Viktor Gichev is a vintage lover with no vintage values. ‘I see fashion as something to be enjoyed,’ laughs the energetic Womenswear designer, who is a passionate advocate for sustainable fashion. Determined to breathe new life into existing garments, Gichev can often be found meandering through markets and second-hand shops around London, one of his regular haunts being the bric-a-brac and vintage heaven of Portobello Road’s One of a Kind.
For his graduate collection, Gichev plays with the idea of ‘merging together’ antique materials to give them a contemporary context, ‘all while making the clothes as wearable as possible.’ Garments from the 19th and 20th centuries – and his grandma’s tablecloth – are reimagined into modern pieces; Gichev’s favourite being a lilac, beaded flapper dress which he repaired over lockdown, in the process looking a bit ‘like a grandma sitting and sewing in front of the TV.’
After Central Saint Martins Gichev is taking a carpe diem approach to his career. He might launch his own online shop for his designs, or make clothes for friends, taking things ‘day by day’ and seizing opportunity. ‘The world is changing so quickly,’ he explains. ‘I try to be open.’
Bea Ross, BA Fashion Journalism