In 2012, as a full time mother of two, Kristina decided to realize her belief in fashion design by completing a Fashion Design degree at renowned design university in Dubai, ESMOD. After studying the finer details of the industry and expanding her vast knowledge, Kristina launched her first collection inspired by the idea of contemporary elegance and femininity, AW15. Her wish was to help women reconnect with their authentic feminine nature, the label soon took the market by storm and the brand story began.
Today, Kristina Fidelskaya is recognized as a fashion visionary, style icon, mother and businesswomen. She continues to drive the ready-to-wear label to international success thanks to its consistency, recognition and effortless elegance in every collection.
For the Autumn-Winter 2020 collection, Kristina Fidelskaya draws inspiration from a poetic world where past, present and future combine - a nostalgic modernist view of the future. “To me, fashion is creative freedom. I create based on the energy that surrounds me,” Kristina told me.
The 2020 AW collection is named “Dream”. It evokes the feelings of Happiness, Hope and Belief: “This collection is inspired by having a dream, working on your dream and making your dream a reality. It’s about energy and inspiration, to do all you do in the best possible way.”
The storyline takes place between Paris and Florence in the 70’s & 80’s, where designer is inspired by Bobby Deerfield and Lilian Morelli’s journey: “Together they travel through Europe, fall in love, time spent filled with beautiful peaceful moments, as if the landscape had stopped breathing.”
Defining strong, feminine style the collection translates in “dream-like” silhouettes, techniques and futuristic cross-cultural references; in this world - couture era tailoring combined with soft shades of air-light tulle, nostalgically stitched and quilted nappa in clean modernist forms in clinical white. Beatnik-generation fringed nubuck suede sits next to dramatic couture evening elements of gathered tulle and feathers, cashmere lounge suits and feminine retro printed silk.
Kristina Fidelskaya is committed to providing an elegant and feminine wardrobe to modern women with real lives and real needs. Her timeless collections are based around impeccable materials and craftsmanship, each piece is unique, tells a story, and stays with you for a lifetime.
“The brand is a reflection of my vision of modern femininity, an image of the woman who carries herself beautifully, with confidence, and with a certain happiness - with looks suited to her modern lifestyle, with pieces that combine style and a sense of ease.”
Tanja Beljanski: What was your first memory of fashion?
Kristina Fidelskaya: I believe it comes from my mother, and how she portrayed her very specific and strong image - how she looked, the way she presented herself. She was a painter and very artistic. She also made our clothes during my childhood. My first memory of fashion is probably my mother’s workplace, always very organized.
From a very early age I was very passionate about clothes, how people looked, how people dressed. I liked to paint, sketch, make my own dresses. During my teenage years I delved into photography, and through this experience I was developing a clear vision of the representation of the woman and the images of femininity - a journey which defined my vision of the modern woman, and her wardrobe.
TB: How did you come up with the concept for your business and at what point did you decide to make it a reality?
KF: It has always felt very natural for me to create, to create things in my own manner, and to add my personal touch. I design all the pieces and collections from the creative vision I have for the brand. From my perspective it all has to make sense. The pieces in a collection are my interpretation of how it should be and look individually and together as a whole, it has to tell a story.
When the opportunity presented itself, I decided to follow my creative passion for design, I studied as Esmod Fashion Institute in Dubai, after which I started my label. I didn’t plan to launch my own brand. It just happened as a logical step when I was creating a line of clothing, and it was garnering interest. I think it’s a combination of something you take interest in and the energy creative freedom gives you.
TB: What is it like being a designer in this current climate?
KF: The world suddenly slowed down, and people are demanding change, challenging and questioning what is normal and how it should be, but it doesn’t mean that we should stop to create beauty. Art, Fashion, Music - this is a part of what makes us human; it makes us more than what we are from an emotional and intellectual perspective. As a designer I have to create something that makes sense in the world today and tomorrow. I believe each collection tells a story, and creating my vision of the woman, strong and beautiful can give us hope and sense of optimism. It’s usually in hard times when our values are challenged, that we have the possibility to artistically grow the most and reinvent ourselves.
TB: Where do you find the inspiration? Does art spark your creativity?
KF: My inspiration starts from the moment I open my eyes, from living, from life itself. Inspiration comes from what I see, what surrounds me, I can be inspired by anything from nature, a film, music, books. It’s mostly about how you feel and how certain elements make you feel, my inspiration is based on feelings and emotion.
For example, I was driving from the French Alps to Paris. Along this quaint road, during spring, I had a moment of realization, the extent of the beauty of all of it, our journey and our beautiful world. This road trip moment is what inspired the next collection, titled “Belmonde” for Spring/Summer 2021. I’m inspires by all forms of art, particularly modern art, new shapes and interpretations of how we see things, which can influence how I see a dress in my collection. Art gives my creativity new impulse and I feel no limits when it comes to creation.
