Thursday, November 20, 2008

An Interview with Barbara Gregusova

This past week I met with Barbara Gregusova, to talk about her FMA and Vancouver Fashion Week Collections. We met for coffee at a Blenz downtown and quickly launched into a discussion involving her extensive resume, her experiences in fashion, theatre and film industries and the fashion scene in Vancouver. When I first met her working backstage at the FMA Vancouver: Sky 360 show, I was amazed to see her mother and father backstage helping to organize the collection. I later discovered that it was her mother who created the beautiful paper gowns we saw float down the runway, while Barbara created the jewelry. Her mother (Elena Gregusova) is a fashion designer and textile specialist, her father (Martin Gregus) a photographer and graphic designer, her grandmother a textile artist, grandfather a sculptor and jewelry artist and her two aunts are fashion designers in Slovakia. She mentions that back home, in Slovakia, everyone was waiting to see what she would do artistically! Barbara doesn't seem pressured by her family at all, perhaps this is due to the fact that her resume is already extensive and growing by the day!

Barbara moved to Vancouver in 2004, and completed Costuming for Theatre and Film, Costuming for Stage and Screen and Theatre Institute Program at Capilano University and Fashion Merchandising at Blanch McDonald. She insists that it is important to understand how to produce and create costumes for film and theatre and to know how to make and cut garments. She nonchalantly mentions that she began creating clothes for Barbies at a very young age and producing her own jewelry at the age of sixteen, as if it is no big deal. She informs me that her jewelry is more of a hobby, but she has presented it in Slovakian and Belgian Exhibitions as well as one in North Vancouver. The Collection she presented at Vancouver Fashion Week consisted of both jewelry pieces and dresses made with recycled computer and printer parts.

While she says she loves participating in all industries, it is when we talk about her film and theatre work that her eyes light up. What gives her the most sense of accomplishment is "creating characters." Currently, she is designing for several Capilano Productions including, "Tartuffe: Born Again" by Moliere and "Bye Bye Baby” for Presentation House Theatre as well as attending classes full time. She talks about the production process for creating costumes for theatre and film and one of her favourite costume creations from the play Tartuffe. In the play, Tartuffe is a thief and claims to be a man of special religious powers. He manages to put a spell on several people but is eventually caught and sent to prison. At one point, he is forced to strip down to his underwear; Barbara uses a pair of Calvin Klein underwear and incorporated dollar signs to represent his hidden personality and motives to the audience. Barbara is the first student to be hired back to design for the school (Capilano University Exit 22) theatre productions.

In addition to her theatre work, Barbara also works on film projects. Some of her recent film projects include "Bollywood Beckons" with Agam Darshi and Stephen Lobo, "The Collinwood Campaign" with Michael Teigen and her first feature film "Of Golf and God." She also helps style her mother's collections and is the communication director for her "Wear the News" Collection. And while she does model for her mother's collections, she says she prefers to be backstage and allow her work to speak for itself. Be sure to visit her website here. You can read reviews of her Vancouver Fashion Week Collections in String Online Magazine and on Stylefinds. Barbara was a pleasure to interview; she is knowledgeable and passionate about fashion! Thank you Barbara.

Barbara's Sketches for Marie Antoinette

Barbara modeling the final Marie Antoinette Costume

Some of Barbara's One of a Kind Jewelry Pieces


S of Modern-Guilt said...

Great interview, and extremely well-written article! I loved reading this :)
Her jewelry is beautiful as well.


amazing!!!!! shes super talented. great interview Anthea.thanks for sharing this,her jewellery is amazing.sounds like shes from a very creative line of people.
muah xx

Eleh said...

wow. beautiful sketches. very talented indeed.

lisa said...

Fantastic interview with a talented lady!

blacktie.whitenoise said...

and she's my best childhood friend :)

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