Brand To Know: "GO" By Olya Glagoleva
When I came across Olya Glagoleva’s collection “Artist at Home” on her Instagram account, I was instantly entranced by how beautifully she presents her line of clothing, carefully staged and photographed in elaborate set designs that are as much a piece of art as the garments themselves.
Olya Glagoleva started her designer label GO in 2014 after studying fashion design in Moscow, working with artisans in Indonesia and taking a business marketing course at Central St. Martin’s in London. She was born in Tadzhikistan into a family of progressive scientists but went into fashion as she loved to dress up and dress differently. By the time she graduated, she decided to build up her own label based on sustainable principles, and opted for using eco-friendly materials, working with local communities and preserving traditional craftsmanship and artisanal production. For her latest collection, “Artist at Home”, she approached textile artist Lisa Smirnova whose work she admired. The two of them teamed up and spent an entire year designing and making the clothing, with Lisa hand-embroidering each of the garments. Every item of clothing in the collection exists only once, created in a process that spans up to one hundred hours each. The distinct and high-quality fabrics are sourced from around the world, such as organic hemp and cotton from India, cashmere, 80's denim jeans and vintage towels from London's Portobello Road market as well as plaid blankets from flea markets in Wales.
Olya, why did you decide to collaborate with contemporary artisans and focus on handmade items?
I think that handmade garments have a very special feeling to them. If someone spends up to one hundred hours to create an item of clothing, it makes for a very special thing that literally cuddles you whilst you are wearing it. But for me it’s not about one kind of craft such as embroidery or hand-weaving. It is about the whole process. I want GO to tell the stories about the world around us, about the people who are making this world beautiful and about the resources that we are responsible for.
What does Slow Fashion mean to you?
Slow fashion is the future. I think, all people should learn how to make their own clothes. Or at least understand the whole production chain. Not just in clothes, actually, but in all industries.
Is there a sustainable fashion scene in Russia?
I think that we have started one and I hope that more and more Russian brands will adopt our principals in the future. For this summer we are planning to open the doors to the first conscious fashion laboratory in Russia. "Authentic Lab" is a pop-up project that will introduce the main principles of sustainable fashion. Over the course of a week the laboratory will be our working space and anyone interested is invited to come in and watch our process. On the weekends there will be master classes of handmade production, such as embroidery, block and flower printing, knitting, hand-weaving and natural-dyeing techniques. There will also be talks and lectures on subjects such as “How to recycle clothes” or ”How I didn't buy clothes for a year and I am still alive". The whole program will be available on our website soon and anyone interested can sign up for individual courses or the entire two months program: www.gowitholya.com. We are very exited about it!!
Thank you so much for the interview, Olya!