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NY-Based Fashion Designer Ev Bessar Weaves Together a Dark, Avant-Garde Fairy Tale Through her Edgy Designs

Fashion designer Ev Bessar weaves together a dark, avant-garde fairy tale through her edgy designs that are fit for an army of fashionable goth warriors. Born and bred in Russia, schooled in finance and linguistics, and dreaming of a entering the world of costume design, Ev Bessar moved to New York in 2011 to study fashion at Parsons. Her creative potential was certainly filled through her raw, deconstructed creations that turn the body into a moving canvas. Ev’s designs are imbued with a complexity and stunning craftsmanship that uses innovative textures and materials combinations; each collection pushing into new realms. We met up with Ev Bessar to find out about the creative behind these enviable fashion creations.

ABOUT EV BESSAR

CM: Tell us a bit about what you do?
I make custom exclusive clothing for men and women. I’m currently working on my third collection entitled “Armis” that I’m very excited about. My other passion is the charity organization I founded for children with Congenital Heart Defect named HeartED. Apart from that I am working on several collaborative projects for magazines, television documentary, as well as exhibition.

CM: How did you become a professional creative and how do you market yourself?
I graduated from Parsons Fashion Design Program. I organized and directed several fashion shows with various live performers. I’ve participated in several Charity events including an event for HeartED. I have started to receive orders from individuals, and now several boutiques in NYC as well as e-commerce shops are interested in carrying my line.

CM: Your work environment? What are your preferred working programs/tools/materials?
My design studio is in Harlem where I work on my collections. I do a lot of handwork: knitting, crochet, sewing, and felting. I also use sewing and knitting machines. I sketch my designs with pencil then finish in Adobe Illustrator. For mood boards I use Adobe Photoshop.

The clothing is sculpted, draped, or patterned with the use of old-fashioned ethnic techniques; experiments with raw materials and finishes serve the idea of perfect imperfection.To combine both Art and function is paramount, as I perceive fashion.

CM: What was the switch from finance to fashion like?
My parents steered my education in the direction they preferred, however I didn’t consider the finance field as the path that best suited my interests. I also received Masters in Linguistics and worked in a high school for a year. It was a great experience as I enjoy working with children. My family has been supportive given my commitment to my dream as a designer. It was a risk I was willing to take.


“The power of Art in all mediums along with Nature is a tremendous muse. The influence is accumulative. My inspiration for a collection starts with certain imagery; during the research of this imagery the surrounding world turns into a stage in my mind, which triggers my creative visualization and then the work begins.” Ev Bessar

INSPIRATION

CM: What and who are your greatest inspirations in the world of fashion?
Initially, it was Alexander McQueen who stroked my imagination, as his magnificent work had no boundaries. Of course, Mugler and Galliano contributed immensely to my vision. While studying and exploring various ways of portraying the imagery I was experimenting a lot; starting with books of civilization- tribes; their incredible and fascinating looks, continuing with trying old techniques of making clothes from different countries to couture fashion.

Starting my line, I also chose a direction of sophisticated, dark, edgy, handcrafted ready-to-wear. Boris Bidjan Saberi is a talented designer and alchemist, whose work I admire very much.

In my world inspiration doesn’t have a specific place to be discovered, but it surrounds me: different shapes, random textures; a leaf caught on a wire, a crack in a buildings facade, a drop of candle wax merging onto skin…

CM: On combining dance and fashion
To me dance is very vivid expression of feelings. I used to dance. I feel the beauty of the air’s motion that becomes alive between my skin and my clothing. It tells a story through its imagery when it merges.

CM: The most challenging moments?
The most challenging moment for me is to stop working- if I am not creating, I would still be thinking about the projects. There is no time off from work for me. My work is my passion.

CM: Tell us how art influences your designs
The power of Art in all mediums along with Nature is a tremendous muse. The influence is accumulative. My inspiration for a collection starts with certain imagery; during the research of this imagery the surrounding world turns into a stage in my mind, which triggers my creative visualization and then the work begins.

CM: Is there an emotional element attached to your strong and architectural pieces?
My heritage, upbringing, and emotions are the elements that live in my designs; it’s the heartbeat, the fulfilment, the poetry of fighting, and the victory of personal accomplishment.

CM: You started showcasing at NYFW in 2014. What impact did it have on your career?
It was an amazing experience. I was still at school when I had my first show. It was very exciting and a challenging time for me. It was the first time I was able to showcase my work to the public. I got my first write up after the show in a French blog. The photography of my collection was featured next to some of the biggest designers from NY Fashion Week. I definitely gained a lot of confidence and necessary experience to reaffirm that I was on the right path. I am always extremely grateful for the people around me who’ve helped me and continue to do so along the way. The models, photographers, hair stylists, make-up artists are invaluable. Everyone has always been so supportive in their work but most of all their faith in my vision continues to inspire me.

CM: What advise would you give a young model or someone aspiring to create fashion pieces?
Go for it! Do your research, experiment, go to museums and stores and explore different textiles. Find your niche and construct the garments that you would want to wear. I would suggest to aspiring models to take all the opportunities and try to be as diverse as possible.

