle, after the many hand-me-downs the clothes are all biodegradable, leaving a smaller carbon footprint.

In addition, another element of the brand that deserves considerable attention is its contribution to the awareness of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) otherwise known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). Those suffering experience overwhelming tiredness that drains the mental state and further presents a physical impact in the form of muscle pain. It affects an “estimated 250,000 people in the UK” according to the statistics published by Action For Me, a charity Anastasia is fond of supporting, but not a label often connected within the fashion sphere.* After being diagnosed, Anastasia refused to let CFS hinder her career prospects and alternatively her diagnosis has worked in reverse. It has fuelled her aspiration to inspire others to follow their desires, despite the strict demands and expectations that are associated with the fashion empire.

“The Glass Mass”

Ultimately, the focal inspiration for Maison Magenta’s debut collection is 15th century Murano glass chandeliers, with Evangelical wear, and 90's Supermodel glamour. The silhouette is influenced by research into evangelist vestments copes, cloaks and chasubles the clergy and the Dean wear, with Anastasia undertaking first hand research at Canterbury Cathedral Archives. Knitwear is created to reflect the regal exuberance and elegance the chandeliers and Cathedrals behold. Exploring the distorted perspective when looking through a chandelier and it’s large decorative crystals, the garments relate to shifting focal points when the chandelier subtly rotates, skewing shapes and in turn revealing something unexpected through the movement and layers of the garment. Capturing the light and the soft pastel reflections of Murano glass chandeliers was essential, and effortlessly fused with paintings by Marie Laurencin, such as “La Danse” and accentuated with splashes of pure indigo for impact a la Yves Klein.

*‘What is M.E.? Introduction’, Action For Me, <https://www.actionforme.org.uk/what-is-me/introduction/>

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