Izabela Stabinska – Toronto Designer
Izabela Stabinska is new to Toronto. After graduating from Fashion Design program at West Valley College in California two years ago, she decided to take a one-year-long vacation in Europe. That was an incredibly rich experience abounded with multi-cultural interaction, art diversity, and distinct beauty of countless places from East to West.
Packing few of her own designs in the suitcase, she kept in mind what San Francisco-based designer Joseph S. Domingo (with whom she’d had an internship) once told her: “You have to wear your own clothes to see how they feel, only then you can be sure about the quality of your designs”. She ended up not only wearing them, but also lending the clothes to her friens, and eventually, organizing couple photo sessions in incredibly picturesque surroundings of Eastern Europe.
Izabela’s design philosophy is simple: “Show who you are”. She puts emphasis on individual style and makes clothes that bring out wearer’s personality. She does not design for fashion victims. Her style is more of efortless elegance, simple but feminine, happy and optimistic, designed around the keynote: how can I make “elegant” seem less serious and mature?
As a winner of The Best Graduation Collection, Izabela is confident of the skills she possesses. She’s been sewing, sketching, and designing since she was a teenager. The challenge now is to take it to the next level, one on the business side. Starting up in Toronto fashion world, Izabela began with freelancing her fashion skills to gain the maximum of experience, and now she is collaborating with upcoming brand of specialized apparel for the fans of sport. In the near future she is planing to launch her own brand, so you will probably hear from her again…
What inspires your creations?
Modern architecture of Berlin, overwhelming colors of India, urban life of Toronto, sheer fabrics worn in Dubai, texture of rye fields in Poland, ethnic embellishments, pop culture, sometimes a personality – anything, depending on where I am and what I do at the moment. I like to experiment.
Use 3 words to describe your designs?
Flattering, unique, personal. I design for a woman who’s already found herself and knows what she wants, an open-minded and ageless individual who is inventing her own style rather than copying seasonal trends.
What materials and fabrics do you most often work with?
I like the soft hand of natural fibers and the comfortable way they feel on skin, so I often choose silks and cottons. However, I understand the fast mode of modern urban life, so for casual pieces I use the blends with man-made fibers for easy care.
What is your personal style?
Effortless elegance – kind of Parisian girl – simple and comfortable with an artistic twist or a good accessory… I don’t understand women who are wearing something that doesn’t allow them to move! For me, clothes have both aesthetic and functional aspect.
I’m absolutely crazy about color; it gives me lots of energy! I almost feel sick if I’m wearing too many muted or neutral colors! That’s why I would often add a contrasting accent that transforms the entire look of the garment and gives it new life. Most of the time I add a personal touch: a peculiar stitch, an embellishment, different texture, or I just play with fabric manipulation. I’m very detail-oriented and my garments reflect that.
What is your favourite fashion trend of all time?
A sheath dress – simple silhouette that is flattering for most body types, especially when worn with belt and pumps. That garment allows you to play with variety of colors and patterns matching it to your body shape, and the simple style gives you lots of freedom with accessorizing it accordingly to your curent mood. Wear it the classic way of Jackie Kennedy or more on the edgy style with a biker jacket over it!
What is your favourite current fashion trend?
Oh, there are few: the military influence which looks very intriguing combined with feminine dresses and skirts. And then there are ruffles – and so many ways to play them around! You can “sculp” your figure adding the ruffles to where you need more volume or wear a ruffled top with a pair of slim jeans for a fresher look. Another spring/summer trend that I like is the “bare” color of shoes – they don’t “cut off” your legs at ankles so your legs look longer!
In your opinion, what are the biggest fashion faux-pas?
Lady Gaga? And seriously: not matching the clothes to your body type, ridiculously tight garments that make you look like a segmented caterpillar (ladies are often afraid of the larger size on the label not realizing that tight garment actually makes them look bigger than the same garment one size larger!), and then there is whale-tailing (if you consider that “fashion” in the first place!), regular bra straps with the racer-back tank top, scrunchie, etc.
What do you think is a fashion must?
Of course, that would be Little Black Dress that gets updated every season! The choice of LBDs nowadays is overwhelming (which is a big plus!), so pick a few! Another “must” is a pencil skirt. It is one of the most flattering pieces of clothing ever made and it goes well with anything from an office shirt to a casual tank top. Third “must” are versatile pumps – for the evening and for dressing up a simple day with skinny jeans.
Who are some of your favourite fashion designers?
Briliantly inventive John Galliano and Alexander McQueen, masters of reinventing the classics: Karl Lagerfeld and Christopher Bailey, essentially feminine Bottega Veneta and Gosia Baczynska, and playful Etro and Pucci just to name a few.
Where do you see your fashion designs in 5 years?
I would like to have my own showroom and cooperate with boutiques that would exclusively carry my collections on regular basis. I prefer to refrain from large department stores and instead limit number of my garments produced, which would keep them unique and therefore more valuable to my clients. Eventually, I would also love to expand European markets
You can visit Izabela’s website at https://sites.google.com/site/izabelastabinska/