About the Artist: Olena Knyr, the creative mind hailing from beautiful Kyiv. With a passion for costume design cultivated from an early age, she has spent more than 10 years crafting captivating ensembles for cosplay and dazzling performances throughout Ukraine and Europe. Now, having ventured to US, she has embarked on a new venture – the exquisite SARASVATY LINGERIE brand. From fitness bikinis to lingerie for dancers and shows, Olena’s intricate designs are taking the fashion world by storm.
N.G. We appreciate your participation! Before we begin, our audience is curious to learn more about you. Could you please share your “backstory” and what inspired you to pursue this career?
O.K. My mother has always been my greatest inspiration and source of support. With her profession as a seamstress, I grew up in an atelier environment from birth. My childhood took place in the 90s, a time when Ukraine had gained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union. During this period, stores had a limited selection of items, including clothing. However, thanks to my talented mother, I always had the privilege of wearing the most beautiful and stylish clothes. From elegant dresses to chic blouses, cozy cardigans to fashionable coats and raincoats, my mother skillfully sewed them all. She not only nurtured my sense of taste and style, but also imparted to me the fundamental knowledge of patterns and techniques.
I have always sought to create something unparalleled and distinct. My fascination with costumes, cosplay, feathers, rhinestones, and lace led me to explore this passion further. It was my mother who initially encouraged me to construct my very first cosplay costume. Collaborating as a team, we brought that creation to life. I took charge of the design and functionality, while she meticulously handled the technical intricacies and assemblage.
During my younger years, I found great delight in watching Victoria’s Secret shows. They quickly became a tremendous source of inspiration for me. Continually mesmerized by the show, I deeply admired the intricate details of the presentations, the meticulous embellishments, and the impeccable craftsmanship displayed by the designs.
Unknowingly, Dita Von Teese became my ultimate inspiration and role model, leading me to discover my own unique style and direction in my work. Watching her captivating performance and gazing at her dazzling attire, adorned with diamonds and pearls, I was instantly captivated. Sitting front row, I couldn’t help but be mesmerized by every intricate detail, from her sparkling underwear to her rhinestone gloves. It was in that moment that I decided to channel my skills into the world of stage and luxury lingerie. Thus, began my journey of creating the Sarasvaty lingerie brand, driven by the vision sparked by Dita herself.
N.G. Tell us more about your clients and what they appreciate most about your collection. Are you able to accommodate custom orders as well?
O.K. Attracting fitness bikini models, dancers, and burlesque stars, my lingerie also appeals to women who seek to feel special and feminine. Whether it’s for a festival, party, or lounging on the beach, my creations offer a touch of irresistibility. My clients value the quality and individuality of my work, as well as the vibrant and unconventional designs. By paying meticulous attention to detail, I take pleasure in enhancing women’s attractiveness and accentuating the femininity and dignity of their bodies. Creating captivating looks that inspire confidence and admiration is my specialty. While I excel at crafting bespoke styles, I also provide ready-made options for those venturing into the world of unique lingerie for the first time. Remember, there are no ugly women, just underwear that isn’t chosen correctly! In the future, I hope to extend my clientele to include men, because beauty knows no gender boundaries.
N.G. In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by emerging artists?
O.K. Overcoming uncertainty and doubt, I embarked on the challenging journey of starting my own business. The first obstacle was the fear of failure and lack of interest from others, but the supportive people in my life helped me push forward. The second hurdle I faced was the financial aspect – relying solely on my savings and understanding that self-reliance was crucial in the beginning. Not only did I invest money, but also countless hours of hard work. Every minute of my day needed to be planned meticulously. However, the greatest challenge of all was finding clients who believed in my abilities and talents. Getting noticed in a sea of unknowns was no easy feat. Moreover, finding skilled professionals like models, photographers, and marketers proved to be a daunting task. Just as things were falling into place, unexpectedly, I encountered a new challenge – sustaining inspiration. Fortunately, I find solace and rejuvenation through travel and diverse interactions with people. Each journey adds to my repertoire of beauty, knowledge, and experiences. The praise and feedback from those I have styled serve as constant motivation to never cease creating and evolving.
Handcrafted lingerie SARASVATY by Olena Knyr presented during Dallas Fashion Week
N.G. How Dallas Fashion Week is helping your business?
