Sunday, 9 December 2012

December 2012: When Sharlene Met Natalia Kaut

There is a real Russian charm about the Natalia Kaut studio. Tucked away in the heart of London, it is adorned with a blend of stunning contemporary interiors and traditionally intricate furniture. There was no question that this studio belonged to somebody with a real appreciation for style and glamour. One side of the room housed an array of the creations that had not only been designed, but also hand sewn under this very roof. If there is one word that springs to mind when describing all of Natalia’s dresses, it is innovative, yet not the kind of innovative that renders a garment unwearable. These dresses are the kind of innovative that signifies thorough creative thinking. Soft fabrics, chiffon and organza, are juxtaposed with the lines of leather and Perspex detailing. The creator herself, Natalia Kaut, arrived in one of her latest creations, a deep purple blazer with lime green details on the collars, a piece that, if it had been available, would currently be in my possession.

A demonstration of class: (left) Wall art at the Natalia Kaut studio and (right) a photo from the latest photoshoot styled by celebrity stylist Nadya Sotnikova.

Why did you want to work in the fashion industry? 
Fashion has always been my passion. Since I was five years old, I have always made my own clothes. I used to steal my grandma’s fabrics to cut up and destroy! A couple of years ago, some of my friends encouraged me to start a label because whenever I went out, everyone always loved my dresses and style. I tried so many things; I studied classical music and am a classical pianist. I also did some painting, specialising in oil, and had my own exhibition in Ukraine. Despite that, clothes and fashion have been my only passions for many years.

How did winning the V&A award help the development of Natalia Kaut as a brand?
Winning the award definitely gave me more confidence in my designs because I could see that people liked what I was making. It gave me the confidence to do more of what I was so passionate about.

What are the best things about being situated in London?
The celebrity following is definitely an advantage. But apart from that, this house is great. My house is also the main studio, as I have to be here every hour of every day. When you create something, you always have to be around to check the fittings and whether the design needs any changes, so the main thing about living here is the convenience.

Do you use British fashion as inspiration?
Yes, I like that British fashion is a mix of classic styles and sporty elements, sometimes with a bit of vintage too. Natalia Kaut dresses fit into British fashion really well because they can be worn in different ways, depending on how you style them.

What else do you use as inspiration?
My classical music background, architecture and my travels. And of course, women, a lot.

Which brand would you class as iconic and inspirational?
Alexander McQueen, for the creativity, the sheer genius and the fact that there is always something new. A McQueen jacket might look unwearable on the hanger, but when you put it on… Ta-da! You feel like a star.

What is your favourite piece from the latest collection?

The Angela dress, because it has a rock & roll, sexy feel about it. It also has a removable skirt so you can style it different ways. I also love the Corrie dress, otherwise known as the ‘Rita Ora dress’.

Attention to detail: (left) leather cutouts on the Angela dress and (right) ruffle details on an S/S ’13 piece.

As you mentioned, we have seen Rita Ora in some of your pieces. Which other celebrities do you see wearing your creations? 
Firstly Rihanna, because it fits into her rock & roll/cool style, and because Natalia Kaut dresses would look really great mixed with her sneakers! Anna Dello Russo, also, is amazing because she can pull off anything. I see Lady Gaga in our dresses in the future too…

How do you think fashion bloggers are changing the face of the industry and of journalism?
It’s nice to see the younger generation come up with new ideas and new questions concerning the fashion industry. Fashion bloggers represent the view of the next generation and we like to have a connection with them because we feel like we can learn from them too.

Do you have any advice for fashion bloggers and others wanting to succeed in the industry?
Leave the shyness behind and remember to always be open. Create images as you would like to, because it’s your time to shine. Feel free!

What has been the most memorable moment of the Natalia Kaut journey so far?
The first Natalia Kaut fashion show in 2011 was really special, because it was held in this very studio. We removed everything from the studio so that we could have a runway and seating space. A reception with champagne followed. It was truly great because everybody was invited and I had organised everything myself, from the music to the models to the interiors. People always ask me whether I get nervous before fashion shows, but I never am, because I’m always just so ready to go and have so much confidence in my designs.  It’s nice to see the appreciation that others have for my work, especially when stylists, magazines and celebrities send in their requests for garments! One of the most exciting was the request from Grazia.

What is in store for the future for Natalia Kaut?
We have more stockists and retailers now, and we look forward to having more stylists and more of a celebrity following. There are new colours and new shows in store- we are currently negotiating another catwalk show in March at the V&A!

The lovely ladies at Natalia Kaut also gave me a Spring/Summer 2013 catalogue to take home with me and admire. I sat on the tube marking my favourite pieces… there is now a little loveheart on every single page of the catalogue! They also emailed me some photographs from their S/S’13 shoot, exclusively to TREND! The Capucine dress features one of my favourite combinations of colours, purple and white, making it both striking and subtle. The second outfit, of the Callie top and the Carinia skirt, demonstrates not only an understanding, but an appreciation of the female body, flattering from all angles. From a mere two images, we can see how Natalia Kaut caters for a variety of styles, from classic to rock, and this is a quality I truly respect in a designer. Natalia Kaut’s S/S’13 will be available in January 2013.

Whilst we wait with bated breath for this collection to be released, you can satisfy your new-found hunger for Natalia Kaut’s garments by shopping online at, or you can follow and tweet them at @NataliaKaut.

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