Daniela Ivanova, GARDEROB - Style Comes From Within

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Jun 12, 2019
June 23, 2023

I met Daniela on set. The first things I noticed about her were the quiet and calm tone of her voice and her genuine smile. We communicated so easily, that I even couldn’t believe at first that I don’t know her and we are having such a smooth conversation. I can definitely define her as a person true to herself – with a special distinctive and personal mark.

Where she comes from?

She was born in Ruse and raised in Burgas. Her father was a midshipman and her mother was a primary teacher.

Wondering how all passion for fashion begun, she found the answer right in her childhood memories. At home, her mother and her grandmother have sewed and done all by themselves, and from there, she learned how to use a sewing machine. When she thinks a little more, she remembers that at that time on TV she watched Bold and Beautiful and The House of Eliott, and that probably also influenced her interest which now evokes laughter and shy smiles. Her cousins had Barbie dolls, and she did not, so they made a deal, she “took care” of the dolls on weekends and sewed them dozens of clothes on her sewing machine. Then, on Mondays, she returned the Barbies to her cousins, but she kept the clothes for herself –her first small fashion collection. She never suspected that when she grew up a little, that would be her profession.

She actually wanted to study woodcarving, but she trusted her parents’ choices and advices and she first went to High School in Burgas, in an art class. After graduating from there, it was her first attempt to study Fashion at the National Academy of Arts. Back then over 150 people competed for only 6 places. She didn’t make it from the first time but she didn’t give up. Her third attempt was a charm. And that’s how her fashion journey began.

I share with you an interview with Dani which reveals a soul of a child locked inside the body of a beautiful woman with a young, wild spirit of a free bird that hover in the space of life with a special trademark.

What inspires you?

When I do something, I start from the shape / silhouette. I have it in my mind and I’m always returning to it in order to clear everything up. This is both an idea and a concept for life – to cleanse myself from the unnecessary. Clothes are part of the connection between people. They are a kind of communication – this is the first thing that people notice about you. Clothes are just cloth, the person who creates and wears them makes them what they are. So, my ultimate goal is for maximum purity and clarity, both in the clothes I make and in my relationship with people.

Photo by Dragomir Spasov

What challenges do you have as a stylist?

You have a choice of accepting things – whether you see them as something bloody or as something magical and challenging. I always try to turn my point of view into a positive one. If you’re getting something done – do it in the best possible way. I try not to do something at all costs , but if I have an impulse and a desire – then I get on it immediately.

What goals do you wish to achieve in the future?

I am not an unchanging value. I have some ideas, but I still haven’t turned them into goals with a deadline. So, that’s about to happen.

What advice would you give an up to a future stylist?

To travel, to study, to watch movies, to read books, to do things that build you up as an artist and a person and to do it consciously. Taste is something you can form. It’s good that you can change it, it doesn’t matter in what environment you grew up, so you just have to open your eyes and find your path.

But I usually avoid giving advices because everyone has to go on his own way, make his own mistakes and learn from them.

What is your favorite project as a stylist?

I have a little amnesia. I don’t think I have an all-time favorite project but there are projects I’m happy with. When I have given my heart and I see people on the other side who appreciated it. I always take things as my own, it is not important what style you have done, what‘s important is that people acknowledge it and I have done it with my soul – that’s the total pleasure.

What’s the most fun part of your job?

I wouldn’t say fun, but the most satisfying is when I see the person wearing the clothes and the way it affects her/him.

But when I think about it, perhaps the most pleasant part of my work is communication with people. I have a co-worker – a tailor. She is a technologist, an engineer and in fact my personal friend – a therapist with a sewing machine. So, I would like to say thank you, Zaharinka!

How do you choose what looks work for each individual client?

I started asking myself – do I truly believe that this is the best thing for this person? Because sometimes people come to me telling me what they think would suit them. For a pretty long time, I followed their exact desires but recently I started to trust my instincts again. To believe my gut and follow my first feel of the person. For a long time I forgot what it was to hear your thoughts and everyone from time to time needs a moment to enjoy the silence and follow his or her inner voice.

Do the clothing choices you make at work inspire your personal style?

It depends on the project. I don’t usually change my style radically. But after shooting a TVC recently, I started to put lipstick on for example, which is something I haven’t been doing before.

How would you describe your personal style?

Feminine. I wear my clothes more confidently than before. What makes a difference, is the way you wear your clothes – a simple thought can change your expression, your posture and then: everything.

What is your favorite item in your closet?

Red suede heels. They are a symbol of the useless luxury.

Everyone loves a good deal, what are some of your favorite places to find budget buys?

Second hand is always a good option. In fact, no matter how weird it may sound, I don’t do shopping much. It’s more like if I accidentally like something – I buy it, but one of my basic concepts in life is to clutter with possessions, including clothes.

If you could only wear one brand for the rest of your life which one would it be?

Muji, Uniclo & Cos for example because it’s pretty close to my personal style.

What would you never wear?

I never say never. I would put everything on in a certain context.

You seem to be a dreamer. Let’s say you could travel back in time to one fashion era: where would you end up?

The 40s: as a time, as a style, as music, as a feeling. The way that movie stars at that time looked like – Carrie Garnt, Marlon Brando, women are stylish, fatal, feminine, seductive. I simply love that.

Who is your favorite movie director?

Jim Jarmusch. It is a cult to me. I envy people who have not seen his movies yet because they will see them for the first time. Magical experience. There is something in his films that inspires me every time I watch them.

If your life was s movie, which movie would it be?

Hmmm, Casablanca. Yes, Casablanca!

Photo by Dragomir Spasov

Do you have a wish list?

I had one in Pinterest. I think that this was very helpful for me because it’s kind of visualizing your dreams and taking instant pictures, saving them for later.

If you weren’t a stylist, what would you do for a living?

Maybe I would be а barber. I enjoy working and communicating with men and I feel that I have a talent. I have actually even made the first step – I have my own scissors, so…

Who would you look like when you grow up?

I really like Vivian Westwood as a woman, personality and ideology. She actually became a fashion designer pretty late in her life…Maybe I would like to look like her.

Do you have a Great Dream?

To be surrounded with young people. That’s what gives me hope, energy and positive vibes and ambitions to keep going and developing myrself.

While I think about my meeting with her, a quote emerges constantly in my mind: “The real ornament of woman is her character, her purity” (Mahatma Gandhi).  I have nothing else to add.