Anna Gudzenko Côte d’Azur, France
We are excited to talk with Anna Gudzenko, the designer behind the eponymous fashion brand, Anna Gudzenko. Anna has found creative inspiration in the beauty of Nice, France and has found her work transformed by the same light that has inspired many prominent artists in years past. Read on to discover the inspirations for her refined style.
On Light in the South of France
Hello everyone, my name is Anna Gudzenko, I am a clothing designer. I love to travel and discover new places. In my creations I am often inspired by architecture and sculpture, and I like to experiment with cutting clothes and playing with volumes. Two years ago I left Saint Petersburg, Russia (the city is sometimes called ‘The Venice of the North’) and I moved to Côte d’Azur in France. A blend of these two backgrounds influences my creations. In Saint Petersburg the sun is a rare guest and most people prefer to wear dark colors: black, gray or blue. In the south of France, on the contrary, the sun is always here, everything blooms all year round. Here, people prefer lighter colors. My sentiments coincide with those of Henri Matisse, who moved to the south of France and said, “When I realized that every morning I would see this light again, I couldn’t believe my happiness. I decided not to leave Nice, and I stayed there for most of my life.” Impressed by this light and clarity in France, I created a capsule collection all in white. White is the color that represents the beginning of the beginning, because it is the color that reflects all the other colors.
On Finding Inspiration
I like to walk at the Beaulieu in front of Villa Kerylos (it inspires me with its strict pseudo-Greek architecture) or in the gardens of Villa Rothschild where you find representations of gardens from all over the world. The approach to fashion and beauty in the south of France has a lot in common with the Russian approach: women prefer to be brilliant everywhere. However, in France the focus is often on the lips, in Russia on the eyes. When it comes to style of clothing everyone gives priority to comfort. I love the mix of classic styles with sporty. I like to wear dresses with sneakers and I like oversize pieces. In my work I often turn to the oriental traditions of sewing, using techniques that center around more consistency and less slicing, which is, in fact, the principle of minimalism.
On Staying Young at Heart
In generations past, it was the principle to attain beauty at all costs, now it’s comfort above all. When I was little I wanted to be a dancer like my grandmother. I loved looking at her performance photos. She taught me to keep good posture by hitting me between the shoulder blades every time I slumped. Despite the difficult life she had, she always remained a child in her soul, which helped her to stay young. It was the secret of her beauty, because the most important thing for beauty is not on the outside, but on the inside.
On Making an Understated Statement
I make clothes for those who do not want to stand out but who want to be noticed. My style is characterized:
Architectural, Relevant and with Respect for Traditions
On Subtlety in Beauty and Accessories
I almost don’t wear accessories, but sometimes an accessory can make my whole look. For example, I wear a black jacket and by adding accent earrings it’s transformed into evening wear. I sometimes complete casual looks with an accessory; a bracelet or a chain necklace. I prefer to go for the no-makeup makeup look. Scandinavian bloggers like @josefinehj and @hannashonberg inspire me. And I think the main thing to draw focus to on the face is the eyebrows. Even if I don’t have time to put on makeup, I always style and define my eyebrows.
On Comfortable Classics
My favorite trend is oversize. I love volume and I think it should have enough space between body and clothes for comfort. I never regret past trends and I’m all for novelty. But the only thing that should always be in the trend is craftsmanship and quality. I prefer online shopping. Matches Fashion and Yoox are my favorite shopping sites. I love intellectual chic of Prada, the ironic femininity of Jacquemus, and Toteme -comfortable interpretation of the classics . And their wide shaft boot ( every fashionista’s dream ) is on my wish list .
On Finding a Muse
To find your own style, find yourself a muse, not to copy, but to get inspired. Experiment and follow your intuition. I’m still refining it because style is a puzzle that takes years. In my wardrobe there are clothes that have lived there for ages, but I try to style them in a new way. And if I buy something new I always think about what I’m going to combine it with. That’s how my style is formed.
Thank you Anna for sharing with us your lovely point of view! If you’d like, you can keep up with Anna, and shop her collection on Instagram.
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