Here at the Galway Designer’s Network, we would like you all to get to know our designers a little better. This is the first installment in a series of blog posts relating to the designers who will be taking part in the upcoming A/W’17 Showcase in Tribeton on September 9th. Keep an eye out on the blog and on our social media channels over the next few weeks and get to know our designers before the Big Day.
Aay Kay Photography
What sparked your interest with jewellery?
I suppose every woman likes jewellery, but I don’t really like pearls, gold, stones and sparkly crystals. I like being unique and I always enjoyed making my look a bit different from what you can see on the streets. I wanted to wear something easy to put on, big but light and most of all something eye catching and very colourful. Inspired by African style jewellery I decided to start making yarn wrapped necklaces – and that’s how it all started.
Are you self taught or did you study fashion design?
I never studied any fashion design. I am a preschool and primary teacher with an artistic soul and a passion for handmade art.
What made you take your talent more seriously and want make a career out of it?
I am not sure If I am at this stage when I think about it as a chance for a career. I still think about what I am doing as my passion, my hobby. It’s a bit like therapy, a nice break from every day life, the kids, the work, the house duties etc. Every time I see people liking my jewellery and they are willing to buy it, I take it as a compliment. This is what makes me feel unique: people’s interest, nice words and real contact with them.
What is your aesthetic?
I like colours. I think wearing something colourful makes life more happy, especially in Ireland where we have to deal with so many rainy and dull days – I like to brighten them up with a bit more colour. I am inspired by African style jewellery. I like to play with colours but also with different fabrics, trimmings, beads, feathers and anything what can be wrapped around strips of fabric.
What inspired this collection or what are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?
When I was creating this collection I was definitely using more feathers than before. I carefully selected them while I was visiting my country during the summer holidays. I love attaching them to my necklaces . Some of them are long, some are short. Fluffy, delicate, exclusive almost. In this collection I wanted to show that my necklaces can be used as a costume jewellery as well as part of the casual look. They can be use as a part of theatre costume as they are big and very eye catching.
How has your work evolved since you began your own label?
I am definitely more brave by using more and more different types of ”decorations”. I started using only yarns and playing mostly with the colours. Now I am focused on making more interesting necklaces when every rope has a different texture , feeling etc.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?
I don’t know how to answer this question… We are learning every day and all our lives. I am not that far with my company to be able to do that kind of evaluation yet!
Describe your creative process.
It’s simpler than you think. It all comes from the need of taking break from reality! Then I look at the yarns…I think what colours I would like to mix. I decide what kind of trimmings, or beads , fabrics or maybe feathers I can attach to make it look interesting and off I go with the creative process!
How do you get unstuck creatively?
If I feel tired from making necklaces and have no idea for the next project I usually switch to my other craft – needle felting. I make figurines, ornaments etc. After 1 or 2 felt items I can go back to my jewellery designs. It always works!
What questions do you ask yourself before you begin any design project?
How do I want it to look on my neck? Do I want it very bright or maybe quiet this time? Do I want it to be casual or more costume jewellery?
How do you stay organized when trying to design and create while balancing family or other work related responsibilities?
Ha! Nobody said I am organized! Artistic people are usually not! I work when I can…when my kids are busy playing, between washing and feeding them. I work when they are finally asleep. I suppose it is still some kind of organization but far away from the dream!
How do you feel about the current state if the fashion industry?
To be honest with you….I don’t know. I do what I love, I sell it and it makes my happy. But I am outside of the fashion industry. I don’t follow the trends, I don’t read or watch any programs about it. I wear what I like, I do what I love…I feel free.
Where do you see your brand expanding to?
As far as I see 98% of my designs are selling to the United States (mostly New York) so I’d say that is my main market. Funky people over there!
What advice would you give to young designers?
As a designer I feel young myself so I am open for advice from designers who actually matter in the fashion industry. My time for giving advice might come but I am definitely not at this stage just yet!
Karolina will be taking part in the GDN A/W Showcase on September 9th in Tribeton. There will be 3 individual showcases throughout the day:
Jewellery Design at 2pm
Millinery at 4pm
Clothing Design at 6pm.
Tickets for individual shows are priced at €15, or grab yourself a bundle ticket for €35 and spend the day in Tribeton, where you can enjoy 20% off all food all day or shop the Pop Up Market featuring all of the designers collections. Your ticket will entitle you to a glass of prosecco, a goodie bag specific to the show and a front row seat. If you want to get your hands on a ticket, go online via eventbrite.ie or head directly to Tribeton. There will also be a limited amount of standing tickets available for each show, but you must register your interest via eventbrite.ie prior to September 9th.
The Galway Designers Network is a group of talented designers looking to create exciting clothing and accessories to ensure you can support your local fashion industry and keep up to date with the latest fashion looks and we are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page to read all about the project and how you can take part.
The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email firstname.lastname@example.org.