Agnieszka Osipa, a headdresses and stage costume designer, was born in 1986 in Nowa Sarzyna, a small town in southeastern Poland. She has the rare ability to straddle both design and process and do each with amazing skill and creativity. Her dual knowledge give her a distinct skill advantage as she is able to bring the delight and magic of her own inner world into the costume design and design of headdresses and to create a real masterpieces. By some reason Agnieszka is strictly against to show off her portrait, as it is the policy she adheres. So let’s just admire the works, that she did, and to know her better from the inside.
Tell us something about yourself, maybe some facts of your life and childhood. When you decided to become a costume designer?
– Well, there’s not much to tell, I was interested mostly in painting since I was a teenager and attended The Higher School of Art. One of favorite professors, I have ever had, once told me, that I should go and study fashion without any doubts. But that time I haven’t really thought about it much. Most of the time in the Academy of Fine Arts I was painting, doing fashion designs only to pass each year. But things changed, while I was working on my Master Degree Collection. At that time I had to decide in which direction I should move further. Initially I was absolutely sure, that this won’t be my main income source and something that I would like to do on a daily basis, but here I am.
Where this inner darkness in your oeuvre came from?
– Mostly from music, which is my main strong inspiration. I prefer to listen to dark folklore, ambient pagan, folk metal and such genres that brings me aspiration to make the costumes in this direction. My first main music inspiration was a Ukrainian band called Dakha Brakha, which I would recommend to everyone.
What is your favorite part about being a costume designer?
– I think it is a creation part, mostly when I can make my own designs, not just only a custom orders. I really like when I can follow my own path, without the design drawings and so, just adding to the main idea like a sculptor.
Could your clothes and accessories be recognized as an Haute Couture? Have you ever thought to create Haute Couture clothes and accessories out of other different materials? Which?
– I think, this one can say only about the genre of clothing, but that is not my story. I really like to follow my own path, not tending to fill the requirements of any fashion style or direction. You wouldn’t believe, what kind of materials I use sometimes, it’s my sweet secret that I plan to reveal within next 20 or so years.
Where do you find your inspiration?
– As I told earlier, mostly music, sometimes in fairy-tales, Slavonic myths and some movies, like for example Kytice, a collection of ballads by Karel Jaromír Erben, or Begotten by E. Elias Merhige.
How did you select the materials you used?
– I select them only by the effect, they make, and the forms they take while working with them. I also like working with leather, because of the impression it makes, it looks like the armor.
Are there materials which are hard to work with?
– Yes, I do not like to work with materials, which are stretched or very delicate; these tend to require a lot more work giving not as good effects as the stronger types.
Could you, please, describe a process of the creation from the very beginning? Which technologies do you use? Handcrafting?
– Everything starts from the idea. After that I pass through some inspirational things (movies/music/etc) and then I just zone off with some TV series as background noise and work and work and work for hours. Sometimes it takes more than 16 hours a day. The technologies I use are leather-work and sewing, also beading comes in very handy.
Tell us about your successes and projects?
– I was featured in magazines and on band covers; the number grows every few months, which is very satisfying. I also worked with some big photographers like Ekaterina Belinskaya, Miss Aniela, Von Wong and Zemotion (Zhang Jingna). But I think the success word is a little big, I am still getting there.
What are your plans for the future? What do you like to do, what are you dreaming about?
– My plan is to grow better and better, in the way I do and how I do it; to learn more ways of working and just slowly developing my skills and name.
What do you think about today’s fashion? Which advice would you give to the future fashion and costume designers?
– My opinion about today’s fashion would be very irrelevant as I do not tend to follow it or to find out, what is currently a trend in this field; I think this should not define any designers work. And for the future designers I’d say exactly this – make your own path, do not follow anyone! And enjoy the ride!
Image source: Agnieszka Osipa Official