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‘I Wanted to Remind Everyone That We’re All Kids, And That’s Nothing to Be Afraid of’

Daniil Kostyshin, a fourth-year student of the ‘Fashion Design’ track in the HSE Art and Design School at HSE University, presented a collection of his own design at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia. His collection, ‘21’, was inspired by old family photos of his childhood during the early 2000s.

Puffer jackets, coloured overalls, striped suits, cozy pajamas and rocket appliqués — Daniil’s ensembles evoked the bright colours and memories of childhood. The majority of the looks resembled old photographs that served to immerse the viewer in childhood memories. ‘With this collection, I wanted to remind everyone that we’re all kids, and that’s nothing to be afraid of,’ says Kostyshin.

There’s not enough childish naivety, sincerity, kindness, and simplicity in the real world

A family album with touching photos of a smudged-faced boy helped Daniel create a real show, which did not go unnoticed by the professional designers, critics, and journalists present at the event. While Kostyshin’s models walked the catwalk at the show, those same family photos were projected on a large screen overhead.

The UK Daily Mailpublished a piece about the promising young designer, and he was also featured in an article about Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia in Forbes.com.

This was Daniil Kostyshin’s first time appearing as an independent designer at such a large-scale fashion world event. Prior to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia, his portfolio included shows at the HSE Art and Design School, HSE Day, Futurum Moscow-2018 at the Moscow Museum, as well as collaborative shows organized with classmates for Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week Russia. For his show at Moscow Fashion Week, organizers awarded the novice fashion designer a grant to cover the event costs. Kostyshin spent a month sewing, filming, casting models, compiling music, and montaging the video in preparation for the event.

Many of Daniel’s friends came to the show. ‘My classmates not only gave me their support, but helped put on this show. I am from St. Petersburg, so not all my family and friends could come, but they watched it online. After the show, I was overwhelmed by calls and messages! It’s really great to see my work getting so much attention.’

But his main source of support, according to the young designer, has always been and remains his mother. It was she who sewed Daniil and his older brother’s clothes. And when she realized how keen her younger boy was on designing, she encouraged him to design ensembles himself, which she then sewed based on his sketches.

When my mom saw the show in its final form, there were a lot of emotions: goose bumps, tears, joy, and smiles

Daniel named the collection ‘21’ as a reference to the age he turned on the eve of the show. ‘I wanted to delve into my childhood while showing my coming-of-age as a designer at the same time—how my vision has changed, and the kinds of new tools I’ve come to employ,’ says the HSE student who is currently working on his final collection project for the HSE Art and Design School.

Daniil’s ‘21’ collection was both cutting-edge and light and playful. For me, Daniil is a telling example of how talent is only part of success—you need to constantly be working, developing, and improving. I am very interested to see what his capstone collection will be like. By the way, a couple of Daniil’s classmates, Inna Golubeva and Lisa Pichugina, will also be presenting collections at a major fashion event – the Fashion Futurum show in St. Petersburg. Generally, all students of our ‘Fashion Design’ track get the opportunity to participate in shows—as part of our curriculum, students design their own collections in their third year for our own Fashion Week, which is very much like a real event. They design everything themselves, from the concept to the show itself.’

Bakhtier Kavrakov
Visiting Scholar, HSE Art and Design School, HSE University

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