August 2, 2019

As a set designer and art director Olga has to be dressed for office days, gala nights and afternoons spent crawling around the stage with a roll of duct tape. Working in a broad spectrum of design, her wardrobe is usually influenced by whatever world she’s creating at work and balanced to coexist with the workplaces of craftsmen as well as directors. 

Do you dress differently dependent on what kind of workday lies ahead?

It might be because of the variety of my job that I spend a lot of time deciding on what to wear for specific occasions. I spend some days brainstorming with the other creative minds at a theatre or in festivals, others in budget meetings with financial advisors, and some in workshops with artisans. I stage-manage myself and my outfits for these occasions the same way I manage the aesthetical impact of the stage when I work as a scenographer. On some days I want to look and feel sharp, on others I’d rather feel more loose, artistic and messy. I think about what mood I want to enhance and what I want to downplay when I put on my clothes.

How does your work inspire your wardrobe?

My surroundings and my work as a designer definitely does inspire me. When I stage a global female football final my style becomes more sporty, and when I work with an opera director who’s inspired by Japanese minimalism that sentiment is translated directly into my wardrobe. It also affects my wardrobe whether I’m full-time employed or freelance, and I felt a big shift in how I dressed once I left my student days behind and entered the workplace. I ‘m aware that in order to be taken seriously professionally, you have to dress the part. I don’t wear crop tops to work, partly because I’d feel too self-conscious about it, but also because my surroundings expect me not to. If i did the clothes would be stealing the attention and it’d be battling me and the results I’m trying to achieve. In a way it’s sad, but i I think it’s true of most young professionals - especially young women.

Has your wardrobe become more theatrical now that you do what you do?

It definitely affects my style to work in a world that's very much about aesthetics. The world of theatre and design is such a visual playground, and once in a while I feel that I dress a little bit costume-like, for example by dressing entirely in vintage 70s clothes. That being said it's my experience that most designers tend to turn towards simplicity, the same way that some sommeliers end up favouring simple wines. My theatrical sense is often satisfied by my work, and then I want to wear something simple and stringent when I'm off-duty. 

To which extent do you consider your wardrobe to be a self-portrait?

I wish my wardrobe was only a reflection of how I feel, but it’s also an arena for presenting myself the way I’d like other people to see me. I love clothes, and I love the way they allow you to express yourself politically or aesthetically. I like to play around with that a lot, but I do feel like it’s also about stage-managing other people’s impression of me. 

What do you wear on weekends?

I’m typically most dressed up on Sundays when I go hunting for treasures at flea markets. I’m definitely more covered up when I’m at work than on weekends. But to me clothes is basically just another opportunity for expression.

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