Words by Katie Farley
Emerging fashion designer Emilia Genova, born and raised in Bulgaria, today hones her craft in Florence, Italy. Emilia’s aesthetic is one of intricate silhouettes and swathed fabrics that construct fluid collages of color and space in equal measures. Worthy of editorial spreads in any influential fashion publication, Genova’s work is of avant-garde excellence, pushing the boundaries of the possibilities of design.
The designer’s childlike exuberance is what differentiates her from others in her field. Genova likes to imagine each fashion collection as a narrative, as opposed to individual products. She believes we should keep our imagination free as long as we are able, without fretting about trends and style rules that define us. “I hope that part of me won’t change over time.”
Genova’s current collection developed during her final year at the Instituto Polimoda university in Italy. “My favorite thing about these garments is their flexibility,” explains the designer. “The pleated fabric allows us to drape it in different ways, and the pieces of the collection can be layered to create new outfits.” The designer particularly enjoys seeing them come to life when different stylists artfully manipulate them on shoots, placing them in ways she would never have thought of giving a new direction to the collection. “I think it is important that people are given the freedom to experiment with clothes.”
After her recent graduation, Genova decided to postpone a typical internship and instead channeled her creative energy to construct a dependable team and a solid base for the future of her brand. She chose to build something that conveyed her essence, eliminating the stress of working for an already recognized label. “I am aware of the fact that such experience is vital, but I think I should develop my own identity before being able to work for someone else. I’m currently concentrating on doing research and on creating strong relationships with local artists, who inspire me immensely to develop my ideas.”
Currently, Genova is focusing on working with techniques that come most naturally to her, draping and pleating, best executed amid her 2018 graduate collection, “The Long Island Sound.” To evolve her aesthetic, she would like to expand her styling methods and branch out into tailoring and structured garments, perhaps even diversifying into sportswear in the future. “I want to make sure that I know how to work these different styles into my collections so that I can always create something new. The color palettes that I am attracted to are also evolving quite quickly, growing warmer, and earthier with every research.”
Throughout Genova’s work, the designer aspires to bring a small respite from monotony, delivering an aesthetic that people can feel their individuality in, and who could argue with that?