CM: Who would you like to see your clothes worn by?
I want to see my clothes being worn by strong confident men and women of a free spirit. I want my designs create a feeling that the clothing is an open window for the inner self for whoever is wearing it. It’s not restricting, but complimenting to inner power and movements.

CM: Tell us about your style?
Raw, dark, textured, handcrafted, innovative, emotional. My style is my thoughts, beliefs and desires. My style embodies my perception of the world and the process of breathing.

CM: What is next for you?
I am working on my next collection- “Armis”. Also I am working on a TV documentary for HeartED. It will be a collaboration with artists and our aim is to raise money for children with CHD.

CM: Would you say that your work is fuelled by the city (New York) your are living in?
The skyscrapered island of multi national society? A boiling volcano of creative minds and dreamers? A beautiful snake, shedding its skin that dissipates into our atmosphere as we breathe in that energy? Certainly, Yes.

CM: Black is predominant throughout your collections. What is the message behind it?
The lack of colour scheme in my line is used to enhance the feeling of texture, the form and structure of the clothing. In the new collection I am adding red tones, which will support the idea of lifeblood, the heartbeat and flow of energy.

CM: Your fashion clips presenting your clothes are very strong and beautiful. Is filming another passion you have?
I admire the video impact. That is a skill I am eager to develop. It can offer one of the strongest messages in all art.


“In the continuous growth and spirituality, the world of an individual sometimes collides with the surrounding sphere of its own rules and order. It’s very important to be open and listen to your insticts to be able to protect yourself. The reward of gaining self-control is victory.” – Ev Bessar


WARRIORS COLLECTION

CM: Tell us about your inspiration?
The collection mirrors a human being with a strong sense of self, someone who knows what their goals are and has self-confidence, paying no attention to boundaries or to outside expectations and opinions.

CM: What made you think of this inspiration?
Being driven by the power of limitless desire to be who you are, bravery of accepting the challenges and chances, and overcoming the obstacles without slowing down. In the continuous growth and spirituality, the world of an individual sometimes collides with the surrounding sphere of its own rules and order. It’s very important to be open and listen to your insticts to be able to protect yourself. The reward of gaining self-control is victory.

CM: Using raw textures to create an expressive feel. Your signature?
To me, raw textures represent strength and personality. My signature is the connection of threads and yarns.

CM: Is ‘WARRIORS’ a futuristic collection?
I wouldn’t call it futuristic as I used various traditional techniques and drew inspiration from many references of certain eras that embody the strength I spoke of regarding the raw textures.

VERTO COLLECTION

CM: Tell us a little bit more about your inspiration for your fabric and this particular collection?
Mainly, I used wool, cotton, and leather.

It is a unisex collection, inspired by transgender models I have worked with. Their stories are quite impressive and very touching. Transforming their lives, following their dreams, and believing in their message, they show how strong a person and how powerful a desire can be. It takes so much courage and self-confidence. And every one of us has it. So if we use it and direct it with constructive intentions, we may achieve much bigger goals. The collection depicts freedom of self-transformation.

CM: What is you favourite piece?
The wool felted weaved vest. I used zero waste approach of garment construction. It was the most time consuming piece of the collection. I hand felted the fabric, then cut it into stripes of different width and weaved them, representing various paths that lay in front of us, interactions, failures and victories.

CM: how long does it take you to knit one of your exclusive pieces?  
1-3 weeks.

CM: How would you describe the perfect ‘VERTO’ man?
“Verto” as well as “Warriors” or “Armis” is for a human being who is able to recover and value the present. They love to travel, get inspired by different cultures. They have a connection to ART. I admire people who are sensual, strong willed, adventurous, daring, warm-hearted, hungry for wisdom and eager to help others.

Gender and age can only be defined by the outer shell, but it is the soul that would want to be wearing the designs.

HearTED Charity Foundation

CM: Can you tell us about your charity?
HeartED Inc. is committed to humanitarian excellence and the pursuit of fashion that flows from free inquiry, artistic values and human experience. The core passions in the Arts and Fashion aim to enrich lives as well as professions and serve to unify children with congenital heart defect despite their race; social status, economic advantage, religion, or citizenship. Any child should have an opportunity to use his right to live.

In the United States alone, an estimated minimum of 32,000 infants are expected to be affected with CHD each year. Of these, an approximate 25%, or 2.4 per 1,000 live births, require invasive treatment in the first year of life.

A CHD diagnose can be a death statement for an underprivileged child. For thousands of children around the globe every day starts as a struggle for life. It is my goal to help as many children as possible…

The oxygen we breathe, people we love, and the moments of happiness should remain as our surrounding leading us to the next second of our life all while uniting people regardless of their demographic.

Photography copyrights:
Ev Bessar – Kitsul – Geometria – Richard Copier – Gleb Perevertaylo – Maria Gordova
Models:
Devin Lj Clark Sani Binta Essence Semaj Henley Vladi Slava Gloria Sin Brittany Cavaco.