INTERVIEW by GARY GOLDMAN | PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy of FYODOR AND GOLAN
As Her Majesty Klum likes to declare: “In fashion, one day you’re in and one day you’re out.” The fact that the industry is fiercely competitive and famously unpredictable does not prevent hundreds of talented young designers from creating collections each season in an attempt to charm us on the runway. Within the last few years, such designers as Joseph Altuzarra, Jason Wu, and Kate and Laura Mulleavy have emerged, succeeded, and left the space open for the “next big thing.” It was only two years ago that husbands Fyodor Podgorny and Golan Frydman created the aptly named brand Fyodor Golan and shook the world of fashion with their avant-garde clothing, each piece a colorful and exciting feast for a notoriously jaded audience. And since they won the coveted London-based emerging talent prize Fashion Fringe in 2011 and have received seals of approval from Lady Gaga as well as comparisons to the late Alexander McQueen, one thing can be sure: you won’t be saying “Auf Wiedersehen” to these two anytime soon.
Even though you are both designers, you seem to have a formidable business-oriented mindset. What are both of your backgrounds?
Thank you. We try to find the fine line between creativity and business. Golan used to be Assistant Production Manager at Richard Nicoll and then in textile design at McQueen, and Fyodor used to work at Issey Miyake, where he had the chance to go to Japan and see with his own eyes the technology they use with a business point of view. We think in this industry every part, including the business, has to be thought creatively, and we try to combine both of our minds when it comes to design and business decisions. You have to create your own business composition.
What triggered the creation of Fyodor Golan? Since you used your own funding, you must have truly believed from the start that you could bring something fresh to the fashion world.
Both of us knew for a long time that we would be doing it when the time was right. One has to believe in oneself and push his own limits. When we met we still worked separately, organically merging into one — FYODOR GOLAN. That is one of the reasons we chose our first names. We bring our own feelings and tensions between ourselves and our differences.
You launched extremely recently (2010) and yet have already worked with McQueen as well as some of the world’s biggest pop stars. How did you go about promoting Fyodor Golan and building these relationships?
Networking and strategy. We work with amazing people like the TRACE PR family and all the supporters, from Fashion Fringe to friends that believe in our brand. We don’t like bullshitting; it has to be true.
When London Fashion Week ended, you were the talk of the town. Tell us about your collection and the inspiration behind two of your pieces.
We like to combine unexpected inspirations in our work. This season we looked at the last Russian Czars, the Romanov family and the myth surrounding Anastasia’s survival of the family massacre by the revolution army. We combined that with insects that metamorphose in order to protect themselves and evolve. As an example, a full red look has Russian peasant style braiding on the top and hand-stitched basket-style weaving on the skirt. Braids on the top feel as if they are growing on top of the skin in bug-like shapes. There is a warrior feel for the protection, but at the same time it’s fragile and sensitive; it’s almost exposed to a viewer.
Fyodor Golan’s delicate and powerful red look. Photo credit: catwalking.com, source
And the first look. We worked for the first time with tailoring and wanted to cut fabric to create an insect feel in the cut. We created jacquards that actually are close-ups of the real bug shells.
Fyodor Golan’s first look at London Fashion Week. Photo credit: catwalking.com, source
Why did you choose to have a fully green, glittery model go down the catwalk?
It was fun. It was spur-of-the-moment and it felt right with the concept. It’s about metamorphosing our woman, and that was something in between human and inhuman, but still elegant and unexpected.
Fyodor Golan’s very green, very glittery model. Photo credit: catwalking.com, source
The color palettes, the texture, the craftsmanship, the distinct silhouettes… Our team loves this year’s collection. What type of client are you designing for?
Thank you. Our woman is expressive, sexual, and sensitive. She wants to love and be loved, but she is not afraid to show her energy and strive. She is an international woman.
Many have already compared your work to that of the great Alexander McQueen. How do you respond to this?
We think people like to put designers into boxes in the beginning of their careers. It’s an honor to be compared to McQueen because we know how much work and effort it takes to create, and that’s how we work.
Daily BR!NK is all about individuals who are revolutionizing their respective fields. What are your hopes and aspirations for Fyodor Golan in 2012 (as well as long-term)?
We are striving for FYODOR GOLAN MAISON. All under one roof — boutique, studio, et cetera. Definitely challenging ourselves somehow. We just launched our website, and we are looking forward to working closely with Centre of Fashion Enterprise.
Here are a series of quick questions — just one sentence answers, please! First, Fyodor is from Latvia. Golan is from Israel. Which language do you speak together?
English; Golan sometimes mumbles some Russian words.
Your biggest inspiration?
Fyodor: LaChapelle and Almodóvar (David and Pedro).
Golan: Pink Floyd and Nature.
The piece you are the proudest of?
The finale gown, because it almost did not appear on the catwalk.
Fyodor Golan’s stunning finale look at London Fashion Week. Photo credit: catwalking.com, source
The celebrity you would most like to dress?
You don’t have to be a celebrity to wear our clothes!
Thank you! How can Daily BR!NK readers contribute to your success?
They will find their way. The eager ones always do.