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19 APRIL | 2024 DUBAI, UAE

Haute Couture

Marina Fedorova’s latest article in HIA Magazine sheds light on her career path, showcasing her seamless fusion of artistry and haute couture

As an artist, fashion, particularly haute couture, has been a cornerstone of inspiration, shaping my artistic vision and fueling my creativity. I admire the beauty and the elegance of the clothes, style, and exquisite garments.

In one of my early projects — “Autumn Time” in 2006 — I paid homage to legendary fashion designers like Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, and Yoshi Yamamoto, whose work epitomized innovation and elegance. The untimely demise of one of my heroes, Alexander McQueen, deeply affected me, inspiring me to translate his visionary designs into my art.

My transition from a fashion designer to a professional artist was marked by a pivotal realization during my studies at the St. Petersburg Stieglitz State Academy of Art and Design. While initially drawn to fashion design, I discovered my true passion was illustrating garments rather than sewing them. My graduation project, “I Believe I Can Fly”, epitomized this paradigm shift, as human-sized paintings depicting dresses carried by models took center stage, affirming my identity as an artist with a penchant for fashion. At the culmination of the show, one model walked out wearing a simple white floor-length dress and I followed her on the runway, my brush in hand, and painted the whole dress in a live session, as if it were canvas.

Throughout my career, certain fashion motifs have recurred in my work. The iconic red dress, for example, has been a prominent feature that takes a special place in my art. Over more than 23 years, I’ve frequently depicted this symbol of passion and power. Indeed, the dress often catalyzes new painting creations, inspiring me. The allure of the fashion world extends beyond the garments themselves. The fashion runway and backstage scenes offer rich sources of inspiration. The displays in fashion store windows have provided me with visual inspiration for my artistic expression.

Last year, I had a “dream” project — a collaboration with Saudi fashion designer Yousef Akbar. He created dresses inspired by my art, and I painted several artworks based on his models. Our duo exhibition “Ethereal Echoes”, combining paintings, sculptures, and couture dresses, was enhanced with augmented and virtual reality. It was not just a fusion of traditional art and fashion, but also a cross-cultural dialogue and limitless creative expression, providing viewers with a new unique experience.