Timeless looks of Munich: This is Anastasiya.
With superstar fashion designer, stylist and streetstyle photographer, Yolanda Ng, at the helm, we took to the streets of Munich to seek out fashionable people – and talk to them about their clothes, lives and slow fashion.
Sewing a window to Europe
“Sewing was my ticket to Europe and European fashion. I always wanted to be a fashion designer. Where I grew up, in the former Soviet Union – in Ukraine, not far from Kiev – during the 90s, you couldn’t really buy anything at the shops; the choice was poor. But what we did have were all these fashion magazines and fabric stores. And I had an old sewing machine from my grandmother, with a foot pedal – not electric, but it worked,” says Anastasiya, stopping near an antique bookshop on Turkenstraße, in Munich’s chic Schwabing area.
Although she didn’t end up following her fashion dreams – she now works for an international insurance company – Anastasiya has retained a strong love and respect for fashion. “I don’t look at fashion like just pieces of clothing, but something that somebody created and worked on. Whether in Germany, Bangladesh, India, China or France, it doesn’t matter. There was a human being that put effort into it. That’s why the story behind the clothing is very important, and why I think it’s worth investing a bit more money into each piece.”
Timeless looks and self-expression
“I love fashion, but I don’t follow it blindly. I want to express myself.
Normally, people have an experimental phase during their teenage years. I didn’t really have it back then. I sewed a lot of my clothing, but it was conservative. It would make me look older. I would tell myself that I looked, “mature.”,” Anastasiya laughs, shaking her head, as if trying to shake off the lingering sense of awkward adolescence. “But, of course, later you think, “I don’t need that anymore. I look it anyhow.” And when this phase came, I wanted to be what I am. And to express what I feel, so that people could see me. I’m a cheerful person, and I wanted to give people this good energy. I think the way you style yourself is what you attract; it’s an unconscious process that happens.”
Slow fashion and the beauty of imperfection
“I have a little scar here,” Anastasiya says, pointing to the right side of her chin. “And this is a part of my individuality. I don’t want to get rid of it. I wouldn’t feel myself or complete without it. There are some things that are your things. They’re meant to be yours. This is how it is – and there is beauty in it.”
“When I first started sewing, if I made a mistake I would think, “oh God, what do I do now!” But it became my trick to turn this mistake into an advantage. To make a new detail that made the piece individual. This is how I now view fashion. Maybe lots of different people have this same piece of clothing, but how can I put it in a way that looks different?”
As a detail-oriented person with years of sewing experience, Anastasiya has a keen eye for construction; a character trait which has pulled her towards top vintage fashion and second-hand stores.
“They’re a great source of inspiration for me. Everything is around us already. You cannot find anything new. But you can rediscover something that had been forgotten, and this is amazing,” she says. “When you look at second-hand, you can see a huge difference. There is more detail, maybe more soul, because fashion back then was more like slow fashion. It’s inspirational.”
Slow fashion tips from Anastasiya
- Read washing instructions – separate colours, wash cold and use special detergents to extend the life of clothing
- Watch the seams – Pay attention to the construction of the items you buy. A good fit, is a good fit, is a good fit.
- Respect your clothes – try to imagine their story to see them in a new light
- Capsule – pick core colours and then buy pieces that suit them and catch your eye
- Organise – a well-organised wardrobe helps you to recognise what you do and don’t have
- Buy second-hand – clothes are well-made and unique, even the best fashion houses scour vintage stores!
Header image: ©Yolanda Ng
Image of Camera Display: ©Markus Burke
Image of Anastasiya: ©Markus Burke
Image of Anastasiyaand Yolanda Ng: ©Markus Burke
Image of Anastasiya: ©Yolanda Ng