We have already told our readers about Viktoriia VLASENKO who draws her own creative world with bright colors (the issue of DP of December 28, 2017). This talented and self-motivated lady is a well-known business-woman in Chernihiv and the capital hwo owns six shops of “Terrasse” branded clothing. Viktoriia is also a creative personality. She is the author of charming accessories, bijouterie, wonderful installations and original dolls. And recently Viktoriia has created the original designer costumes for the Chernihiv philharmonic centre of festivals and concert programmes. They integrated in avery natural way with concert perfomances and with a play “Alice in wonderland”. Works by Viktoriia Vlasenko are the real breakthrough into modern reality and the entrie sea of fantasy. And, as the result, a bright creative supplement to stage perfomances.
Photo: Viiktoria Vlasenko
— The fact that I got such an interesting job of creating costumes for stage perfomance – that is a non-occasional occasion. For my shop “Terrasse” in Hollywood I created forged mannequins. And, by the way, I did them on my own. Since I never had anything to do with welding, my friend “welded” those mannequins based on my drawings and pictures. During the process I learned welding myself. Now I can attach rigid wires and light metal rebar. I also learned how to use plires. I also made iron net with my own hands.
We did all that in the garage. Lots of cars were passing by. Men even stopped to see how I work. But frankly, I still have a fear of angle grinder.
Viktoriia Vlasenko, who is changing the world around her.
And the philharmonic center producer Dmytro Obyednikov had seen my “rebar” mannequins exactly in “Hollywood”. And he decided to ask me for permission to use them in one of the performances. I wasn’t in the shop at that time and shop-girls gave him my phone number. At last we met and had a talk. I agree to lend my creations for some time. And in the process of our talk Dmytro had learned that I was also a costume designer. I really had such projects, however, mainly in the sphere of fashion. They were promoted in the capital, though, and had to do more with the sphere of business and future sales. But I feel much closer the creative industry of costumes, especially those intended for theater and cinema, or museums. That is to say these are not fully commercially projects but I like them most of all, since here one can display a 100% of creativity.
– In this sphere there is less compromise than in business, isn’t there? The
– Etxactly. Now when I combine business with creative activity I still can’t
make a final choice. During the daytime I am busy with shops, although they
differ from conventional shops by designer clothing and entourage, and
– I would say they differ by the atmosphere itself, since creativity is in
every inch there…
– Perhaps, that is the case … But when the evening comes, that’s the time
when I start creating with all my heart. Yet in the childhood I could not
imagine myself without an album, pencils and paints, I liked sculpting. So
it’s self-explanatory that I studied in the University of Arts. Trying to find
myself, I lived in Canada for one year. I worked there, painted pictures.
Then I moved to Italy and graduated from the Institute of European Design
in Milan. During my student years I participated in a fashion show for the
well-known Vogue magazine. And then my dream came true – after seven
attempts I flied to the USA at last. It was exactly there where I created
costumes for low-budget films. I returned home and I have got an idea to
open a network of branded clothing “Terrasse”. Now I want to create our
trade mark, which would eventually be also in demand abroad. This is my
story… And the art is something that I can’t imagine my life without.
– And agreed at once to create costumes for perfomances of the
Chernihiv philarmonic centre and concert programmes?
– Yes. Dmytro Obyednikov says they have specialties for the sphere of
costumes. And it would benefit from adding a modern view om the whole
spectrum of creation of theatrical costumes – starting from fabric, garment
accessories and finishing with design, a fresh angle and a delicate perception
of the author of a project or play, concert and performance of actor. At that
time, costumes where required for the “Alice in Wonderland” play,
performances by Olga Pechko, for other projects. And I agreed, although it
required a lot of time because I even had to sew myself. And the more I
immersed into work, the more charming it was for me to work. I created
costumes in different styles – from the romantic style to even brutal-rock
one. Costumes for dancers were also interesting. In total, they ordered 5-6
models from me.
– Did you satisfy the clients?
Yes. Although there were many questions at the beginning. For instance, I
made metal fittings from other materials, since the characters had to move
quickly, jump, perform various gimmicks. By the way, I already have orders
for further projects
– And, Viktoriia , did you make any garment for yourself, the one, which
would be very individual, designer, even non-standard, surrealistic to
any extent or anything like that? ..
– Yes. At times I felt like Cinderella ’cause I had one night to be able to look
stunningly tomorrow… The last time I did it was for Halloween. In the
establishment where I worked at that time, I won the first prize. The costume
was called “Black Widow”. Sounds rather trivial but in the hands I had to
keep the heart of the pierced with various needles. I am “a friend”
with chemicals, building materials and can combine the unmatchable things.
Therefore, the heart was looking very natural, it was beat and it was bleeding … I used
special silicon for it. I made it from candles and then boiled it on steam,
sculptured the aorta, blood vessels, and added red paint.
In general, costumes are my weak spot … In the childhood I made them for
dolls, and made so many of them that my girlfriends’ dolls were also dressed
to the nines. And when I was a senior school girl, I made clothes for myself.
