Katya Leonovich

Katya Leonovich at Fall 2012 Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Presentation. Image: Lyra Mag

You’ve lived in Moscow, Rome and New York, all of which centers of culture and art. Please talk about how each place influenced your work and your life.

Moscow has great avant-garde history of arts and music, and also classic literature that influenced the modern writers. Italy for all artists all over the world is a school and the base of learning fine arts. New York I can say is modern Babylon where people from all over the world meet together and exchange their cultural backgrounds.

In your statement as a fashion designer you bring out the notion of “Beautiful Garbage”. How does the distressed aesthetics work in your couture collections, and how do you translate that into painting?

Classic way of making couture and painting is a safe way to do classic beauty. But to adopt it to modern way and modern people needs to keep in mind many streams in culture like pop, rock, punk and street styles. So, I am always doing some dissonance while creating composition in fashion or in painting. And philosophically speaking all objects being created during ages can be destroyed and lost and just get old. And a dress can be damaged as well as a painting.

Models presenting Katya Leonovich‘s design with her American football player series on the background. Photo: M.I.S.S.

Your American football player series is very interesting that it depicts the bodies and movements of modern day athletes in a Renaissance manner, how did this idea come about?

In Europe I didn’t see American football and their uniforms, but here I got fascinated with their images that mix ballet dancer’s leggings that shows anatomy of the athletes and same time the accessories that reminds me astronauts. I love the contrast.

Does the influence of classic art back in Europe still play an important role even when you paint abstraction?

I keep it “under my skin” to make beauty even edgy , but not to cross the line between art and simple provocation or conceptual message without aesthetic, emotion and passion.

Terra Firma, 2016, Image courtesy of the artist

You have a strong instinct in the usage of colors. How do you choose your color patterns? I always have a feeling that they’re seasonal. Correct me if I’m wrong.

It can be seasonal, like spring lighter and pastel pallet or winter dramatic deep and darker ones. My colors are my poetic formulas. I plan it carefully before I start my composition. It’s the mathematics of poetry.

I’ve noticed that you also painted murals on the walls at your studio. Architecture in a way shares the organic nature of human body. What would be the ideal venue to host your paintings, and who would be the ideal characters to fit in your couture?

My dream is to paint a church like the Sistine Chapel done by Michelangelo.

This idea comes to me all the time when I go to gallery openings and see people socializing but not concentrating on the exhibits. But in Church people come to concentrate, to silently observe and think and look inside their soul.

This may sounds old-fashioned but looking back in history the church was the only place to show arts to people.

Models walk runway at Katya Leonovich show at Lincoln Center. Image: Trends Vip

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