The Fashion Folk S01 ep1 : Arkadius, Arkadius Fashion, [London]
Interview with Arkadius
There was nothing else that I wanted to do in life but fashion. Why? because firstly I wanted to do something very creative and secondly the idea of doing painting or sculpture I found it a little dead in the sense that when you paint this picture it simply hangs on a wall, no matter how beautiful the picture is. If you do clothing this clothing could be a piece of art but be alive because you can see it on a model- Kate Moss on the cat walk, then beyond that in photography, photographed by 10 photographers and beyond that it ‘s timeless.
Since I was very little I was always fascinated and intrigued by fashion. I grew
up in eastern Poland in a very small countryside.
I was always, always admiring the beautiful and glamorous clothes of Marlene
Dietrich, Greta Garbo of that period of the 1920’s and 30’s.
I was really most of the time in my own little fantasy whatever my mum bought
for me I had to change it straightaway.
I went to University in Poland and I was studying Pedagogics which is Science
of Teaching I was being completely suffocated and being completely unhappy
When I was in my fourth year I was absolutely convinced that there was
nothing else that I wanted to do in life but fashion
Why, because first of all I wanted to do something very creative and secondly I
had an idea of doing painting or sculpture I found it a little bit dead in the sense
that you paint a picture and hang it on the wall no matter how beautiful the
picture is if you do clothing this clothing could still be a piece of art but could be
alive because you could see it on a catwalk and beyond photography beyond
one photographer, two photographers and beyond that timeless
KM: Why St. Martins
Of course because of the tradition that Hussein Chayalan went there and
McQueen went there and secondly because it is an art college so people with
a very creative vision blend there with people from sculpture from photography
from painting whatever it is and one environment is like one family people are
together and thirdly the tutors there they don’t treat you as a designer they
look at you more in the aspect of an artist as opposed to other colleges you go
there you learn how to cut and cut you know how to make pockets collar
whatever I don’t I mean I do because I have learned it myself at home.
I went there and I spoke to a lady who was running the foundation course for
fashion design and I explained to her my greatest dream has been always to
study fashion I don’t have any book with me I have nothing but there is nothing
else I dropped everything for I am here I want to study fashion and then she
said to me OK I was rather surprised she didn’t ask to see any of my clothes I
found out only two years later when I was much more friendly with her she
came to me and she said do you know what I have been teaching this course
for 23 years and you are the only person that I accepted without seeing any
drawings and I said why did you do that and she said I was so convinced about
you, you had such energy I could see that you did not want to do anything else
and I knew that you are going to make it
I started doing a fashion design foundation course and I was more or less
going out to 2 o’clock 3 o’clock in the night all the time because I was so
determined to do well because other people who started doing this course they
did come from a already fashion background or artistic background to be able
to draw beautifully be able to sketch design understand fashion I didn’t know
everything worked so well apart from the fact that I loved it.
In my year there were 140 people graduated from fashion design and how
many of them can be recognisable names if there is only one name each year
that is a big success
KM: Are you an artist or a fashion designer? What is art?
Well I think I have to be born an artist because you know have to combine
both elements so the artistic part of me is what I create myself in a vision that
is so strong individual part of me this is art when I say about myself that I am a
fashion designer as well when I have to survive and producing this sort of
things that people can wear and buy
KM: So this is good design?
This is good design
KM: but this is different to art
but this is different to art
When did you use the art side is this when you are doing a collection
When I am doing a collection 30% of it or 20% whatever it is its art you can’t
call it a design necessarily because this is you know it is a piece of art in itself
follows the strategy of your idea for the show as such and keeps them
influenced all the way through if there is a soul it is art if there is no soul there
is no art
I was very, very reluctant and very cautious always to look at other designer’s
I was always inspired mostly by the nature and other artists.
My first show was inspired by Alan Jones the British artist. The second show
was accidentally inspired by Anna Maria Pashenko the Brazilian artist – names
that are not necessarily as big as Picasso, Dali but still very inspiring, very
In each case it was different because I tend to extract elements and mood
from their work.
In Alan Jones work, it was definitely the sexual aspect and blocks of color.
We’d paint in a very rough way.
Subconsciously things came from Pericles, from Shakespeare and then I was
using the quotes, the birth of the child – it was inspired by Lucina the goddess
of child-birth and elements are blending and coming from here and there.
I travelled quite a lot and I loved observing different cultures and different
peoples needs whether this is in Dubai or the Maldives or Brazil, or London
and blending them together.
I do believe in fate very much so if I was not to have met the right people on
my way but I think if I wasn’t smart if I wasn’t doing the right thing life wouldn’t
have helped me at all.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Arkadius, Arkadius Fashion, Paris