Growing up in Moscow, Vika Gazinskaya had little to no exposure to fashion. “There were no glossy magazines, no TV programs, nothing,” she said. So when Mattel opened its Russian business in the early Nineties, Gazinskaya unleashed her creativity onto a Barbie doll. “My mother couldn’t afford to buy clothes for it, so I used every single piece of fabric I could find in my house,” the designer recalled.
After taking private sketching lessons, she enrolled at the University of Moscow, which she quit when she won the Russian Silhouette young designer competition. The prize was a one-year internship at L’Officiel Russia. “I didn’t know anything about fashion, designers, photographers before starting there. It was my real school,” said Gazinskaya.
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"