Where did you grow up? Where are you based now?
I grew up in Iași, Romania, then I moved to Bucharest. Since September 2012 I’ve been based in London.
What was the first item of clothing you ever made?
The first garment I created, patterns included, was a pair of low-waist jeans for myself to celebrate entering high school.
What was it like to study in Bucharest and now at the London College of Fashion?
I first studied architecture at the University of Architecture in Bucharest because I have always been passionate about this subject since I come from a family of architects. But after a while I discovered that fashion would suit me better so I switched to fashion. When moving to London, I chose the London College of Fashion because I think this school is the best mixture of creativity and industry links.
Where do you start when you design a piece from scratch – what inspires you?
I usually get my inspiration from my moods in that specific period. The people I encounter, the experiences I have and the surroundings. The visual inspiration is random, I don't always look in the same places, I like to explore any art or science fields I find interesting.
Can you tell us more about the designs you’ve entered for the Peek & Cloppenburg Designer for Tomorrow award?
The collection is called Paradox and it explores the duality of our existence as humans. We are built up as paradoxes and that’s what makes us extraordinary, unexpected creatures. Every time I start creating a collection I do some self-analysis first to make sure what I show to the world is first true to myself. That's how I discovered some inconsistencies in my existence, since I am both shy and exuberant, both profound and superficial, both feminine and a tomboy. Then I realised that most of the people I know have these kinds of inconsistencies and that this subject would suit most people. I then translated the idea of paradox into visuals with the help of subtle visual illusions. The rest was fabric research, sewing techniques and industry collaborations.
What did you think when you found out Stella McCartney would be one of the judges of the Designer for Tomorrow award?
I was pleasantly surprised since I love Stella’s work. My joy was unimaginable when I realised I would actually meet her. I think it is great that DfT has a patron like her and couldn't be happier to have met her.
What was it like to meet Stella McCartney?
Stella is a down-to-earth person, very kind and powerful. When I met her we talked about my collection and she gave me some very good tips. One of them was to do what I am doing already.
Who do you think your biggest competition is?
I think all of the finalists are great and talented individuals – that’s why they made it to the top five. It is not a matter of competition any more, since we’re all winners already. It was very nice to meet all the four girls and we actually are friends now, so there’s no room for competition between us. I think my biggest competition is actually myself, since as a designer you have to struggle to become an example. So I am competing with myself and the four other competitors are just dear friends.
What are the top five things you’ll be bringing with you to survive Berlin Fashion Week?
Hopefully my friends and family, that would be enough for me to survive Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin. But on a more material note, my phone, comfortable shoes for backstage, my notebook and a set of pens, thread and pins and some magnesium pills.
And, most importantly, will you be wearing one of your own creations on the night?
I don’t think so because there will be some gorgeous models who will do justice to my collection. But now that you have mentioned it, I will think about it – maybe I will.