Samieva places first in fashion competition

Q&A with junior Asalya Samieva on winning, the design process, her passion for fashion, and more

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Asalya Samieva

DRESSED FOR SUCCESS. Every year, Bridal and Formal offers scholarship money to SHS student designers. Students enter a piece they made, and their work is judged before a group. This year, junior Asalya Samieva (pictured on the right) placed first for her dress (pictured on the left) and won scholarship money as well as a three-day fashion camp pass to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.

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How did it feel when you learned that you won the scholarship?

I didn’t think that I would win. When Klemt asked to guess who won, I was thinking of Firuza [Muratova], and I said Firuza. But when she pointed at my dress, I couldn’t believe it. My mind was blank and the next thing I know I’m crying. I just couldn’t believe that all my hard work paid off. I didn’t believe that they liked my design. I was crying; they were happy tears. My friend that helped me a lot came up to me and hugged me and others as well. I just couldn’t process anything. It was unbelievable.

I heard your designs were inspired by Kpop. How did you get into Kpop and how did you translate that interest into your designs?

Well, I got into Kpop thanks to my friend who introduced me to BTS two years ago. I just loved their music videos and the clothes that they had. The girls would wear mini skirts with some cute tops. I just loved their fashion. Thanks to that, I got into Korean fashion. They wear cute dresses with a shirt underneath it. And ruffles! So I thought of designing something that was like that. When designing the two-piece, I thought of idols’ clothes.

What was the design process like?

Well first I had to make the pattern and then cut the muslin out, and after that, I had to find the fabric. I usually go to New York to buy my fabrics. I found some fabrics at Mood. Now that I had my fabrics, I had to work on making the garments. First, I had to finish the two-piece since it was for the competition. I started on mine first and stopped in the middle and started on the two-piece. I had a little time left. Originally, I also had planned to make two jackets out of vinyl but decided to keep it for next year. After doing all the machine sewing I had some hand stitching to do. After everything was done I had to add pearls somewhere. They are my signature. So I added them at the end of the straps.

That sounds very difficult! What was the hardest part of the process?

Well, mostly it was pattern making. That took me a month. And of course the zipper. I never liked seeing the zipper on; it scares me every time.

Why does it scare you?

You have to sew it really close to the teeth of the zipper. But not [too] close to catch them. And it’s pretty hard for me to do that. You need actual skills for that. [An] invisible zipper is supposed to be invisible, but when I see it, you can see it because I usually don’t sew that close.

How did you get into fashion and how do you see yourself pursuing it in the future?

I started drawing clothes since I was 10. At that time, I wanted to be a teacher, but then I realized fashion was what I really liked to do. So since then, I dreamed of becoming a fashion designer. I want to create my own brand of clothing and have a runway show in one of the capitals of the fashion industry. If that doesn’t work, I would like to be a fashion stylist and style Kpop idols. I would love to see the clothes that I picked on them in their music videos.

I hope you get there one day! I have one last question for you. If you had to give advice to your younger self, what would you say?

I would say not to give up and continue doing what you like. Sometimes it doesn’t go the way you want it to go. Just accept it and move on or fix it. That’s how fashion works. A mistake can improve your design. Maybe it’s not what you planned for, but you’ll like it cause it’s always like that. And lastly, please learn how to sew.