TB: When you dress a woman, you think of the woman ... or women?
KF: During my creative process, I project myself in a way where I ask myself: “Would I wear this? Is it beautiful? Is it comfortable? Easy to wear, stylish? Feminine?” All these elements are strongly embedded in the brands DNA, a vision which translates into how I see the woman and her wardrobe.
I am creating a timeless wardrobe, looks for any occasion, to fit each mood, and every emotion of the woman, during any moment of her day.
When I have to dress an individual, I look at what would complement her. The occasion, her mood, personality, her shape, her own style. I believe I create timeless pieces for women of any age, for her to look great in these designs whether she is 20 or 50 years old.
TB: Do you have fabric that you particularly like to work with?
KF: I love working with leather, with our craftsmanship, our in our atelier shapes and forms the leather making it super soft to the touch. I love the way it looks, and the way it feels when you wear a leather jacket or dress. Unfortunately, we have not found a sustainable alternative yet, but our fabric researchers are testing out several samples for future collections.
High quality is of utmost importance for my label, a trait I would like the brand to be known for. All our fabrics are carefully sourced from the best mills in France, Italy and Switzerland. Each fabric behaves differently and has a different purpose. It’s a a real pleasure to be able to work with high quality materials. I am a perfectionist, and it all is held to the best standard. I believe in craftsmanship, the detail in design, and work shown in a piece made by hand. This craftsmanship is best brought to light by carefully crafted pieces, which are well studied, to fit the female body, and its movements. Each piece is created in our atelier where we work on the constructing the garments piece by piece.
TB: How would you describe your own style?
KF: My style is nonchalant, elegant, feminine, and sometimes a bit sporty. I also love wearing a classic look of blue jeans and white t-shirt. To me it is about personal style - less about just the clothes, and more about how you wear them. When you love fashion, style is like an identity; your identity.
TB: What do you think of the fashion scene in the Middle East?
KF: I love the diversity found in the UAE and the Middle East overall. By having a multitude of women from different cultures, backgrounds and lifestyles, I get to create my collections for a very international woman. The city of Dubai is very unique, with its social scene, cosmopolitan mindset, and ambitious drive. I feel fashion in this part of the world has picked up & evolved so quickly, and will continue to evolve over time.
TB: Have you ever found it harder to achieve your goals as a woman?
KF: I believe 90% of success and achieving your goals comes down to hard work. If you are really serious about what you do, love what you do, and do it with passion, results will follow. I believe in miracles but only if you work hard. If you want something in life you have to be willing to give it all you have, and sacrifice for it - as well as know what it is you bring to the table.
TB: What are you most passionate about, besides fashion?
KF: I am passionate about anything involving the study of details and a creative process. Besides fashion, I also really enjoy photography. I love the idea of being able to capture a moment in time, a feeling, an emotion, etc. in one same still frame. A shot you can simply look at, and that will express a certain energy, trigger a memory, create a sentimental reaction. I try to work in the same manner when designing my collection looks - like photography, they should evoke a sensation, a consciousness.
TB: Do you have a process for channeling your creative energy?
KF: I think to channel your creative energy you have to be in harmony with yourself. For me finding harmony means being at ease in my process. I need to be busy and active.
Running is my meditation - it’s when I can clear my mind, ask myself questions, find answers and solutions. I need time to myself, to be alone and charge myself back up. I feel and create the best when I know everything is organized and taken care off.
TB: If you had a time-machine, where would you go in time?
KF: So many places… but to name one, America in the 1920’s. The time of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” in 1925. I have always been drawn to the “Roaring Twenties” which is probably because of the time’s “New Woman” - a young woman with bobbed hair and a short skirt. Women in the 1920s were known for their energetic freedom, embracing a lifestyle viewed by many at the time as outrageous, and immoral. I am forever inspired by these women, considered the first generation of independent American women, who pushed barriers in economic, political and social freedom for others across the globe.
I wish to dress like-minded woman, strong and beautiful, who embrace all aspects of life and try to emulate the same energy and sentiment throughout my line, to create the ultimate wardrobe, that offers a sense of each, choice, and timeless style for the modern woman, and her lifestyle.
Established in Dubai in 2014, Kristina Fidelskaya offers luxury ready-to-wear designs to suit the multi-faceted lifestyles of a vibrant metropolitan woman. The label has been showing during Paris Fashion Week since 2017 and has since been recognized by the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode. Kristina Fidelskaya is available at a selection of department stores and retailers around the world and has now opened its own flagship stores in Dubai.
* This story by Tanja Beljanski first appeared in the September 2020 issue of L'Officiel Arabia.