Victoria/Tomas: The Dynamic Duo
Relationships in contemporary society are quite difficult, but this young couple in love – and in work – have made it an art. Russian Victoria Feldman and Latvian Tomas Berzins founded their ready-to-wear brand VICTORIA/TOMAS in 2012. Paris is the place they reserve for that intimate style conversation showcasing both feminine and masculine sides, playing with experimental fashion and creating neo-arty clothes with an innate understated elegance.
A version of this exclusive interview first appeared in the pages of the 15th issue of ODDA Magazine.
The latest scientific research suggests that we have far more than five senses, and that some people have senses that others don’t (for example, the ability to see in the dark). What are your superpowers?
Victoria: To stay together 24/7 and not killing each other.
What were your childhood dreams and which thoughts were most relevant in your adolescence?
V: I dreamed to be a singer or an actress, but I always judiciously judged myself and immediately understood that it’s not possible.
Tomas: My childhood and teenage interests and dreams were always changing so fast, so I guess nothing was really relevant. When I was a kid, we often traveled and I think that the only thing that have always remained in my mind was to live somewhere else, to become a different character.
How does being a couple influence your designs?
V: We always have at least two opinions to consider. The fact that we are a couple allows us to have a discussion, we know that we always can share our thoughts. We are twice stronger.
T: The controversy inspires us a lot I guess. Having different backgrounds and sometimes different opinions on situation brings us to the point where we can have certain debates, arguing and protecting his own point of view, and at the same time being a family and loving each other leads it to the correct compromise for both of us and leads to the balanced ideas.
“THE GOAL IS TO KEEP ON DOING WORK THAT WE LOVE, WE ARE SELF-MADE, WITH NO SUPPORT SINCE DAY ONE” – VICTORIA
How will your artsy and street-culture references be expressed through your fashion in the near future?
T: In the details, shapes and color. As we usually do. But we are working hard on it, to be able to mix it in a new way! Let’s wait a bit and see!
Each collection is a dialogue between a man and a woman: yours is a story of true respect between genders. What are your thoughts on the recent awareness about sexual harassment and assault to women?
V: In today’s world everything is changing so fast! There are people who stuck in the past and don’t want to accept the world as it is today.
Today a woman has her own voice, everyone has a voice and can share their opinion, thoughts and vision. Men and women should go side by side to build a stronger future together.
T: I think I am lucky that I have never encountered with this kind of situations in real life.
I have a huge respect to women, because I was raised by my mother, she is my best friend as well. And, as a teenager, I had always a lot of female friends. For me, personally, it was always interesting to have equal discussions both with girls and with guys. There is no man without a woman, we all should remember and respect that…
If you could live in a painting of any times, what would it be and why?
V: For me, painting is something peaceful. I would choose Vincent Van Gogh’s La nuit étoilée.
T: For me, paintings are quite immobilized and I think I couldn’t live in still motion or ”one moment” capture. I would rather live in one of Wes Anderson’s or Tim Burton’s movies, they look more dreamy and dynamic for my kind of character.
In which moment of your life did you decide that you would become fashion designers?
V: I always knew that I want to create, but what exactly I understood later. I studied in several art and design schools and one day I just realized that I should try designing clothes.
T: I was a crazy teenager, with a crazy lifestyle. Me and my friends we were club kids, thinking only about parties and clothes.
During one of those home parties we started to have a discussion about what we would do next, and my friend’s girlfriend stated that we have to move into creative fields.
So we really started to think about it and came out with an idea of becoming designers, not even understanding the steps of this job.
Despite this, I was always unconsciously pushed by my mother to become a designer. She has a great taste and she loves clothes, so I start to think that it was her masterplan to make her son to become a fashion designer.
What are your main thoughts during the day?
V: Is that time runs too fast!
The universe is love reads the invitation to your latest show. A clear statement. What are your feelings about hate?
T: For me, hate is just a word. I don’t feel it that much in my life, but I definitely feel love, that’s why it’s important to state it more often and share it. When the word ‘hate’ appears, you should question yourself why you need to waist your life on this feeling. This can ruin you or something that you create.
V: During our design process we often can express that we hate this or that, but there is a possibility that in the end of the day we will love something that we hated just a while ago. So love in my opinion is much stronger.
What is your most important goal as fashion designers?
V: The goal is to keep on doing work that we love, we are self-made, with no support since day one, so I think the goals that we had in mind when we launched the brand are already partly achieved, just being here in Paris and showing on the official PFW calendar.
T: Designer work is 24/7, every day there are new goals to achieve.
To be on time with the collection, reach new clients, see your clothes worn by beautiful women.
These are all the goals that allow this job to be more than a job, to be a passion.
How has the choice of “Made in France” manufacturing affected the brand’s vision?
T: Our collections are produced in France, Italy and Portugal. We always choose the good people and high-end manufactures to work with, to be able to offer the best to our clients.
We are still keeping a part of in-house production for some leather and more artisanal pieces.
If you should describe your garments through a movie character, who would it be?
V: Charlotte Gainsbourg – L’effrontée.
T: With a little bit of touch of personage of Natalie Portman girl character from the movie Leon plus vibes from the Lords of Dogtown guys!
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