Diana Marian Murek, director of education at Istituto Marangoni, shares advice for fashion students
“Always have the courage to be yourself creatively“
As arbiters of taste, both us and Istituto Marangoni, we thrive to shape views, navigate cultural currents, initiate dialogues and guide the fashion-conscious through uncharted sartorial waters. In an exclusive conversation with Diana Marian Murek, the Director of Education at the prestigious Istituto Marangoni Mumbai, we tapped into the pulse of global fashion of today.
In a rare interview, Diana shares her learnings from her years in the business, her favourite labels and a piece of advice for aspiring designers.
ELLE: From starting out as a designer in 1997, to being the director of education at the London School of Fashion in 2015, it’s been a monumental journey. What’s a piece of advice you’d like to share with aspiring fashion students?
Diana Marian Murek: My career has been very interesting and absolutely nonlinear, but I always trusted where my experiences were leading me to; from architecture to fashion design, be in designing or journalism. Every experience led me to the next one and each one of those experiences have been extremely exciting. ‘Trusting your instincts and not be afraid of where they are leading you’ would be my advice to aspiring fashion students.
Another advice would be to have your own very strong point of view and own style. Fashion design is an artistic activity where, yes, the outcome is a commercial product, but it will never be attractive to a consumer if the story behind it is not capturing and unique. Only a strong individual approach will have the force of engaging others. If your design has no soul and a strong individuality, a story to tell that nobody else is telling, how can that be attractive to anyone. So, have the courage to be yourself creatively.
ELLE: What does fashion mean to you?
DMM: Fashion is so much more for everyone who works in this industry, mostly because a designer, or any creative person, is living and breathing the art. To me; everything I see is a mood board, a silhouette, a colour palette, a print. Also, fashion is a strong indicator of what is going on in the world, it reflects the society and the moment in which we are living. You can actually deduce easily the economic and cultural values of a time just by looking at the clothes. Fashion may be socially frivolous but it is sociologically significant.
ELLE: Who are some of your favourite designers?
DMM: My entire aesthetic in fashion is mostly influenced by the 1990s, when I was in my early twenties. I was inspired by the pureness in form of minimalism, the rawness and anti-consumerism of the era. In terms of designers, my favourites include Jil Sander, Costume National, Helmut Lang, Ann Demeulemeester, Comme des Garçons, Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto, Haider Ackermann, Loewe, Acne Studio, N˚21 and The Row.
ELLE: In your opinion, what are the most interesting trends for Fall/Winter 2019?
DMM: For Fall/ Winter 2019, we have seen a fair amount of oversized pieces and oversized layering, as in collections by Givenchy, Balenciaga, Dries Van Noten and Prada. Mostly as masculine pant suits and outerwear. This will be a strong season for suits and sets, with a variety of possibilities for updating classic and familiar styles. Minimalism continues from S/S 2019, evolving into an easy silhouette merging feminine and masculine elements, defined by a soft colour palette and simplicity at Jaquemus and Jil Sander.