Moda de la Maria makes modern classics. Designer Maria Ruseva is an expert at giving timeless styles a modern twist with tailored silhouettes and colourful finishes. Founded in 2019, this small business has demonstrated the beauty of slow fashion and the passion that independent designers have for their craft; using high-quality wool sourced from Scottish farms. Her love of the British landscape is woven into the entire collection. Ruseva has spoken to The Clothing Lounge about how inspiration can be found anywhere, from countryside flower fields to the heart of London.
How do you create a concept for your collections?
I have found that creating a concept for a collection is as organic as the fabrics I use. Inspiration can come from anywhere. For instance, the geometry found in the architecture of Liberty’s storefront, or the flowers, specifically poppies, I saw as a child. These inspirations, combined with my individual style, choice of materials and current fashion trends allow me to keep the collections relevant. It is not always an easy process, but I ensure that the finished product maintains the core principles that I want my pieces to embody.
How do you choose fabrics?
It is very important to have the right combination of materials and colour palette. I usually find the best suppliers though intensive research or by recommendations from other industry professionals. Once I have a colour palate, I collect as many samples as possible, which will give me greater understanding of fabric quality and allows me to choose the right combinations. This is not only for the purpose of designing coordinating pieces, but also for detailed knowledge of linings and accents. Things have to feel ‘right’ – I like to have total cohesion in every aspect of the collection.
What motivates you?
Over the last few years I have found that the standard of production for women’s clothing has fallen significantly. I wanted to provide an alternative for women searching for sophisticated and unique statement pieces. I want to crate long-lasting sustainable clothing, with luxury at the forefront.
What inspires you?
I have found that inspiration can come from anywhere; from the detail of a flower to the intricacies of architecture. I do not limit myself by looking in particular places. There are a great many things to create and be inspired by, particularly in a city like London.
Do you think Covid-19 has impacted consumer behavior?
Covid-19 has certainly had a profound impact on consumers and lifestyles. The new environment of economic uncertainty has already changed the way customers behave. These challenges have impacted every area of life, and the rapid speed at which new measures are introduced has caused people to be even more mindful of their spending. These are likely to be permanent changes and conscious designer brands are the way forward.
Who are your customers?
My customers are people who want a more permanent expression of their personal style, with a classic cut and the perfect fit, for any occasion.
Why is sustainable fashion becoming more important?
The strain that fast fashion has had on our planet, particularly environmentally, will be detrimental for future generations. The irony of the term ‘fast fashion’ is that such pieces, although they are quicker to produce, are often made using synthetic fabrics that do not last long at all, and instead take a long time to break down when disposed of and are hard to recycle. My approach to sustainable fashion is to be conscious of the creative process and subsequent lifespan of a product. The materials I use are organic, made from sustainable natural resources. They are created with longevity in mind and styled to outlast trends.
How do you manufacture your products?
Every garment is personally designed by me in my studio in London. Once I am happy, I hand draw the patterns, adjusting them to get the perfect fit. I use these patterns as a guide to cut the fabrics. The pieces are then stitched together and assembled. It is painstaking, detailed work; a jacket can take more than a month to make, from the design on paper to the finished garment.
How do you want women to feel when they wear Moda de la Maria clothes?
I want the women wearing my clothes to feel stylish and confident, and to know that they are supporting not just a small, slow fashion brand, but the environment as well.
Shop the new collections here: MODA DE LA MARIA