O. K. Stepping into my first Fashion Week was like entering uncharted territory. As a spectator, I had always admired the glamour and elegance from afar, but now I was about to explore the inner workings of these dazzling events. Little did I know, my journey would be guided by a team of seasoned experts – organizers, managers, models, photographers, and cameramen – who would illuminate the intricacies of fashion show management. This captivating experience not only enhanced my knowledge but also challenged me to embrace a difficult yet immensely valuable and enthralling adventure. Dallas Fashion Week instilled in me the confidence to forge ahead on my chosen path and unveiled a world of boundless opportunities. Surrounded by kindred spirits and visionary creators, I was inspired and my creative drive received a much-needed boost.
Undeniably, Dallas Fashion Week embodies more than just the runway spectacle. It thrives on the individuals who gather to admire, converse, and procure the latest trends that pique their interest. It fills me with immense gratification to witness my designs being acknowledged, leading me to acquire a fresh clientele through this esteemed event. Uncontainable excitement consumed me as I unveiled my exquisite collection to the discerning eyes of Dallas, all made possible by Fashion Week. This wondrous journey has left an indelible mark, leaving me yearning for its repetition.
N.G. What are the key considerations for Fashion Designers participating in their First Fashion Week?
O.K. Fashion Week offers invaluable experience for aspiring designers, paving the way for future accomplishments and triumphs. It presents a unique chance to connect with like-minded individuals and industry professionals, from fellow designers and models to photographers and captivating personalities. Capture the attention of enthusiasts and ignite their fascination with your creations. Crucially, for emerging designers, finding customers and buyers is essential. Fashion Week serves as an exceptional platform to achieve this goal. Each designer must recognize their individuality in a world propelled by ever-evolving technology. The internet and modern rapid communication have opened doors for the younger generation of designers, surpassing the dreams of icons like Armani and Louis Vuitton. Shows like this provide not only understanding and experience but also the exhilaration of viewers and a touch of inspiration.
N.G. Share with us your favorite brands and what makes them stand out in your opinion?
O.K. My favorite clothing brands are Desigual, Gucci, Versace. These iconic brands boast a captivating history, each exuding its own opulence while embracing sensuality. Unforgettable color palettes, intricate textures, and luscious fabrics make a bold statement, effortlessly reflecting my personal idea of beauty. With impeccable craftsmanship, vibrant hues, and intriguing silhouettes, these collections offer a wide range of pieces to curate a thoughtfully sophisticated wardrobe. Renowned worldwide for their unparalleled designs, these founders could have never predicted that their names would become synonymous with refinement and opulence after 50 years, transcending time and fashion trends.
I am captivated by the exquisite gowns of Iris van Herpen and the extraordinary suits crafted by Zigman. These innovative brands epitomize the true essence of style, elevating the world of fashion to unparalleled heights. Their breathtaking silhouettes, pioneering use of technology, and exquisite materials are bound to leave you breathless.
Bags and backpacks from the Anekke brand, which I really love, stand out for their unusual design and are always accompanied by inscriptions on the products. Their captivating designs, accentuated with meaningful inscriptions, truly set them apart. Each piece serves as a testament to the importance of kindness and preserving our planet and nature. Additionally, I am captivated by the mesmerizing artwork of animals, plants, and girls, created in a truly unique style.
When it comes to jewelry, Tiffany holds a special place in my heart. And as for glasses, nothing compares to the exquisite craftsmanship of the Dita brand. Each pair showcases the meticulous handiwork and exceptional quality that I greatly admire. Every model exudes an unmistakable, distinctive flair, crafted with the utmost care and premium materials. When you embrace these items, you can truly sense the surge of inspiration and positive energy they emit.
Ultimately, my goal is to instill that same sense of pride, inspiration, and confidence in those who don my costumes.
Handcrafted lingerie SARASVATY by Olena Knyr presented during Dallas Fashion Week
N.G. Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
O.K. My mother’s words, “Beauty will save the world” have guided my creative journey. With a passion for improving the world, I have adorned it with suits, lingerie, and swimsuits. Through my products, I aim to infuse beauty and increase kindness, making the world a more positive and stunning place. In light of recent events in my country and the Middle East, the urgency for beauty has become even more profound. All I yearn for is love and beauty to encompass the entire world, and I am dedicated to doing my utmost to achieve this.
N.G. How can our readers follow you online?
Photos: Ellen Yang, Thomas Almholt, Provided by the Designer
Venue: Samuel Lynne Galleries
Models: Lily Choward, Teresa Parker, Kialond Bronson
MUA: Capelli Salon
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