Maria Lavigina

Experienced in embroidery design, Maria originally studied Fashion at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Tel Aviv before joining Central Saint Martins to do a Fashion degree. 

“I always loved fashion and everything related to this fascinating world.”  Maria told us.

“Back in Russia my father was a chemistry professor, my grandmother was in the finance industry and my mother a computer programmer, however from a very young age I was predisposed to the art world.  I guess you could call me ‘the black sheep of the family’. 

“From the first moment I remember I was drawing and sketching everywhere. However, the real thing that drove me into the fashion world was our family’s limited financial resources.  As immigrants from Moscow we didn’t have a lot of money, and I remember my biggest wish was to wear the clothes of my dreams, or at least the same garments that my classmates had. So instead of listening to my teachers I was doodling and fantasising about what I was going to wear to school tomorrow.”

And it appears those doodles of yesteryears paid off, today Maria is a super talented illustrator with commissions from Disney Interactive and an upcoming commission from the national Museum of Scotland under her belt.

Maria also runs a street style and fashion blog, which combines her passions for photography, illustration and fashion you can see her incredible work HERE

“I get a lot of inspiration from both my day-day work and also from people I see on the street.  It’s not how they dress or where they bought their clothes, it is how they move and how they combine the clothes. This is especially true for men.  I think it’s very difficult because women can put on decoration (makeup/style their hair), but for men it’s about the detail, buttons, length of the sleeve – it’s harder for them to show their style.

“Inspiration can be any age - a lady 18, 40, 80 years old, it doesn’t matter. A man with his stick and how he moves. I saw a homeless man a couple of years ago in Chelsea, he walked with so much pride, even though he had oversize boots, he had a blanket draped over his shoulders and his head held high, face like a model, I could imagine him on a catwalk. I see these people with effortless style – they don’t force it.

So what of the future?

“Quality of work is really important to me - if I’m enjoying the work and the people I am working with, the excitement of work and whether I can contribute matters more.

“Ultimately I’d love to work as a stylist, and as a designer; I would like to combine those professions. I am also very interested in the forecasting agencies, I did some work for Unique Style Platform and would love to work in creative industries.”

Finally tell us a bit more about the commission from the National Museum of Scotland
“Oh this is really exciting, they have asked me to illustrate different garments from different centuries which will be printed 2 metres high!”