Often, one of a fashion designer’s biggest dreams is to have their work shown at New York Fashion Week. This dream came true for fashion designer and student of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale a few weeks ago when she had the unique privilege of being one of just a handful of students chosen from over 50 Art Institutes around North America to show her work at a special New York Fashion Week showing.
While it was obvious watching the show that the students chosen were the best of best among the school’s student body, something specific stood out about Ms. Cochagne’s fashion. Her work was clearly inspired by earlier eras of fashion and costume history.
When Examiner sat down with Tatiana to ask about her work and her process, she spoke with great enthusiasm about how she designs and why she loves costume history so much.
Tatiana sees each style she designs as a process, a journey. Each item and each collection have their own personality. She goes through three careful steps as she creates. The concept, the technical planning and then the actual production of the garments. She begins with the inspiration and the textiles and from there she plans what she thinks will happen, but sometimes in the course of actual creation the garment changes slightly from the original concept as she gets fully into the patternmaking and sewing.
For the six garments she presented at fashion week her inspiration was Queen Elizabeth I, she loved the look of the tight corsets and the full skirts of that era. She loved the rich royal colors. She chose to update the look with more modern cuts showing bare shoulders and cleaner, less fussy cuts but keeping the spirit of an age of royalty and intrigue.
She used upholstery fabric donated to the school by Valley Forge Fabrics and found the heavier textiles and many layers required of her designs difficult and challenging to work with but was very happy with the end result. And, she should be, there is something about her work that is reminiscent of the young Alexander Mc Queen, something unique and from another time, yet, totally current. It’s the use of contemporary fabrics and colors with an ultra-feminine silhouette informed by historic fashion, but not futsy and stale, which makes her work stand out. She tells us that she “wanted to capture the essence of time with a modern twist.” At this she has succeeded.
She credits her education, her teachers, especially her Costume Design Professor, Irina Ivanova, and her Senior Studio professor, Chrisa Tatakis, for inspiring her to create the collection that was chosen for fashion week. She says you “learn the techniques your teachers share but you should make everything your own. “
She is also humbled by the support of her children and ex-husband – who is her best friend – for all they have done to help her achieve her dreams and goals. Tatiana believes you can make your dreams come true, but it isn’t magic, it’s hard hard work.
She has already opened her own studio in Fort Lauderdale and hopes to have her own fashion house and to teach on the side to help the next generation to learn the skills she has been able to learn. She has dedicated her collection to her daughters and her grandmother who taught her how to hand stitch with thread spun from the cotton she grew on her own farm back in Peru.
This powerhouse designer is someone to watch. When asked what she was doing next. Tatiana answered that she was considering a collection with a medieval inspiration. I’m sure she will succeed at creating another fine costume inspired, but totally fresh new collection. In fact, it seems apparent that she will succeed at whatever she sets out to do with her future!