I used to take my granny’s or my mummy’s garments they did not wear any
more out of the wardrobe and during one night I would create such a dress, a
skirt or a blouse for myself that would take my girlfriend’s breath away.
Meanwhile, some of the things I would re-do for several times. And
“globally” I made suits for my brother. For instance, I made a suit for the
school-leaving party. On the jacket I painted Mona Lisa with oil paints.
People liked it so much that my brother then became a social network star.
I also made jackets for him using unbelievable prints. The prints were
erasable and a garment could then be worn as a standard one.
– Is it difficult to work on two fronts? Business and creative?
– It’s not easy. My mother helps me with business calculations and control of
work. I am more focused on purchasing goods, staff training, promotion of
business and a creative part. Believe me, I can not do without pushing myself
to the limit, otherwise creativity will become shallow. Therefore it’s better
not to sleep at night and to create, to create …
– Are there any plans as to where to move further?
– If you mean a dream, my goal is, so to say, to leave my footprint in history.
Therefore I plan on developing myself, looking for new prospects and
horizons for creative activity.
– If you were given a complete freedom, what would you definitely do?
– I have a freedom and there is a problem with time … If only I could do
without sleeping … Today I collect materials for the next designer costume
project. It would be a modernized future with fragments of utopia. It needs
to be something like costumes of the “Fantastic Four” or superheroes.
Everything must be light in order not to slow down movement of character,
while it must look like very heavy ammunition. I already expect for some of
the materials ordered from America. I will again use welding, angle grinder.
Rubber, tyres will also be there.
– What would you like to do, if all of a sudden everything becomes possible?
– I would like to travel, perhaps, even to more dangerous countries for it to
turn my world upside down … As if to visit other planet. And to get
adrenalin, inspiration. I want to see Japan, people living there have other
mentality, creativity. Perhaps, I would like to find something extremely
breathtaking, to enrich myself. And then, if there is such an occasion, I
would like to make my own film. But from A to Z, I mean to day that I write
a scenario, produce it and make costumes. It has to be a story, a drama. A
plot could be found during traveling or some imagination could be
– And what if someone asks you to make a costume, just a man from the street?
– If it is something not prosy, non-standard, then yes. At least, from the point
of view of design.
– Viktoriia, you are universally talented, I mean to say, in many artistie
genres. Such a talent is a real magic and, to a certain extent,
– Therefore I like to combine things which, at first glance, look like antipodes.
And in the process of creation you get something unusual and new. For
instance, woodworking and crocheting and I feel right about it. I like
experimenting and creating new directions. Responsibility is in the harmony
itself, it’s intrinsic to real art. And magic is in the fact that I like to change
and while doing so, I change the world around me.
– It is nice that you are not lazy to live, to create, to search for yourself,
not to spend hours in gadgets and on the contrary, you feel the taste,
color, touch, aroma of this world. And from all that you create your
own miniature worlds which are so exquisitely bright and unique for
the soul. This is a positive energy which is really saves, cures, charms and
That is every author is a magic man of his own. But we live in the real world, drink coffee, communicate, travel, make varenyky (damplings – note by translator) from time to time, paint eyelashes, swim, ride bicycle … It would be interesting to know what Miss Viktoriia is like in the real life?
– My work is my hobby. I like working to the point of exhaustion. I like to
look for new hobbies. When traveling, I would like to see the country from
“from the rear”.
– It’s rs a erazy spring now. It is a real friend of love …
– I believe in love … I imagine my dear to be self-motivated, clever, since
people must develop each other. I want to feel proud for my beloved one. It
would be nice if it’s a creative man, too. And it is especially nice when
people have common creative projects.
– Are you a friend of sport?
– I used to play football very well, even participated in the championship of
Ukraine playing for the Chernihiv region. I was 15 then. Legs were all in
blue marks … But I did like football. Now it is all in the past. Football is not
quite a sport for ladies.
– What color do you like?
– White. All colors are hidden in it. It’s like a blank page, beginning of
– And what is your favorite country?
– I would not like to live in Europe. No matter how talented you are, there
still exists certain estrangement. As a designer I did it in Italy.
It is possible to rest and enjoy life in Vietnam. This country has suffered so
much that Vietnamese have the ability of enjoying every little moment. The
nature is wonderful there and people live in harmony with nature. Every
family has its own business, and in small payments as well. It can be the
way that the whole village is dining out in one restaraunt not spending time
for cooking but using it for the own business – someone deals with metal,
other people produce coffee… And the country’s policy is aimed at small
business. By the way, salaries there are much higher than ours.
And from the point of view of career, for me it’s Ukraine or America.
– Would you like to live in your own house or in the apartment?
– It is not of any importance for me. The main thing is to have a workshop of
your own in close proximity. If it is a house, then a workshop in the
basement, and if it is the apartment, then with workshop in the attic.
– Do you like designer decorations?
– For the time being I like bijouterie, mostly of my own make.
– Do you have any life motto?
– Never surrender!
Talking with Liudmyla Parkhomenko