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A Look at Alexandra Petina’s Journey Into Fashion Design

Alexandra Petina

Alexandra Petina is a fashion designer who has gained recognition in the international fashion scene after her final collection was presented during New York Fashion Week. Her unique approach to design, influenced by her architectural background and family heritage, has caught the attention of publications such as Vogue and Icon magazine. 

Born in Moscow, Petina initially planned to study architecture but changed her mind after attending a foundation course at the British Higher School of Art and Design. After completing a fashion design project, she realized that fashion design offered her the opportunity to show more of her creative potential. Petina enjoyed the complexity of clothing design and the multidisciplinarity of fashion. Her background in art and her family’s connection to the art scene in Russia and Ukraine also influenced her artistic talents and endeavors.

Alexandra Petina“My mom always encouraged my art tendencies and always tried her best to educate me and surround me with creative people. A lot of my ancestors have been directly connected with an art scene in Russia and Ukraine. My great-great-great grandfather has been a prominent Russian art critic, archeologist and an art historian. My aunts and uncles, who live in Ukraine, are artists and graphic designers. We also had a family member who was a cartoon animator and created characters for famous USSR cartoons. With this background I had almost no choice to be in an art related field.

I remember drawing since I was 3 years old. My mom would always take me to art classes and artist studios where they would give me lessons of oil painting, sculpture creation, short movie making and even 3D design using 3D modeling programs.” -says Alexandra Petina

Petina notes that the fashion industry in Russia is in an undeveloped stage compared to London and New York City. She hopes that it will change in the future, and Russian fashion could find its own identity.

Petina studied in three different countries: Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. She notes that it was a great experience that shaped her as a person, giving her a broad perspective on fashion industries in different countries and on the values, beliefs, and history of different nations. She became more open-minded and curious about different cultures.

Moscow, where Petina completed her Bachelor of Arts, had a significant impact on her design language. She notes that the urbanist post-Soviet architecture of the city has made her design language very graphic, silhouette-oriented, and minimalistic. During her time at Central Saint Martins in London, Petina found the atmosphere to be inspiring, which allowed her to be productive every day. She discovered that great ideas can come from anywhere, even from domestic items or trash on the street. Petina is a recent Parsons MFA Fashion Design graduate, where she presented her final collection during New York Fashion Week.

Alexandra Petina’s final collection, presented during New York Fashion Week. 

There, her collection caught the attention of major media and journalists. Her unique approach to design, influenced by her architectural background and family heritage, has been praised for its minimalistic, silhouette-oriented style. The collection showcases her technical skills and unique design perspective. After the fashion show, several stylists and photographers reached out to her to collaborate, highlighting her growing recognition in the fashion industry.

Alexandra Petina

Alexandra Petina BA Show, 2018

Alexandra Petina’s collection was inspired by the streets of New York City and the recent popularity of digital fashion. Her creative process was a combination of analogue and digital media. Petina stated, “Research for this collection started with me going through the streets of NYC, just life drawing people around and searching for inspiration. Then I decided to use a 3D scan app which I downloaded on my phone.”

Alexandra Petina’s artistic vision was to create a comment on radical youth thought forming. Her collection is about a young guy who is so into virtual space that with time he alienates from the real world and departs into the digital world. Petina used all of her 3D scans of people from the streets and analyzed which “mistakes” her scanner made in capturing clothes. Some people had their shoes melted with trousers, someone had a distorted backpack, and someone’s face was so blurred and glitched that they would have two pairs of eyes.

The process of creation for Alexandra Petina’s collection was a lot of work with print design in different techniques – screen-printing, digital print, Dye sublimation, and even airbrushing. Petina decided to choose a trompe-l’oeil technique as a main feature of the collection, an artistic term for the highly realistic optical illusion of three-dimensional space and objects on a two-dimensional surface. Petina said, “Print design was supported by pattern manipulations within the garments structures to give a richness and 3D dimensionality to the items.”

MFA Final Collection - Parsons  / New York Fashion Week  2022

MFA Final Collection – Parsons / New York Fashion Week 2022

The process of production was quite intense for Petina. She created print design manually on many pieces as well as making patterns. She had to achieve accuracy in the fit as well as colors which she needed in prints and make them create a “distorted” effect in real life. Alexandra Petina also faced challenges throughout her creative process. She said, “It was very hard to come with a final concept and make final design decisions, because you feel like you need to show all of your personality and interests in the final collection.” She realized that it is better to choose just one idea and push it in the design as hard as you can.

Alexandra Petina’s last collection showcased at New York Fashion Week was a stunning example of how analogue and digital media can come together to create something unique and innovative. Her use of trompe-l’oeil technique and pattern manipulations within garment structures created a richness and 3D dimensionality to the items. Her comment on radical youth thought forming was also a compelling statement about how technology can impact society. Alexandra Petina’s last collection demonstrated her artistic talents and creativity, and we are excited to see what she will create in the future.

And just as I speak, Petina is currently working on her new collection, which she hopes to showcase soon. She is also collaborating with other creatives in different industries, such as stylists, photographers, and makeup artists, to explore new ideas and inspirations. Petina’s talent and unique approach to fashion design are sure to continue to influence and inspire the fashion industry.

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