After several years of interning for fashion designers, working in costume departments and training at Central Saint Martins Anna Popovich decided to start her own fashion label. Everything in her shop is designed, cut and made by Anna in her home in London. In her current collection, you will find nods to corsetry, exaggerated silhouettes (based on the Hollywood ideals of the 1940s and 50s, and Tudor costume), recreations of human muscle structure, and bias cutting to softly hint at the real body beneath.
If you're in the area, be sure to look for her at WeMake London on the 8th December.
Tell me about how you originally got into your craft, Anna.
I've always loved sewing. Ever since my Grandmother taught me how to cross stitch when I was 4 I've always had a project on the go. First I made toys for myself, I seem to remember a Noah's Ark made from panels of
tapestry, then I started to make clothes from off-cuts of my mother's curtains. Since then it's been a mixture of short courses and a lot of self tuition and trial and error. Although I spend a lot of time researching and sketching to come up with a collection the process of modelling and toiling (making mock ups of the designs) is where the real creativity happens for me.
What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
It really is. I'll spend all week working on orders for my shop and then at the weekend I'll find myself customising or altering something from my own wardrobe. When I do manage to prize the needle out of my
hand I love to go to the cinema, an art gallery, or rummage through charity shops.
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
For me the biggest challenge has been remaining positive. Once I'd finished making my samples and posting photographs on Etsy it took ages before I made a sale. Now that I've had a few sales on Etsy and at various craft fairs I'm feeling much more confident and I'm really looking forward to having my Autumn/Winter Collection finished and ready for ordering!
When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
I had a phase of wanting to work in a sea life centre. It wasn't until the second year of my degree in Comparative Literature that it occurred to me that fashion design could be my career, not just a hobby.
What item in your collection would you most like to receive as a gift if someone were shopping for you?
I think it would have to be my Lawrence Dress. I wear the sample at any opportunity and I always get lovely comments about it.
What other artists out there do you love?
Gosh, it's so hard to choose!
I'm a huge fan of Afternoon Outings; greetings cards like no other. They have a small hand-drawn map inside and then an itinerary for things you can do in that area. I've bought several and they always go down a treat.
I must mention the Heritage Arts Company too. They're a theatre company and I have no idea how to describe their work. I worked with them on their last project - an interactive mystery festival-goers at Standon Calling were invited to solve. They describe it much better on their website and you can find out about upcoming projects there too.
What does your future hold?
I'm about to move my business from my tiny bedroom above a tube station to a lovely studio in East London, so I'm very excited about that. I'm currently working on my Autumn/Winter Collection which I hope to have finished soon. Once it's ready I'm going to make an effort to attend more craft and design fairs. Long term, who knows, but I hope to be making dresses for many years to come!